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Janderson

In Defence of the Americans

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The 'u' found in honour and colour was added in 1755 when Britain's first dictionairy author had a love affair with latin and caused him to standardise language in such a way. This was done after their indepence was won so the Americans did not take it on. The American color was the origional common spelling before he tried to Frenchify the language.

Just saying this because Fodder's John Cleese post reminded me of some guy saying that Americans changed their language just to spite us.

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Then the americans added an 'o' in original, because they wanted to be like the english and add stylish letters.

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Is this an entry for a "how many factual (and other) errors can you fit in one short post?" contest? If so, it is quite impressive.

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Grazza said:

Is this an entry for a "how many factual (and other) errors can you fit in one short post?" contest? If so, it is quite impressive.

Prove me wrong. The only problem that I now see is I forgot the date of independence.

Origional is a typo, and frenchify is a neologism - its meaning is obvious. And I'm English. And I know what John Cleese was doing.

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I'm as American as the next guy, but I spend my summers in Canada, which uses the 'U' in certain words, I've really grown to use it more often than not, because honestly, without the 'U' in flavour, colour, favourite, etc. I feel kinda stupid...It just sounds right, but the way most Americans talk, you'd expect Colour or Color to be spelled Coler...damn rednecks...

EDIT: Much like the Roof or Ruff phenomenon...

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Look, the answer is obvious
The Mayflower set sail without a dictionary onboard: Upon arrival in the good old US, the colonists asked the only person that they thought could spell to write a new one, it was a 9 year old girl. The rest is history.
Just a few examples:

AMERICAN BRITISH

abridgment abridgement
accouterment accoutrement
acknowledgment acknowledgement
advertize advertise
afterward afterwards
agonize agonise
airplane aeroplane
almshouse almhouse
aluminum aluminium
ambiance ambience
ameba amoeba
amphitheater amphitheatre
analog analogue
analyze analyse
analyzed analysed
analyzer analyser
analyzing analysing
anemia anaemia
anemic anaemic
anesthesia anaesthesia
anesthetic anaesthetic
anesthetizing anaesthetising
annex annexe
anodizing anodising
antiaircraft anti-aircraft
apologize apologise
apothegm apophthegm
arbor arbour
archeology archaeology
archiepiscopal archipiscopal
ardor ardour
armor armour
armored armoured
armorer armourer
armoring armouring
armory armoury
artifact artefact
atchoo atishoo
atomizer atomiser
atomizing atomising
ax axe
B.S. B.Sc.
backward backwards
baptize baptise
barbecue barbeque
bark barque
battle-ax battleaxe
behavior behaviour
behavioral behavioural
behoove behove
Benedictine Benedectine
beside besides
bisulfate bisulphate
bookkeeper book-keeper
boro borough
bylaw bye law

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Janderson said:

The 'u' found in honour and colour was added in 1755 when Britain's first dictionairy author had a love affair with latin and caused him to standardise language in such a way. This was done after their indepence was won so the Americans did not take it on. The American color was the origional common spelling before he tried to Frenchify the language.

WTF? Latin is not French for fucks sake.

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fodders said:

Look, the answer is obvious
The Mayflower set sail without a dictionary onboard: Upon arrival in the good old US, the colonists asked the only person that they thought could spell to write a new one, it was a 9 year old girl. The rest is history.
Just a few examples:

AMERICAN BRITISH

abridgment abridgement
accouterment accoutrement
acknowledgment acknowledgement
advertize advertise
afterward afterwards
agonize agonise
airplane aeroplane
almshouse almhouse
aluminum aluminium
ambiance ambience
ameba amoeba
amphitheater amphitheatre
analog analogue
analyze analyse
analyzed analysed
analyzer analyser
analyzing analysing
anemia anaemia
anemic anaemic
anesthesia anaesthesia
anesthetic anaesthetic
anesthetizing anaesthetising
annex annexe
anodizing anodising
antiaircraft anti-aircraft
apologize apologise
apothegm apophthegm
arbor arbour
archeology archaeology
archiepiscopal archipiscopal
ardor ardour
armor armour
armored armoured
armorer armourer
armoring armouring
armory armoury
artifact artefact
atchoo atishoo
atomizer atomiser
atomizing atomising
ax axe
B.S. B.Sc.
backward backwards
baptize baptise
barbecue barbeque
bark barque
battle-ax battleaxe
behavior behaviour
behavioral behavioural
behoove behove
Benedictine Benedectine
beside besides
bisulfate bisulphate
bookkeeper book-keeper
boro borough
bylaw bye law


I didn't know they had aeroplanes in colonial times.

