looking for a Brit's view of AE

Adam   Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:03 am GMT
"Perhaps, the English for the most part are not linguists and don't have what is called a "linguistic ear"

Well, we must be pretty good linguist because we invented the lingo.
Adam   Fri Jul 29, 2005 12:08 am GMT
"If British people such as that lady object to Americans pronouncing "tomato" as they do, then why don't we become logical and change the way we pronounce "potato"? Pot-AH-to to rhyme with tom-AH-to. Sounds weird but at least consistent.

Brit pronunciations: -ato endings.

Tomato = tom-AH-to
Potato = pot-AY-to "

Actually, the Yanks pronounce it as "to-may-do." (Where the D comes from is one of the world's greatest unsolved mysteries.

Why don't the Scots change the pronounciation of "out" to how it should be pronounced, rather than saying "oot"?

That's even more illogical that saying "to-may-do."
Brennus   Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:07 am GMT

Here are just a few things off the internet about the word. I certainly heard it a lot growing up in the 1950's and 60's.

Certain words do eventually go out of style, however and who knows what kind of damage political correctness is doing. It seems that you can't say 'fireman' anymore (sexist), you have to use "firefighter". "Client" and "Customer" used to refer to someone who worked outside your company. Now it might mean a fellow company employee sitting right next to you that you provide clerical support to. One now hears "Beijing" and "Nanjing" for 'Peking' and 'Nanking' even though the internet still lists "Peking duck" and "The Rape of Nanking."



Kirk   Fri Jul 29, 2005 6:12 am GMT
I'm an American and had not been aware of the term "Britisher" until I saw it on this forum.
Rick Johnson   Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:09 am GMT
I prefer limese (or whatever the old phrase is). I've never heard the term Britisher before.

Obviously the woman was utterly ignorant if she corrected an American on the pronunciation of tomato, it is after all a new world fruit- if I remember rightly, the word was derived from an American Indian word!
Kirk   Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:38 am GMT
You remember right! "Tomato" comes from Nauhatl (the Aztec language) "tomatl" which the Spanish took in as "tomate." English actually originally then took the word from Spanish in its Spanish form, so "tomate," which would be [t@"meIt] if it were more Anglicized (I'm not sure how much it was), and then later speakers almost surely started saying "tomato" in analogy with "potato." It's all like a big long game of "telephone" where each rendition changes from person to person. To claim there's a "correct" pronunciation over another for "tomato" is ridiculous, as Rick Johnson pointed out.

This happens all the time in languages, tho. Korean "areubaiteu" (parttime job) comes from Japanese "arubaitu" I believe, which in turn came from German "Arbeit," meaning "job/work."
Dave   Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:54 pm GMT
This happens all the time in languages, tho. Korean "areubaiteu" (parttime job) comes from Japanese "arubaitu" I believe, which in turn came from German "Arbeit," meaning "job/work."

That's cool. I love when things get triple-translated across the world.

Being a Connecticut Yankee, 'Britisher' would come across to me as fairly idiosyncratic. You'd only say it if you were bored of saying the more common 'Brit.'

Only bad comedians would call the British 'limeys,' nowadays.

By the way, is 'nowadays' an Americanism?
Rick Johnson   Tue Aug 02, 2005 10:31 pm GMT

"Nowadays" sounds perfectly normal to my britisher limey ears- so I guess its just standard English!
beverly   Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:51 pm GMT
Quote: And ther's nothing more annoying than Americans changing words such as "through" into the very ugly "thru", or writing the dates in an illogical sequence by putting the month before the day, so that in the US the date is 7/25/05 but in Britain it is the more logical 25/7/05 where it is say first, then month then year.

Adam, perhaps you didn't mean to generalize. Perhaps you meant to say there's nothing more annoying than THOSE Americans [who use "thru." ]

Spot on generalizing our habit with the date construction, I think.
Tom K.   Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:12 am GMT
Something needs to be pointed out, because I think a lot of people don't know this: in the US, the m-d-y date construction does not apply to the military. Right now the date is 3 August and the time is 1711 (west coast)
Rick Johnson   Thu Aug 04, 2005 9:54 am GMT
I wonder what the split is, in the US, between people referring to
"4th of July" and "July 4th"? Differences in US spelling don't bother me one jot as they're hardly any different. However, the month/day/year thing, causes me problems everyday when I'm looking at dates on the internet and realize that there is no 18th month of the year. I don't think even the Canadians follow this method.
Joel   Fri Aug 05, 2005 10:12 am GMT
I haven't been here for a while and Adam you keep peaching the 'word of mother England' I'm going to shove the information up your backside... instead of complaining about what the Americans do just appreciate the fact we are not in a situation where I would have to a translator to talk to one..
Ed   Wed Apr 05, 2006 8:11 pm GMT
The term Britisher is fairly standard but lightly old-fashioned. Someone from the Netherlands can be called a Hollander but that one seems to have slightly pejorative overtones.
Uriel   Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:40 pm GMT
Who's pejorative about the Dutch?
Jim C, York   Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:57 pm GMT
I think it's funny that Americans call us Limeys. Whilst your sailors hobbled about with terrible ricketts and scurvey. Our sailers where fit, healthy and full of vitamin C