Sunday, 4 July 2010

Americanisms The British Hate

'Nowadays, people have no idea where American ends and English begins. And that's a disaster for our national self-esteem. We are in danger of subordinating our language to someone else's - and with it large aspects of British life.'

Hace poco salieron publicados unos interesantes artículos por Matthew Engel en el Mail On Sunday sobre cómo Americanisms está invadiendo la manera británica de hablar, para el horror de muchos.

No sólo se queja del spelling sino también de las nuevas palabras que se adoptan o de cómo se pronuncian.

Les dejo la lista de las frases y/ o palabras más odiadas por él y por sus readers que le mandaron más.

(Tengan en cuenta que las explicaciones o definiciones que se dan están expresadas en forma muy sarcástica!)

Hospitalise (or worse still, hospitalize): It's bad enough going to hospital, without being accompanied by this hideous word.

Faze: It doesn't faze me (even when it's spelt 'phase') especially as it's useful in Scrabble. It's just downright irritating.
Movies: Can we please watch a film? Or go to the pictures? Or the flicks?

Truck: It deserves to get run over by a lorry.

A Hike: Is a nice walk in the country, not a wage, price or tax rise.

The Finger: If I cut you up on the motorway, would you mind showing your finger by sticking up two fingers, the British way? Thank you.

(Esto es porque aquí la gente cuando quiere insultar a otro, no muestra generalmente el dedo mayor como los americanos. Hacen una V con los dos dedos pero no del lado de la palma de la mano, o sea, hacen el signo V de la paz o al victoria al revés, palma de la mano apuntando para nuestro lado.)

Do The Math: No, do the maths, for Heaven's sake.

Rookies: In Britain, they are big birdies, not newcomers.

Outage: An American power cut, now in use in a newspaper near you. I always read it as 'outrage'.

Monkey Wrench: An adjustable spanner, if you please.


The U.S.-dominated computer industry, with its 'licenses', 'colors' and 'favorites' is one culprit. That ties in with mobile phones that keep 'dialing' numbers that are always 'busy'.

I accept that estate agents find it easier to sell fancy apartments rather than boring old flats. And it's right that our few non-passenger trains should carry freight not goods, because that's a more accurate description of the contents.

Ask any lawyer and they will explain: witnesses in British courts do not testify, they give evidence; nor do they 'take the stand' to do this, they go into the witness box.

It also used to be understood that, while American politicians 'ran' for office, British politicians always 'stood'. I liked that: it implied a pleasing reticence. Now in Britain both words are used interchangeably and in this month's General Election candidates stood and ran at the same time.

Del segundo artículo:

Top of the long hate-list was probably ‘Can I get a coffee?’ (and these days it probably would be an overpriced, overmarketed American coffee rather than a nice cup of tea).

It was closely followed by ‘I’m good’ as opposed to ‘I’m very well, thank you’. This phrase is even more infuriating when used as an alternative to ‘No, thanks’, in declining a second helping.

Other leading hates include ‘snuck’ as the past tense of ‘sneak’ and ‘dove’ as the past tense of ‘dive’;

driver’s license
instead of driving licence;

rather than over;

for post-mortem;

burglarized instead of burgled;

filling out forms instead of filling them in;

for chips;

for crisps; and food to go as opposed to take away.

There is also period instead of full stop; and of course ‘Hi, guys’, guys in this case being of either sex.

(...) Martin Levin of London E4, says he keeps emailing Radio 2 to remind them there is no k in ‘schedule’ (...)

It includes airplane for aeroplane, pharmacist for chemist, advisory for warning (...)

The land is also full of ‘gotten’ haters – understandable because it is an extremely ugly word. This is a complex area, though, in that it was formerly used in Scotland and can be found in the works of Sir Walter Scott.

And there is widespread loathing of the verbalisation of nouns: incentivizing and all that rot.

In sport, Bob Carr winces when his team suffer an American ‘loss’ far more than when they go down to an English defeat.

Wayne Bryant says that, if he were still playing competitive sport and was told ‘you’re ON the team ON the weekend’, he would refuse to turn up. Gordon Spalding adds ‘Can we touch base?’ to the collection of ludicrous baseball metaphors.

Los artículos completos aquí y aquí. Si leen los comentarios al final de cada artículo, van a ver LA CANTIDAD que aportaron los lectores!


Maguita said...

súper interesante, Ali!! te mando un beso grande!

Romina said...

La verdad, Ali, que estos dos artículos nos tienen desperdicio. Incluso, los veo muy potables para trabajar a nivel profesorado, cuando los alumnos ya tienen un juicio más formado sobre el uso de la lengua. Me encantan tus contribuciones! SIEMPRE son muy útiles. Gracias!

solange said...

Hola! Soy teacher en Argentina. No sé como llegué a este blog...bah..en realidad sí..en una de mis rutinarias busquedas en google "teaching in london" Un sueño de toda la vida que veo que vos tenés la suerte de experimentar. Me gustaría que me cuentes cómo es que estás en our beloved London. Tu blog está genial y YA lo tengo en mis favoritos.

Alicia in England said...




tal cual, a los alumnos del prof les va a encantar. Besos!


hola y gracias por pasar! Si querés saber más sobre mi vida en London, al costado izquierdo de este blog vas a ver que dice "My Other Blog", ese es un link para mi blog personal donde cuento cómo es vivir en Londres. Espero que te guste!

Griselda said...

Muy interesante, Alicia, me encantó leerlo.

Anonymous said...

Very nicce!

Marcela said...

Me he reido a las carcajadas leyendo este post.
Muy buenos! Yo uso la gramática en modo british pero tengo modismos americanos (airplane, por ejemplo)

Natalia Alabel said...

A veces los europeos se creen dueños del idioma...
Estando en Barcelona, un italiano que estudiaba español (de España) llegó a decirme que nuestro español (el de los latinos) "no era el verdadero"

Estuve a punto de matarlo con un tenedor por ignorante, te juro

Anonymous said...

awesome blog, do you have twitter or facebook? i will bookmark this page thanks. lina holzbauer

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Nuri148 said...

"I'm good" me pone los pelos de punta, lo diga quien lo diga. No se trata de dialecto, it's just plain f***ing wrong!

Vivo en Alemania pero mi grupo de amigos es muy internacional por lo hablamos generalmente en inglés; cada vez que alguno dice "soccer" lo cago a pedos: FOOTBALL, we're in Europe!
Y ni siquiera me gusta el fútbol.

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