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fodders said:

Look, the answer is obvious
The Mayflower set sail without a dictionary onboard: Upon arrival in the good old US, the colonists asked the only person that they thought could spell to write a new one, it was a 9 year old girl. The rest is history.
Just a few examples:

List of British spelling which takes longer to write and looks ugly and silly.


Sorry we made some improvements but we just couldn't be hassled with all the bullshit extra letters. We're Americans, time is money and speed is of the essence. Just relax, spell cheque 300 times with your left hand as your right casually lifts the teacup to your lips.

I love England, thanks for dropping us off to start the party guys!

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I love England, too-- just as long as they keep sending their chicks our way. They give it up for any guy who isn't a beer-swilling lump.

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Spelling doesn't really bother me, I use british and american versions interchangably (with exception to colour and the like).

What annoys me most is pronunciation of certain words, such as debute (it is not 'Day-Boo'!)

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Sometimes I speak British sometimes I speak American, sometimes I speak Texan, just depends on my mood. But, yeah, english chicks are great.

Baby Jesus is very busy tonight.

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zarkyb said:

WTF? Latin is not French for fucks sake.

It is decended from Latin, English is a mixture of Latinate and Germanic. It is because of the French influence on the language I say Frenchify.

Yeah, I got mixed up again, for some reason I though independence was 1740-something. The ship kept occuring to me but I never really thought about it. From now on I will think before I post.

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Janderson said:

The 'u' found in honour and colour was added in 1755 when Britain's first dictionairy author had a love affair with latin and caused him to standardise language in such a way. This was done after their indepence was won so the Americans did not take it on. The American color was the origional common spelling before he tried to Frenchify the language.

Just saying this because Fodder's John Cleese post reminded me of some guy saying that Americans changed their language just to spite us.

Right, let's get a few things straight here.

1. By "Britain's first dictionairy author", do you mean Samuel Johnson? Because if you mean Samuel Johnson, then say Samuel Johnson. He's a rather well-known (and I'd say notorious) historical figure. I thought he was around before that time, but I'm probably mistaken.

2. Whose independance? Englands? I don't think England had to win independance from anyone considering they have never been controlled by an outside government since the Roman Empire, though they have had a civil war or two in the past. Do you mean America's independance? I'm sorry but the American War of Independance started in 1775, not 1755 You're uh...a little off there.

3. I'm fairly sure the "Frenchification" of English happened rather earlier than that, you know back when England was first ruled by Normans. I'm not sure of the exact year, but I'm fairly sure it was well before 1755.

I'm sorry, but I'm genuinely confused over what you're trying to say here.

Anders said:

Then the americans added an 'o' in original, because they wanted to be like the english and add stylish letters.

Zuh? Since when did I become the leading authority on American English? :P

fodders said:

Look, the answer is obvious
The Mayflower set sail without a dictionary onboard: Upon arrival in the good old US, the colonists asked the only person that they thought could spell to write a new one, it was a 9 year old girl. The rest is history.

Man, people give the Mayflower way too much credit. People act like it was the first ship to reach America and everyone in this country is descended from its passengers. Though they were one of the first successful colonies, they were one of very many.

People act like because of the pilgrims on the Mayflower, everyone in America ever since has been raised as a puritain christian. In reality, they were just a fringe group. Maryland was founded by Catholics, Virginia was founded by Protestants. Around the time of the Revolution, Unitarianism was fairly common and most educated people in America considered themselves Deists. Puritain Christianity didn't start becoming the majority religion until the late 1800s.

Anyway, what I'm saying is if this group of colonists was so unrepresentative of our religious practices, I don't see how they manage to dictate to us through the ages how we spell everything.

