Monday 22 January 2018

Allan Massie: There is nothing really wrong with the Americanisation of English, I guess

A STUDY of children’s writing suggests that our language is being Americanised. Of course English as spoken here and as spoken in the USA have always played off each other – understandably – and the influence of American films and, in the case of children and adolescents,

A STUDY of children’s writing suggests that our language is being Americanised. Of course English as spoken here and as spoken in the USA have always played off each other – understandably – and the influence of American films and, in the case of children and adolescents,

American comics has been noticed for a long time. Orwell was writing about it in the 1930s. Sometimes of course what is regarded – with disapproval? – as American usage turns out to be something once usual in English as spoken or written here. One example is the American habit of saying “I guess” where we might say “I think”. To anyone who objects to this, you should quote Chaucer, who used “I guess” in the American style.

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