Pioneers_ Oh Pioneers_ by wuxiangyu


									Pioneers! Oh Pioneers!

--Schedule for this week
--British and American English
--Features and Figures of American
                This week
Lecture Today
– Available on the class website
     HW#4 (Due 11/29)
Quiz #6 is cancelled; Quiz #7 (SOE chapters 6-
10; related CEEL readings; lectures on 12/6 will
be worth 100 points. There will be another study
guide for this quiz available on 11/29.
Thursday (11/17): ―The Echoes of an English
Voice‖ (SOE chapter 8)
         Speech Samples
Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these
things with her from the store: Six spoons
of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue
cheese, and maybe a snack for her
brother Bob. We also need a small plastic
snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She
can scoop these things into three red
bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday
at the train station.
  British and American English
Can you think of any examples that describe
 the differences between British and
 American English?
Different Pronunciation, Same
 Advertisement (advert, ad)

 Leisure, schedule, dynasty, dance

 Renaissance, oregano

 Harass, harassment
      Different Spelling, Same
 Colour — color
 Centre — center
 Cheque — check (noun form [bank]; verb "to check" the
 Defence — defense (noun form)
 Licence (noun form) — license
 Alright — all right
 Manoeuvre — maneuver
 Tyre — tire
 Ageing — aging
 Whisky (Scotch) — whiskey (U.S. & Ireland)
 Gaol — jail
Same Term, Different But Similar
  Spelling and Pronunciation
Aluminium — aluminum
Polythene — polyethylene
Maths — math (shortening of
Rise — raise (more money in salary,
  Same Words, But Different or
     Additional Meanings
GB 'Trousers' = US 'Pants'; US 'Pants' = GB
'underwear pants'
US 'It was a tremendous storm; my pants got all
wet' would in GB refer to 'underwear pants'
rather than 'outerwear pants' [trousers]
GB 'Jumper' = US 'Sweater'; US 'Jumper' = GB
Pinafore [dress].
GB 'I'm getting warm; I think I'll take off my
jumper' would refer in SAE to 'taking off my
dress' instead of 'taking off my sweater'
(U.S.) Finnair has a flight to London today.
(G.B.) Finnair have a flight to London
today. (large collective nouns)

(U.S.) England has played well today,
even if it lost.
(G.B.) England have played well today,
even if they lost.
(G.B.) Have you got your grade in history
(U.S.) Have you gotten your grade in
history yet?

(G.B.) He went on a course. How many
were on the course?
(U.S.) He was in a course. How many
were in the course?
G.B.) We lived in the High Street.
(U.S.) We lived on Main Street

(G.B.) He's in hospital with a broken leg.
(U.S.) He's in the hospital with a broken leg.

(G.B.) We weren't able to catch him up
(U.S.) We weren't able to catch him, catch up
with him, catch up [with him].
Same Concept, Different Terms or
 Hire a car — rent a car
 Petrol — gasoline
 Saloon — sedan
 Estate car — station wagon
 Boot — trunk
 Silencer — muffler
 Fortnight — two weeks
 Goods train — freight train
 Barrister vs. solicitor — lawyer, attorney-at-law
 Different Versions of Harry Potter
    and the Philosopher’s Stone
UK Edition          US Edition
lot                 bunch
shan't              won't
dustbin             trashcan
jumper              pull-over sweater
cine-camera         video-camera
mummy               mommy
glove puppet        hand puppet
Has the American Influence Ruined
‘It is about a mile and a quarter in
circumference; it stands upon the flat of a
hill, the bank of the river (which they in
barbarous English call a bluff) is steep.’

 --Francis Moore, a British traveler in Georgia
 describing the town of Savannah in 1735.
‘We must act now to insure that English –
and that, to my way of thinking, means
English English – maintains its position as
the world language well into the next
[American] ‗people tend to invent all sorts of
  nouns and verbs and make words that
  shouldn’t be.’

--Prince of Wales, 1995
Has the American Influence Ruined
 Did English change from Old English to
 Middle English to Early Modern English to
 Modern English?
      – British English has changed over time; as has American

 Extending language to new speakers and
 new uses will always change language.
      – Can you think of examples of this?
Why does English have such a differences
compared to British English?

Thomas Jefferson:

  There are so many differences between us and
  England, of soil, climate, culture, productions,
  laws, religion and government, that we must be
  left far behind the march of circumstances, were
  we to hold ourselves rigorously to their
  standard…Judicious neology can alone give us
  strength and copiousness to our language, and
  enable it to be the vehicle of new ideas.
What does this quote illustrate?
The importance of language and identity

The need to show separation from a
nation that once ruled them
 – The term America was adopted in 1782
 – In 1802 the U.S. Congress first used the term
   The American Language
       Benjamin Franklin
In 1768 Franklin wrote A Scheme for a
New Alphabet and a Reformed Mode of
Much as the imperfections of
the alphabet will admit of; the
present bad spelling is only
bad because contrary to the
present bad rules: under the
new rules it would be good --
the difficulty of learning to spell
well in the old way is so great,
that few attain it; thousands
and thousands writing on to
old age, without ever being
able to acquire it. 'Tis, besides
a difficulty continually
increasing; as the sound
gradually varies more and
more from the spelling: and to
The new system of spelling did not catch
one. Franklin was successful, however in
changing the spelling a some words such as:

           theater for theatre
           honor for honour
           plow for plough
           curb for kerb
              Noah Webster

During the American Revolution, schoolbooks, which
had previously been imported from Britain, became
scarce. A Connecticut teacher called Noah Webster filled
the gap by writing a speller, a grammar and a reader. His
speller became a bestseller and was thus very

He published The American Spelling Book in 1788 --
later to be called The Elementary Spelling Book -- and
over the following 40 years the book went through about
300 editions. It sold more than 60 million copies by the
end of the 19th century.
In 1828, Noah Webster published the
American Dictionary of the English
Language. This edition sold only 2500
copies and left him broke.

However, the book had a profound impact
on American English
Webster‘s Successful Contributions
 He was the first to document distinctively
 American vocabulary such as skunk,
 hickory, and chowder.

 Most people credit Noah Webster for the
 differences in spelling between American
 and British English and that he had a
 major influence on spelling norms in
     Webster‘s Unsuccessful
He believed that children should learn to
speak by pronouncing each syllable
separately and dearly. Therefore silent
letters such as the ―u‖ in colour had to be
discarded. Spellings such as ―tough
women‖ became ―tuf wimmen‖.
After Webster‘s death in 1843, Charles
and George Merriam bought the rights to
his dictionaries and published the first
Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1847.
Other Factors Affecting American
The Mississippi River and transportation of
goods and people
The Gold Rush
The Transcontinental Railroad
World Wars

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