A blog by Patrick Crozier

US v UK English

July 31, 2003

If there is one thing worse...
Patrick Crozier

If there is one thing worse than a Yank calling football "soccer", it is a Yank calling football "football".

Discuss.

April 09, 2003

Round 3: Elevator v. Lift
Patrick Crozier

Pretty straight forward UK win here. Lift is shorter and just as descriptive. Thank goodness for that.

UK win

US 2 - UK 1

April 06, 2003

US v UK English - an update
Patrick Crozier

Many thanks to all those of you who have suggested US/UK pairs. As most of you have probably worked out, this is a totally idiosyncratic and non-scientific competition, so I am not going to make any promises only that I will look at as many pairs as I can when I get round to it and if I feel like it.

One thing that some of the comments made me realise, is that I may not be the expert on standard US English I think I am. Because we get bombarded with Hollywood movies, TV sitcoms and computer manuals we tend to think that we know what words US English uses. But the fact that a word or term gets used frequently does not make it standard. There are, for example, plenty of UK uses and pronunciations which are common but far from standard. I do want to make at least a stab at comparing like with like, so I would appreciate if US readers would put me right when I get it right.

March 29, 2003

Round 2: Meet with v. Meet
Patrick Crozier

In the context of a meeting with someone you have met before. I have to say I find "meet with" absolutely ghastly. It sounds dreadfully lame. But on the other hand it does seem useful. There is a difference between encountering someone for the first time ("meet") and encountering them on another occasion ("meet with"). And if us Brits can have "a meeting with" someone (see above) why can't we "meet with" someone?

Loath as I am to admit it I think the points are going to have to go to the Americans.

US win

US 2 - UK 0

March 24, 2003

Sidewalk v Pavement
Patrick Crozier

They say "sidewalk"; we say "pavement". Frankly, I think there is no competition: "sidewalk" is miles better. It describes perfectly the object to which it refers: it's at the side (of the road) and you walk on it. "Pavement" on the other hand, well, what's that? Could be anything.

US win

US 1 - UK 0

March 22, 2003

British or American English: which is best?
Patrick Crozier

We are all aware of the differences between US and UK English - never more so now that we have the Blogosphere and that Trans-Atlantic ranting is a daily occurence. They say tomayto we say tomarto. They write humor we write humour.

The question is: which one is the better? And what better way to decide than to have a competition. So, from now on, every so often, I will take a pair of US/UK synonyms and totally objectively (well, as objectively as you can get for a British Imperialist who thinks American independence was a mistake) determine which synonym is the better.

I will be keeping score until such time as a clear winner emerges.