Turning American I really think so

In which I drop my u’s and take up soccer.

George Bernard Shaw once said: ‘England and America are two countries divided by a common language’, and it’s not hard to see why. As soon as you talk to anyone in England about America they will generally snort and say “yeah, they call football soccer” with a heavy emphasis on the ‘o’. This ignores the fact they picked up the name from the right hand side of the Atlantic in the first place. (It comes from the Association part of Association Football).

For us in Britain dealing with Americanisms is very easy as we have a constant stream of programmes and movies that are in Lingua America, so we can readily link sidewalks, fall and the always humourous fanny pack, with their English cousins. It’s not the words that form the major difference however, it’s how those words are used that forms the major part of our language confusions.

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Transatlantic Dictionary

In which I translate from English to English.

Today is 08/11/2015 for me but for for Mrs G it’s 11/08/2015. I understand that there are many differences between the UK and US. We drive on the wrong sides, and have differing measurement systems. There is a logic and history to these, but date formats…nope.

In the UK we are going dd/mm/yyyy and Year>Month>Day, so you can also go yyyy/mm/dd. Both of these ways make sense, what doesn’t make sense is mm/dd/yyyy. Time works on both sides of the Atlantic correctly and saying it is now 45:22 would just look crazy. Sorting out the mess of dates is beyond my capability, so instead I can offer the following help for those stuck with Transatlantic lingual issues.

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Seven wonderful words

In which I find use for only seven words.

Khalil Gibran once said that:

We shall never understand one another until we reduce the language to seven words.

He never said what those seven words should be, which makes it as useful a question as “how long is a piece of string” or “do I look fat in this”. This is the kind of philosophy that would go perfectly in a fortune cookie or a christmas cracker.

So while a certain artist/poet/writer is too lazy to answer his own question I guess it’s left up to the faithful blogger to have a go. I did ask Mrs G and her suggestion was “I don’t agree with the idea” and then when I asked her about it she said something about the human experience not able to be distilled into the simplicity of a handful of words, I didn’t like to interrupt her and say she had only given me six words to begin with.

Here then are my suggestions
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Open bracket comma close bracket

In which, I, being me, use the comma, way, too, much.

I have an interesting relationship with Mrs G due to my interesting relationship with the English language. I love both but sometimes have a strange way of showing it. In terms of my affection for my native language I demonstrate this by my liberal use of punctuation.

If there is the slightest opportunity to throw in a non alphanumeric character I will take it. Comma, question mark? I will use it even if it is as reviled as the exclamation mark!

Still I have my favourites, and most of my writing (whether personal or professional) will include them…and I have used them all in this one sentence.

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