Differences Between American and English English

CG   Friday, July 16, 2004, 16:03 GMT
Just thought I'd start this up again. I've noticed that many Americans use "would have" in a very different way from the way an English person would. For example "If I would have known, I could have gone shopping". In Britain this would be "If I had known ....".

I'd also like to note the differing uses of the word "mad". In Britain this means insane. In America (as far as I know) this means angry. Do Americans ever use it in the British way?
Elaine   Friday, July 16, 2004, 17:09 GMT
"Do Americans ever use it in the British way?"

Yes we do, but only when we're emulating Britons or affecting a sophisticated manner of speech.
Ailian   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 01:09 GMT
I think what Elaine says is true for some dialects, though I've always known as "mad" as being both "ill" (insane) and "angry" (e.g. "madhouse"). Were my sister here, I'd ask her if she agrees as she's really the better judge of these things (overhearing tourists in the restaurant where she works). Better than me, that is. ;)

I've heard (and said) "If I had known that..." or "Had I known that..." (or "If I'd known..."), as well as "If I would've known that..." and "If I'd've known that...", not to mention "If I knew (you were coming I'd've baked a cake!)" I'm pretty sure that I say the former two first, as that's what I recall being taught in school, though I think that I switch between "If I'd known..." and "If I'd've known..." in rapid (not thinking) speech. Then again, I (as with others I know who were schooled in our nasty Louisiana prep schools) pronounce "wh" as "wh" and not "w" (apparently also not common in American dialects), so perhaps I'm not the best judge of this.
Jeff   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 03:41 GMT
I know mad means insane too, but i rarely use it that way, so if you come to america and ask somebody:
Are you mad? they're going to think of " Are you angry"?

Besides angry and insane, i use mad like " a lot" or "really",

He treated me mad(really) nice,
He got mad( a lotta) cars.
Ailian   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 03:46 GMT
Oh my goodness! I complete forgot about that usage. Where did that originate? My friend Bob (who's fond of saying "mad rad") is convinced that it's a West Coast thing, but I'm certain that it's an East Coast thing. I know that it's not used down South (much).

And that really should have been "...'ill' (insane) (e.g. 'madhouse')...." Silly me. :O
Jeff   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 04:13 GMT
I'm from New York, and i use mad like i million times in a single sentence.,

In didn't understand the last part of your post,

"And that really should have been "...'ill' (insane) (e.g. 'madhouse')...." Silly me. :O "

Could you explain yourself better...
Ailian   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 04:37 GMT
I had noticed a mistake in my previous (first) message. The word "madhouse" doesn't mean "house of angry people", does it? The way that I wrote the message, though, that's how I seemed to be defining it.
CG   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 08:55 GMT
Jeff, your sentences must be really long.
Ailian   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 17:04 GMT
No, they're mad long. ;)
Xatufan   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 21:25 GMT
Is it true that some accents use "mighty" as "very"? ("This is mighty big")
Jeff   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 23:16 GMT
Silly rabbits,
trix is just for kids.
Random Chappie   Sunday, July 18, 2004, 00:30 GMT
What's "trix"?

I thought "rabbit" was my word. Eh...perhaps I have not asserted my dominion over the word "rabbit" here on Antimoon and now I've lost my chance.

I'm now taking the opportunity to reserve the rights to the words "chappie", "moppet", and "poppet" on Antimoon.
mjd   Sunday, July 18, 2004, 00:34 GMT
For some reason Jeff quoted the old motto on the Trix cereal commericials, in which the Trix rabbit would do his very best to get some Trix; however, his plan would always be foiled in the end by the kids.

What this has to do with the discussion going on in the thread, I couldn't tell you.
mjd   Sunday, July 18, 2004, 00:54 GMT
Damian   Sunday, July 18, 2004, 08:46 GMT
I've never heard the word "moppet" used. My dictionary tells me it has the same meaning as poppet (origina : a rag doll!)

What IS used a lot here in the UK is muppet. If someone calls you a muppet restrain yourself from a violent reaction...it means you are stupid.