American English

American English is a difficult beast. Oscar Wilde said America and England are two different countries separated by a common language. But sometimes it seems that there really is less in common between our languages than we think. In fact I was just writing about some of those differences the other day.

Unlike many other British authors of the moment I choose not to point and laugh at our American cousins. The Americans do seem to be the one group that it is socially acceptable to be xenophobic about. But i did discover an interesting thing about Americans as a group which might sound like it was me taking the mickey a little bit. But I’m not it’s just interesting that’s all.

I don’t know if you’ve installed any software recently. But if you have then you’ll probably have had to choose the language that you want the software installed in. And recently, in the last few years there has been a change. In the old days you would get either English or a choice between American or British English (usually you would get the choice if the software included a dictionary of some kind).

But now in situations where it would before only offered English or another language we only get the American English choice. And this is because, it turns out, a number of American people don’t think that are speaking English. They think they are speaking American.

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