[PW] question for any British wombats

T.F. Mills phasco at earthlink.net
Mon Apr 20 17:06:06 PDT 2015


On 20 Apr 2015 at 11:31, Kevin O'Kelly wrote:

> Those phrases and terms seem very un-British to me.
> 
> Thoughts on this?

I would not underestimate the power of globalisation since the 1960s, including its impact on 
language.  When I lived in England in the 1960s Brits and Americans were far more conscious 
of their differences than they are today.  That sense of difference may endure in the minds of 
people over 50 or 60, but not so much among youth.  Communications have changed radically 
since then (tourism, business, technology, shared products, speed and frequency of social 
networking, postcolonial military partnerships, formal and informal cultural exchanges -- like 
Brit actors working in Hollywood -- etc., etc.)  I listen to BBC World Service for hours every 
day, watch more Brit drama than American, and I am constantly amazed at the interchange 
and blurring of idioms.  Brits are often no longer aware of so-called Americanisms because 
they have become so prevalent. To speak of language being "un-British" in the 21st century is 
not so much a comparison with other countries today as it is a comparison with another 
century.  (The BBC World Service itself is typically symptomatic, employing reporters around 
the world who speak a wide variety of English, including some who are seem 
American-educated.)

T.F. Mills 
(Colorado, USA)




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