Stef (firecat) wrote,
Stef
firecat

Words/phrases identified as "Americanisms" that some people love to hate

Two articles about "Americanisms".

This one is written by a journalist and it's about language that originated in America that has made its way into British English.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/14130942

I had no idea that words like "talented" and "reliable" were once (or are still) considered objectionable.

Readers were invited to contribute their own Americanisms:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14201796

The list from readers is a mishmash of corporate jargon (e.g., "deplane"), abbreviations ("24/7"), phrases that mean something naughtier in British English than in American English ("fanny pack"), terminology that's different in different areas ("shopping cart" vs. "shopping trolley," "bi-weekly" vs. "fortnightly," "math" vs. "maths"), grammatical constructions ("can I get a"), words that have been turned into verbs ("alphabetize," "burglarize"), pop-culture memes that turn into more or less universal slang ("my bad"), words/phrases that I think are regionalisms rather than Americanisms ("that'll learn you," "where's it at?"), and phrases that I associate with a particular class or age cohort rather than a region ("I have an issue," "Let's touch base.")

It's fascinating which phrases/words bug me too ("normalcy," "deliverable"), which ones don't bug me but I can see why they bug someone ("I could care less"), and which ones seem completely normal to me and it never even occurred to me that non-Americans don't use them ("alphabetize," "expiration date").

Also it's fascinating what reasons people give for disliking words/phrases. "Transportation. What's wrong with transport?" "'Reach out to' when the correct word is 'ask'."

There are also 1295 comments. I haven't read them all. :-)

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/730460.html, where there are comments.
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