Evolution of English: British vs American

Evolution of English: British vs American

This writing is in response to an article I read about linguistics and language in the blogs. It was closed and I couldn't post there.

I have been teaching for many years abroad and I found that most text in Asia are UK based but the spoken language tends to be American style. This influence comes from media mostly and marketing. I have no problem with British English although from the American point of view it is somewhat uppity and rigid.

Every student and teacher I have trained preferred the American style. Yes, we use the British text but the differences are minor and easily explained. My complaint is English has way too many words for the same thing. We could remove many words and make it much more simpler. However, that would be asking a lot from all English speakers and considered watering down. Oh, well.

British English was empirical as was the nature of the empire. American capitalist were not so sharing for free and thus the written and colonial style was until decolonization British. So what happened. The answer is WAR.

The US military as had a permanent presence in Asia for many years now. It actually began during the Spanish American War with the Philippines then WW2, Korea, Vietnam and so forth.

We did not bring text books or teachers we brought money and innovation, new ideas and business opportunities. In essence, capitalism which is American by design pushed out British influence in favor of greed. Therefore, business English appeared and it evolved into what it is today.

What I do find interesting is this. My son was born and raised in the UK. His mother is British. It is all he knows. I also have a guy from New Zealand I work with, and I have met many friends from British Commonwealths. To the letter I find they cannot understand American English nor read 50% of it with comprehension. Yet, any American can read any text from the UK, listen to conversations, and view their media and understand it completely. The only exception are people from Australia, who have been profoundly impacted from the US and seem to understand us fine. So I wonder what the real problem is.

It isn't any wonder people prefer the American English to other forms. Accents and idioms excluded, the basic form of English is the same.

The only complaints I ever hear are from British and New Zealanders who just don't quite understand the most widely spoken form of their base language in the world. My director is one of these people.

Recently he made it clear that he only wanted to hire teachers from New Zealand because he believes their curriculum and language pronunciation is the only legitimate language to be taught. Simply amazing!

Better to be deaf and sign

Robert


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