Quotes: Separated by a Common Language
They say that Britain and America are two countries separated by the Atlantic Ocean
. And it's true!
Ms. Rowling, after the first book, you stopped converting English words to American words. Is there any reason for this? J. K. Rowling:
Actually, we didn't stop, but the number of words that were changed has been greatly exaggerated! We only ever changed a word when it had a different meaning in “American,” for instance, the word “jumper,” which in England means “sweater” and here, I believe, is something that only little girls wear!
In Canada we have enough to do keeping up with two spoken languages without trying to invent slang, so we just go right ahead and use English for literature, Scotch for sermons and American for conversation.
— Stephen Leacock
The Americans are identical to the British in all respects except, of course, language.
— Oscar Wilde
The American language differs from the English in that it seeks the top of expression while English seeks its lowly valleys.
— Salvador de Madariaga, Americans are Boys
One of the strongest prejudices that one has to overcome when one visits Australia is that created by the weird jargon than passes for English in this country
— Valerie Desmond
(Niles has been sneezing)
Fran Fine: Niles! Are you okay?
Niles: Oh, I'm afraid I'm feeling a bit queer.
Niles: Ill, Miss Fine, I'm beginning to feel a bit ill.
Oh, you British. You look like us, you act like us, but bottom line: you're foreigners.
"The complexities of the English Language are such that even native speakers cannot always communicate effectively, as almost every American learns on his first day in Britain. Indeed, Robert Burchfield, editor of the
Oxford English Dictionary, created a stir in linguistic circles on both sides of the Atlantic when he announced his belief that American English and English English are drifting apart so rapidly that within 200 years the two nations won't be able to understand each other at all.
— Bill Bryson
's The Mother Tounge: English and How it Got That Way
, page 12. Published in 1990. Burchfield made this claim in the late 1970's. As stated on the main page, the rise of the Internet allowing us to talk to each other and read each others writing makes that a very interesting look back.
Pack of fags? Randal:
You're a fag! Englishman:
It's a "cigarette", mate. Randal:
I'm not your mate, fag!
"For there is a certain matter never spoken of in polite society, and yet known to all, which will, if we ignore it—pretending that it does not exist—turn what should be a pleasant social occasion into an insufferable ordeal. You do know—or as you would say, ‘ken’—what I speak of, my lord?” “Crivvens!” exclaimed Lord Gy. “Wha hae foostit ben the heid-hoose!?” Then he added, with unmistakable sarcasm: “Serr’s, a coud gae through the fluir.” “Brilliant, that is a paradigmatic specimen,” said Throwley. “It is this, my lord: you do not speak English.”
(*offended noise*) "English pudding! You get yourself all excited for pudding, and here comes a cake with raisins in it."
There even are places where English completely disappears.
In America, they haven't used it for years!