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Thursday, December 30, 2010

all about WORDS

i have just finished reading this book by Graham Colin-Jones called all about WORDS. it's actually a self-study handbook designed to help you solve some of your difficulties with the english language. as stated in the book, it was first published in 1983 and was reprinted in 1984 and 1987. i am not sure if you can find copies of this book in bookstores now.

some of the chapters in this book are particularly relevant to me as they deal with the difficulties i often have, like the use of prepositions, the different uses of 'will' and 'would'. this book actually gives me a deeper insight into the way english language is developing and into how it is used for particular purposes.

so one of the chapter i read was this: do you speak british or american english?

this chapter explains that the differences between british english and american english are not limited to vocabulary, but also include pronunciation, spelling and even grammar. looking back, i didn't speak english on a daily basis until i was 9. it was when my family left kuala lumpur to stay in glasgow, scotland and i went to school there. from the exposure i began to master british english and although i don't speak with a scottish accent anymore, it is still the english i speak today.

so do you speak british english or american english? try this exercise to find out:

  1. on saturday night do you like to go to (a) the movies (b) the cinema (c) the pictures (d) the flicks?
  2. do you call your mother (a) mum or mummy (b) mom or mommy?
  3. do you pronounce the 'i' in anti-nuclear as in (a) tie (b) tin?
  4. is the place in the car where you put your luggage (a) the boot (b) the trunk?
  5. is the middle point of something (a) the centre (b) the center?
  6. what's your (a) favourite (b) favorite television
  7. (a) program (b) programme?
  8. do you walk along (a) the pavement (b) the sidewalk?
  9. do you call waste material that you throw away (a) rubbish (b) garbage (c) trash?
  10. after a meal at the restaurant what do you ask for ? (a) the bill (b) the check?
  11. children like to eat (a) sweets (b) candy

now, let's check your answers.
  1. (a) american (b) british (c) british (d) british
  2. (a) british (b) american
  3. (a) american (b) british
  4. (a) british (b) american
  5. (a) british (b) american
  6. (a) british (b) american
  7. (a) american (b) british
  8. (a) british (b) american
  9. (a) british (b) american (c) american
  10. (a) british (b) american
  11. (a) british (b) american

can you believe how far you have been influenced american english?


sUYA said...

this is interesting. i like this post!! hehehe!!! working in a British curriculum school with most colleagues from the UK does make a big difference in my way of conversing in English.

Ushna said...

thank you suya! it is interesting to learn about the differences between british and american english.lucky you, i only know a few people who speak british english. don't you just love their accent and how each words are clearly pronounced? :)

sUYA said...

Hah!! Memang.. Teruja betol kalo dgr diorg ckp.. Hehe! Anway, i miss you a lot!!!

nanayau said...

american! shorter spelling hehe. but we have our own version of english, which is manglish

Ushna said...

nanayau - yup! who can do manglish better than us haha :)

suya - they sound bersemangat kan? yes i miss you too! let me know when you're in town okay :)