Differences between American & British English

Mike   Sunday, April 20, 2003, 07:03 GMT
ALot of the differnces have to do with the mass imgration that came to america and still happens to day like in chicago where lots of germans moved people say da Like DAS instead of The
cmhiv   Sunday, April 20, 2003, 07:06 GMT
Are there German-speaking enclaves in Chicago? I assume the Germans you mention would have been the ones who went to America in the 1870-early 1900's.
PRS   Monday, April 28, 2003, 04:17 GMT
british dont say Ts...

i say BOTTLE
they say Baw-oh
Antonio   Monday, April 28, 2003, 13:42 GMT
Glotalisation occurs a lot in BE, but brits pronounce the T´s, specially in BOTTLE.
I might say /bri:n/ for Britain, but not /bo:ow/ for bottle. There is a ´ttle´ sound in it that must be pronounced.
jon boy   Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 01:43 GMT
Britain certainly has a lot more slang and accents than America. I think British can understand an American clearly because they have to understand their own accents like scouse, geordie, mancunian, scottish, northern irish, welsh, posh, cockney, brummie...list goes on. The American's speak similiar to the Cornish accent of England i.e (water = wardur, where the T is pronounced as a D. It's amazing when you consider the large land mass of America and they all speak English very similiar, where as England is so small but so many speak in different accent. Even though there is always "one" on tv which is the "posh" accent.
mjd   Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 08:27 GMT
Is the "posh" accent a natural accent of any certain geographical spot in England, or is it simply "received pronunciation?"
Simon   Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 08:50 GMT
The centre of power has always been the South East of England so I find it hard to imagine that there are not some elements of these accents in RP. Otherwise, it is the accent of a ruling elite brewed in boarding schools in centuries past, the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.

The traditional accents of the SE where they exist sound noticeably different and the waves of immigration have undoubtedly altered the London accent. Since I was young, you already began to get a new kind of London accent spoken by black and Asian kids. As one example, they say th as d and t, rather than the more famous v/f (i.e. my uvver bruvver finks ve same foughts as me).
Dave   Tuesday, April 29, 2003, 11:27 GMT
mjd, the "posh" accent is the upperclass accent of the South of England.
Carl   Wednesday, April 30, 2003, 12:13 GMT
""british dont say Ts...

i say BOTTLE
they say Baw-oh""

No, British have different accents. If anyone in England pronounce Bottle as Baw-oh, it is in South East England. Go to cornwall and you might here some say Boddel, go to the north of England or anywhere else and it is pronounce as "Bottel". I've heard Americans pronounce as it as "Boddel", never the correct way which is "Bottel"
Maria   Friday, May 09, 2003, 05:30 GMT

I would like to point out the vast differences between dialects within the United Kingdom. As an American, I must confess that I find the accents of some British people quite appealing, perhaps moreso than the one to which I have grown accustomed here in the States. Some of you might be familiar with John Mills's portrayal of the Viceroy in the 1982 movie Gandhi. His accent, in my opinion, was quite aristocratic-sounding to the American ear. Conversely, I find the accents of metropolitan Londoners to be crass and unappealing (no offence to the people of London; I would even go so far as to say that American English is overly watered-down and even dull, in my opnion of course). Would it be correct to presume that the great variance in British dialects can be attributed to geography, i.e. where a person is raised? Or perhaps it might be better said that an individual's schooling or home life has the greatest effect on his or her accent? If anyone here is well-versed in British linguistics, or if you just have a pertinent opinion to offer, please respond to this enquiry.

Thank you.
Simon   Friday, May 09, 2003, 06:55 GMT
Well, my 2 pence worth:

Places like London have lots of coming and going and a whole range of social positions. Therefore accents are very complicated. In place which is relatively stagnant, e.g. Hull, I imagine that accents are basically twofold: local (i.e. of the majority of the people); a university educated elite.

In fact what breaks the relationship of locality and accent is:
1. The fact that power traditionally resides in the SE and London, so those accents are found elsewhere too.
2. Most people who go to university do so outside their original locality, where they meet other young people in the same situation. This has an effect on their accents and also puts them more in contact with BBC/RP/Academic etc.

That's a bit sloppy but it at least gives you some things to think about.

I can more or less pick out someone's hometown and class as soon as they open their mouth. Apparently, this kind of linguistic situation is also present in the Netherlands, but not as far as I know in the US.
Jim   Friday, May 09, 2003, 07:27 GMT
What if they're only opening their mouth to suck your ... good point, Simon.
Simon   Friday, May 09, 2003, 07:55 GMT
That's also a good way to tell someone's geographical origin and social status.
KT   Friday, May 09, 2003, 08:25 GMT
mjd   Friday, May 09, 2003, 09:51 GMT

you wrote:

"Go to Cornwall and you might here some say Boddel"........"Americans pronounce as it as "Boddel", never the correct which is "Bottel".

I disagree with your notion of "correct." The pronunciation sounds correct to Cornish people and Americans in their native dialects. What makes "bottel" any more correct? In addition, when I hear other Americans say bottle, I don't hear the D's, rather I hear a "T" sound. To others they may sound like D's, but not among speakers of that particular dialect of English, in this case Cornish and American speakers in each of their respective dialects.