Where English people disagree over whose language is best

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    Turtles All The Way Down Continent Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by zakisrage View Post
    BTW, I take serious offence to that English guy's signature AND I'M AUSTRALIAN. What, do you hate Americans and Australians? Not everyone is of English heritage.
    Sorry, a bit off-topic.
    I think, there's also no such thing as American English and Australian English as seperate languages, but that they're variants, or dialects of each other. Just like we have Dutch and Flemish in the Netherlands and Belgium respectively, but they're like dialects to each other. I don't wanna offend you, just light my opinion on things.
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Split off from the Breivik thread.
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    What current event does this relate to?
    That's nice.

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    Skodwarde's Slave zakisrage's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    I just get pissed off when British people act like they're superior to other English-speakers. I know it's not all of them, but it's a good amount. I prefer not having Briticisms like "chav", "foeces", and "paedophile" as part of my everyday vocabulary.

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    Let's get funky! Gama's Avatar Former Head Administrator
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by zakisrage View Post
    I just get pissed off when British people act like they're superior to other English-speakers. I know it's not all of them, but it's a good amount. I prefer not having Briticisms like "chav", "foeces", and "paedophile" as part of my everyday vocabulary.
    There's no such thing as "Briticisms", just actual English that hasn't had the decency beaten out of it ;)
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    From an outsider point of view with the deepest intent to be partial: the Americans has perfected your languish; you should both adopt their version and be thankful.
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    I personally prefer most Americanisms because to my understanding, the modern-day American versions of words like "humor", "realize", and "center" are the versions used in the British Isles up until the Victorian Era (after they had already brought English to other parts of the world), when they changed the spelling of, for example, the words I mentioned before to "humour", "realise" and "centre" in an attempt to be more reminiscent of the French.

    I could be totally wrong on this, though.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Pschitt View Post
    I personally prefer most Americanisms because to my understanding, the modern-day American versions of words like "humor", "realize", and "center" are the versions used in the British Isles up until the Victorian Era (after they had already brought English to other parts of the world), when they changed the spelling of, for example, the words I mentioned before to "humour", "realise" and "centre" in an attempt to be more reminiscent of the French.

    I could be totally wrong on this, though.
    I don't have 100% reliable information, but I think you are close but not quite right.

    These words do have origins in French influence. You're right in saying that's where the additional "u"s in British English come from, as well as some of the other more confusing things in them.

    There have been many English language spelling reform movements over the years. English is a particularly confusing language because it has origins in both French and German, which are two very different languages. That's why we have so many irregularities.

    Now, spelling reformation was much more popular in the States than it was in Britain. I can only speculate as to reasons why, but my guess would be that contemporary Americans (this was quite some time ago) were more open to doing things "new ways" etc. because they saw themselves as a new country and as an alternative to mainstream, British life. Probably a similar effect was felt in Australia etc., but I'm not sure.

    So, yes, the British versions of spellings do outdate their international counterparts, which were generally made in attempts to simplify the language.

    EDIT: Just thought of another reason why America might have been more open to change: a large immigrant population, many of whom were not native English speakers. It was probably a lot easier for these people to learn to spell things the simplified way that now manifests itself as "American English". This doesn't really apply to Australia though.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    @G-Mama; Changing around words like "paedophile", "labour" and "foetus" to a slimmer, more Germanic-looking variant is understandable if what you're saying was the case, but on the other hand, replacing "realise" with "realize" and "centre" with "centre" doesn't seem very logical if we were going for a "simpler" version of English. Omitting certain letters does simplify, but mixing and matching them only serves to complicate things.

    Then there are unrelated oddities like "practise", "storey" and "tyre". Those can be worked out in more of a case-by-case process (I even use "storey" and "aeroplane" myself), but it seemed to me that the more French-like conventions that be applied to many different words only came into use during the Victorian Era. I don't exactly have a whole lot of evidence to support that assumption, though.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Pschitt View Post
    @G-Mama; Changing around words like "paedophile", "labour" and "foetus" to a slimmer, more Germanic-looking variant is understandable if what you're saying was the case, but on the other hand, replacing "realise" with "realize" and "centre" with "center" doesn't seem very logical if we were going for a "simpler" version of English. Omitting certain letters does simplify, but mixing and matching them only serves to complicate things.

