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Old 07-17-2005, 04:47 PM   #16
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Re: Re: The English language (Boring question)

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Originally posted by Axver


1. I think that is no surprise at all, as the entire English speaking world besides the US (and Canada? I forget) spells the Commonwealth way. That's one reason why I think US spelling is just flat-out wrong, but that's another debate entirely.
Canadians use a blend of Commonwealth/American spelling.

For example, we will spell it recognize instead of recognise. It is aluminum, not aluminium.

But it is also neighbour, colour, centre, litre.

Go figure.
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Old 07-17-2005, 11:43 PM   #17
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Originally posted by beli
Cell phone and automobile are more difficult to actually pronouce. I think Australians like lazier words.
Cell phone is more difficult to pronounce that mobile phone? I always go for fewer syllables myself.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:03 AM   #18
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Re: The English language (Boring question)

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Originally posted by TheQuiet1
So, I was wondering why is Aussie English so similiar to British English but American English so different? I mean I can understand why things such as spelling/pronunciation are similiar because of the main colonisation of Australia in the 19th century by prisoners (sorry about that by the way...) by which time spelling and pronunciation had been put in a 'fixed' state but America was colonised far earlier before there were 'standard ways' of English language so this has allowed it to evolve in a different direction.
My information isn't precise (I'm sure its in my notes or books somewhere), but there was a movement during/after the American Revolution to change the spelling to an American version. Actually, the man behind it wanted to change spelling very drastically to reflect how things are really pronounced and to make it our own, but it didn't catch on. But that's how the Americans lost all England's u's.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:43 AM   #19
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Re: Re: The English language (Boring question)

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Originally posted by AvsGirl41
But that's how the Americans lost all England's u's.
And now America's making up for it by producing millions of teenagers who type in IM-speak and u-use like there's no tomorrow.

No, seriously, I'd heard the u-less spelling came about when Noah Webster wrote his dictionary and felt it was a more phonetic spelling. Though I really have to wonder why he didn't touch 'though'.
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:47 AM   #20
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Re: Re: Re: The English language (Boring question)

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Originally posted by Axver


And now America's making up for it by producing millions of teenagers who type in IM-speak and u-use like there's no tomorrow.

No, seriously, I'd heard the u-less spelling came about when Noah Webster wrote his dictionary and felt it was a more phonetic spelling. Though I really have to wonder why he didn't touch 'though'.

OMG!! R u serious???

You're probably right, I'm wondering if it's a jumbled bit of apocrypha in my brain that I stored as fact. Especially I can't remember any details!
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Old 07-18-2005, 12:52 AM   #21
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Re: Re: Re: The English language (Boring question)

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I've heard that said about New Zealand a lot. In fact, someone said New Zealanders are more English than us [English].
New Zealand would like to think it is, trust me.

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I think it's interesting how difficult it is for people to tell apart accents if they don't come from the place (eg. to an Australian a New Zealand accent sounds nothing like an Australian one but to Brits this may not be the case... yet most British people could tell the difference between someone from say Edinburgh and someone from Glasgow).
When I was in the US, I noticed those who questioned me on my accent would typically ask me "are you Australian?" in an uncertain manner, or would ask me where I was from and then respond they thought I was from the Australia/NZ part of the world. It was as if they could hear something that reminded them of the Aussie accent but could tell it wasn't actually Australian. Though that might be because I've lived in Australia too long and I'm starting to have my Kiwi accent diluted by theirs.

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Another question, is it just me or does the UK have an alarming number of regional accents or is it just that I live there so can tell the difference but they'd sound the same to foreigners? If you see what I mean.
I knew a woman who, simply through accents, could tell exactly which British town someone was from. That was rather cool. Personally, I haven't been exposed to a sufficient diversity of British accents to be able to respond to your question with any certainty, but I can tell that there's a diversity through the country.
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Old 07-18-2005, 03:12 AM   #22
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Re: Re: Re: The English language (Boring question)

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Originally posted by Axver


No, seriously, I'd heard the u-less spelling came about when Noah Webster wrote his dictionary and felt it was a more phonetic spelling. Though I really have to wonder why he didn't touch 'though'.
Some of the differences in spelling were already in use prior to Webster's dictionary, but spelling wasn't uniform across the US at all. That's also when we lost the dipthongs that still exist in Commonwealth English. Webster tried to implement a lot of radical spelling changes (to make the spelling of words more phonetic or more similar to the Greek/Latinate spellings) to differientiate American English from British English, but most of his ideas weren't adopted (like substituting "sh" for "ch" in French derivatives or removing the silent "e" on the end of words).
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Old 07-18-2005, 04:23 AM   #23
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The answer to why Australians are so similar to you poms is rather simple. It's the 11,000-17,000 of you per year who migrate out here to defrost. If you take a walk around Bondi, you will see more Poms than Aussies. A huge percentage of Australians you speak to will be either immigrants themselves or the children/grandchildren of Irish, English, Scot, whatever. We're only a few generations old. Your influence is still as strong as ever and I hope to god it doesn't actually go anywhere soon. The only thing which gets on my tits with poms is the attempts to make yourselves laugh by calling us a bunch of convicts. Er....And whose convicts were we, again?
So few seem to remember that there were 73 odd nationalities on the first fleet, but that's never stopped a good pissing on.
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Old 07-18-2005, 09:44 AM   #24
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There is a really great book about the English language called "Mother Tongue". The author says that the current US language sounds more like original British English than current British English does (However, the book was written in the eighties, so I'm not sure if he would still say that).
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Old 07-18-2005, 11:14 AM   #25
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The English language (Boring question)

Quote:
Originally posted by Axver


I knew a woman who, simply through accents, could tell exactly which British town someone was from. That was rather cool. Personally, I haven't been exposed to a sufficient diversity of British accents to be able to respond to your question with any certainty, but I can tell that there's a diversity through the country.
This reminds me, I was reading on the BBC website ages ago about regional accents and dialects. It said that in the North Yorkshire/York region the pronunciation of the word 'door' can change within a mere 3 mile radius from 'deer' to 'dower' and that's not taking into account people like me who simply pronounce it as it is spelt! My point is if that reoccurs across the country that's a heck of a lot of variation.

And Angela, I'll TRY my hardest to stop mentioning those British convicts but I'm making no promises.
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