Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Britain: Not All Americans Are Loud And Obnoxious

Dear Britain,

I am writing all the way from America to inform you (and a certain selection of your population) that, contrary to popular belief, not all Americans are loud and obnoxious.

As an Englishman who has now worked with and befriended hundreds of what you and I affectionately refer to as "Yanks", I must touch upon my hard-line opposition to this stereotype.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why Do Americans Pronounce It "Aluminum"?

As outlined in my growing compendium of word variations, there are thousands of differences when it comes to the lexical choices of both Brits and Americans. Aside from this, though, are countless variations in the pronunciation of words.

One such word is "aluminium", the pronunciation of which has left a number of my American friends bewildered on the spot, since the standard American equivalent famously drops the final "i" to spell out "aluminum."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dear America: Tony Blair Stopped Being Prime Minister in 2007

Dear America,

I am writing to inform you (and a certain selection of the American people) that, contrary to popular belief, Tony Blair stopped being Prime Minister way back in 2007.

While I am, by no means, insinuating that all U.S. citizens are of the belief that Mr. Blair still rules over my compatriots, I have encountered enough Americans during the past several years who are, nonetheless, of this belief. It is for this reason that I feel some clarification is needed on this pressing issue.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

British Vs. American Idioms - Part 1


British English (BrE)
American English (AmE)
I wouldn't touch you with a bargepole
I wouldn't touch you with a ten-foot pole
Sweep it under the carpet
Sweep it under the rug
Touch wood
Knock on wood
Can't see the wood for the trees
Can't see the forest for the trees
Put in your tuppence worth
Put in your two cents' worth
A skeleton in the cupboard
A skeleton in the closet
A home from home
A home away from home
Blow one's own trumpet
Blow one's own horn
A drop in the ocean
A drop in the bucket
Flogging a dead horse
Beating a dead horse
A new lease of life
A new lease on life
Take it with a pinch of salt
Take with a grain of salt


Sometimes, it's better hearing me in a British accent. Click the red button below.


Laurence Brown is a British man writing his way through the truly bizarre world of America - a place he sometimes accidentally calls home and a place he still hasn't quite figured out after seven years. Thankfully, his journey is made 12% easier by the fact that his accent makes him sound much smarter than he is. For evidence of this, subscribe to his popular Lost in the Pond web series over on YouTube.

British Vs. American English: School Terminology


British English (BrE)
American English (AmE)
Autumn term
Fall semester
Break
Recess, free period
College high school
High school
Exam
Test
Module
Class
Nursery, playschool
Day care, preschool
Primary school
Elementary school
Pupil
Student
Read a subject
Major in a subject
Reception year
Pre-kindergarten, pre-K
Secondary school
Middle school
Sit an exam
Take a test
Spring term
Spring semester
Summer term
Summer semester
Term
Semester
University
College, university
Year 1
Kindergarten
Year 2
1st grade
Year 3
2nd grade
Year 4
3rd grade
Year 5
4th grade
Year 6
5th grade
Year 7
6th grade
Year 8
7th grade
Year 9
8th grade
Year 10
9th grade, freshman year
Year 11
10th grade, sophomore year
Year 12
11th grade, junior year
Year 13
12th grade, senior year

This ongoing list was compiled by Laurence Brown. Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a contributor for BBC America and has written for Anglotopia. He is Editor-in-chief of Lost in the Pond and loves nothing more than to share his articles with anglophiles, expats, and other interested parties on social media. Follow Lost in the Pond on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

British Vs. American English: Finance Terminology


British English (BrE)
American English (AmE)
Annual general meeting
Annual stockholders meeting
Authorised share capital
Authorized capital stock
Barometer stock
Bellwether stock
Base rate
Prime rate
Bridging loan
Bridge loan
Building society
Saving and loan association
Cash machine
ATM
Cheque
Check
Company
Corporation
Creditors
Accounts payable
Current account
Checking account
Debtors
Accounts receivable
Merchant bank
Investment bank
Notes
Bills
Ordinary share
Common stock
Overheads
Overhead
Pence
Cents
Pounds
Dollars
Property
Real estate
Quid
Buck
Quoted company
Listed company
Retail price index
Consumer price index
Share
Stock
Shareholder
Stockholder
Shareholder's equity
Stockholder's equity
Stock
Inventory
Trade union
Labor union
Unit trusts
Mutual funds
Visible trade
Merchandise trade 

This ongoing list was compiled by Laurence Brown. Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a contributor for BBC America and has written for Anglotopia. He is Editor-in-chief of Lost in the Pond and loves nothing more than to share his articles with anglophiles, expats, and other interested parties on social media. Follow Lost in the Pond on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Dear America: Just Because I'm British Does Not Mean I Know The Queen

When I first moved to the United States in 2008, there was naturally an inordinate amount of interest in my background: who I was, which part of Australia (yes, Australia) I was from, and why I said funny phrases like bugger me. But the most unexpected question - asked of me by one of my wife's relatives - was this: "so... do you know The Queen?"

I assumed at the time that she - the relative - was joking. Clearly, thought I, the family I'm marrying into must possess a brilliant sense of humo(u)r, and that this was some kind of gotcha.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

British vs. American English: Transport Terminology


British English (BrE)
American English (AmE)
Bonnet
Hood
Boot
Trunk
Bumper
Bumper, fender
Car
Car, automobile
Car park
Parking lot
Central reserve
Median
Crossroads
4-way stop
Curve
Bend
Dual carriage way
Divided highway/freeway
Gear stick
Shift stick
Give way
Yield
Hard shoulder
Shoulder
Indicator
Turn signal
Lorry/Truck
Truck
Motorway
Expressway/highway/interstate
One-way street
One way
Pavement
Sidewalk
Pedestrian crossing
Cross walk
Petrol cap
Gas cap
Petrol station
Gas station
Road junction
Intersection
Roundabout
Rotary/traffic circle/roundabout
Service station
Rest area/rest stop
Toll Road
Turnpike/Toll Highway
Traffic lights
Traffic lights, lights
Windscreen
Windshield