    Then there are unrelated oddities like "practise", "storey" and "tyre". Those can be worked out in more of a case-by-case process (I even use "storey" and "aeroplane" myself), but it seemed to me that the more French-like conventions that be applied to many different words only came into use during the Victorian Era. I don't exactly have a whole lot of evidence to support that assumption, though.
    Well, I would say "center" is probably simpler than "centre". That said, what I said isn't supposed to explain every difference between the two dialects, though I think it does explain many of them. The "-ise"/"-ize" difference may have just been a gradual development that happened for almost no reason. I think a lot of the examples you gave are simpler though, and some can be worked out on a case-by-case basis as you said.

    I don't know about the British English variants coming into use during the Victorian era. I've never seen any evidence that that is the case, but I don't know for sure that it wasn't. I might check some older texts that I have to be sure though, because I really don't know.

    To be honest, though, I don't know why during the Victorian era the British would make efforts to be more like the French. I really have no idea why that would be the case. Until around the Victorian era, Britain and France were openly antagonistic towards each other. During the Victorian era it is true they grew politically closer, but it was still something of a strained alliance, particularly on a cultural level. Most Brits were quite proud of not being French, as was the government. I really have no idea why they'd make efforts to be more French.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Quote Originally Posted by G-Mama View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Pschitt View Post
    @G-Mama; Changing around words like "paedophile", "labour" and "foetus" to a slimmer, more Germanic-looking variant is understandable if what you're saying was the case, but on the other hand, replacing "realise" with "realize" and "centre" with "center" doesn't seem very logical if we were going for a "simpler" version of English. Omitting certain letters does simplify, but mixing and matching them only serves to complicate things.

    Then there are unrelated oddities like "practise", "storey" and "tyre". Those can be worked out in more of a case-by-case process (I even use "storey" and "aeroplane" myself), but it seemed to me that the more French-like conventions that be applied to many different words only came into use during the Victorian Era. I don't exactly have a whole lot of evidence to support that assumption, though.
    Well, I would say "center" is probably simpler than "centre". That said, what I said isn't supposed to explain every difference between the two dialects, though I think it does explain many of them. The "-ise"/"-ize" difference may have just been a gradual development that happened for almost no reason. I think a lot of the examples you gave are simpler though, and some can be worked out on a case-by-case basis as you said.

    I don't know about the British English variants coming into use during the Victorian era. I've never seen any evidence that that is the case, but I don't know for sure that it wasn't. I might check some older texts that I have to be sure though, because I really don't know.

    To be honest, though, I don't know why during the Victorian era the British would make efforts to be more like the French. I really have no idea why that would be the case. Until around the Victorian era, Britain and France were openly antagonistic towards each other. During the Victorian era it is true they grew politically closer, but it was still something of a strained alliance, particularly on a cultural level. Most Brits were quite proud of not being French, as was the government. I really have no idea why they'd make efforts to be more French.
    Well it might have been like this. I'm just gonna tell what happened in the Netherlands in the upper class. We Dutchmen have never been very fond of France in the past, but our upper class still applied french things in their way of acting, like etiquete. They believed french was classy. Many spoke french and never even knew how to speak dutch which distanced them from the common folk, but, because they were our upper class, many french words slipped into dutch, like 'paraplu' which means umbrella, and 'bureau' which means desk. Our language frenchified because of the upper class, although on a lesser scale than with English where this was the case much longer.

    The point is, I think British English frenchified a bit because of the communication with France, and the English upper class found French classy. I think that wasn't the case in America. Not sure if this is what happened, but I could see parallels.
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    Paint it black OverlordRuby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Honestly, I think a debate like this is close to pointless. Why does it really matter if one dialect is better than another, if that's possible. It's like saying a person from NYC is better or worse than a person from London, or something akin to that. I think analyzing languages is interesting, but finding differences just to make up an argument for some reason I don't understand is useless. There are many other, more important issues to argue about.

    That's saying something, from a person who loves to argue over everything and hasn't lost a mock trial in school to date.

    EDIT: My mother, even in a terrible mood, agrees with me:
    Last edited by OverlordRuby; 24th August 2012 at 08:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Yeah, I really think that you can't say one dialect is "superior" to another, as that implies supremacism, which, I would think, most people would be over by this point in time.


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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Arguments about dialect supremacy are on YouTube all the time, usually starting with someone saying something is "spelled wrong", followed by national butthurt. It's really annoying and patehtic and drowns out on-topic comments. I am from the United States, but I can write in both the U.S. and the Commonwealth spelling systems and consider them to be equally correct.

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    Default Re: Where English people disagree over whose language is best

    Languages evolve. Take plants as an example, there may be different species around the world, but no amount of variation can make one superior to the other. As such, there is no superior dialect. It just that the difference is what some people are not used to.

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