Also, that list seems kind of odd. I'm probably not the best authority on this matter, seeing as how a pretty much learned to read via British authors (Tolkien, Lewis, and Dickens mostly), but I don't think some of those "American" spellings are widely used anymore. The most glaring one is 'boro', which I've never seen used ever. "Borough" is the name for a city district, "burro" is a donkey, and a "burrow" is a lair built by a small animal, but I don't know what the Hell a "buro" is. Also, "axe" seems to be a far more common spelling than "ax", at least in literature, and "battleaxe" is pretty much always used instead of "battle-ax", which looks really awkward. "Amoeba", "afterwards", "backwards", "barbeque", and "baptise" are the only spellings I've ever seen for those words, and "anti-aircraft" is almost always hyphenated. But one thing does stand out: "bye laws"? What the Hell?

This list kind of reminds me of this horrible American-British translation list (http://www.accomodata.co.uk/amlish.htm) that I read this morning that includes American terms I've never even heard before (crazy bone...WTF?), and apparently a bunch of British terms that haven't been used in 30 years or so.

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Danarchy said:

Right, let's get a few things straight here.

1. By "Britain's first dictionairy author", do you mean Samuel Johnson? Because if you mean Samuel Johnson, then say Samuel Johnson. He's a rather well-known (and I'd say notorious) historical figure. I thought he was around before that time, but I'm probably mistaken.

Believe me you are quite lucky that I at least got the date right. I'm not a history man, names and dates slip past my lips at random. I used to think the dark ages were 200 years ago and I've always reffered to him as Jackson in class. You think I would have learned but I'm slower than the average bear.

3. I'm fairly sure the "Frenchification" of English happened rather earlier than that, you know back when England was first ruled by Normans. I'm not sure of the exact year, but I'm fairly sure it was well before 1755.

Of course but before spellings were standardised things were spelled out in every concievable why (it is said Shakespeare spelled his name differently everytime he wrote it) and when Samuel Johnson standardised spelling because he believed English was decaying, which is why he wrote the dictionary, he took to the latin and french flourishes (for want of the word I'm looking for.)

I'm sorry, but I'm genuinely confused over what you're trying to say here.

Understandably.

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As other people have said, the first post does have some truth in it. Yes, some American spellings are the result of errors and some are the result of American English intentionally being different both to "simplify and rationalise" and the political agenda of underlining that America was now independent. Remember, English first crossed the Atlantic long before a lot of it was codified and formalised in either country.

And yes, the first post is quite correct, some British English words were modified after American English spellings were formalised. Again, it is also correct that the reason for at least some of these alterations was to adopt a more French appearance to the word to give is the perceived air of French sophistication that was fashionable at the time.

Bill Bryson, for one, has quite a lot to say on the matter if you want to check him out.

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Yeh, when I was at school we spelt "jail" as "gaol", it was only when I started reading shitkickers (cowboy books)by Louis Lamour etc that I saw the spelling "jail", now even here in England it's "jail"

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Numbermind said:

I love England, too-- just as long as they keep sending their chicks our way. They give it up for any guy who isn't a beer-swilling lump.

I love America, too-- just as long as they keep sending their chicks our way. They give it up for any guy who isn't a burger-guzzling, pizza-chomping, pretzel chewing, hotdog eating, lager-swilling lump.

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Janderson said:

It is decended from Latin, English is a mixture of Latinate and Germanic. It is because of the French influence on the language I say Frenchify.


English also is Norse influenced

for example:

viking sons were called [father's name]son
and viking daughter were called [father's name]dotter

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I never really thought about it before, but a girl I knew said she hated her surname. I couldn't work out why. I mean, it's a common enough name and, aside from an association with a certain very yellow family, it held no real connotations. Then she said, "well think about it. Simp-son - son of the simple person. It means the village idiot's son."

Now, I don't know if she was right or not, but it's kind of funny.

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I thought Ralphis was too young to have kids. We learn something new every day don't we?

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My last name is a convoluted version of Fredrik's first name, that people often drop letters out of or right out butcher.

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fodders said:

I thought Ralphis was too young to have kids. We learn something new every day don't we?


THINK AGAIN

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