50 Disliked Americanisms

The BBC News Magazine recently posted an article about "Americanisms" creeping into the English language (meaning British English in this case). That article brought many responses, as British readers shared their pet peeves about the language as spoken by Americans. Some are just examples of bad grammar.
2. The next time someone tells you something is the "least worst option", tell them that their most best option is learning grammar. Mike Ayres, Bodmin, Cornwall

40.I am increasingly hearing the phrase "that'll learn you" - when the English (and more correct) version was always "that'll teach you". What a ridiculous phrase! Tabitha, London

41. I really hate the phrase: "Where's it at?" This is not more efficient or informative than "where is it?" It just sounds grotesque and is immensely irritating. Adam, London

While others are purely cultural differences.
14. I caught myself saying "shopping cart" instead of shopping trolley today and was thoroughly disgusted with myself. I've never lived nor been to the US either. Graham Nicholson, Glasgow

18. Take-out rather than takeaway! Simon Ball, Worcester

29. I'm a Brit living in New York. The one that always gets me is the American need to use the word bi-weekly when fortnightly would suffice just fine. Ami Grewal, New York

36. Surely the most irritating is: "You do the Math." Math? It's MATHS. Michael Zealey, London

And a couple are just inexplicable.
20. "A half hour" instead of "half an hour". EJB, Devon

44. My brother now uses the term "season" for a TV series. Hideous. D Henderson, Edinburgh

Do all these complaints make perfect sense on the eastern side of the pond? Read the rest at the followup article. Link -via J-Walk Blog

(Image credit: Flickr user Chris Turner)

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RE: "Scotch-Irish"

When the Scotsmen who had been sent to Ireland (by and large, to keep their raiding parties the Hell out of England -- let the bandits in kilts beat up on the barbarians in Ulster, eh?), ended up going to America in the early 18th Century, "Scotch" was a perfectly appropriate way in British English (on BOTH sides of the border marches, and in Ulster) to refer to a Scottish person.

Read Robert Burns, for instance. Note that English lexigraphers and historians were using "Scotch" well into the 20th Century.

The British usage dropped "Scotch" as a term for Scottish culture, persons, or ancestry (aside from whisky), but the people on the other side of that rather large water obstacle kept the ORIGINAL Scottish and English usage far longer, continuing to refer to their heritage the way their ancestors did when they arrived here -- traditional English "Scotch-Irish" vs. the new-fangled Britishism of "Ulster Scots".

MANY of the so-called "Americanisms" (especially spelling -- spelling was still not standardized at the time of British recognition of American independence) are actually archaic Britishisms that survived in America longer than the UK; or they refer to terminology for things that that just weren;t in common use (or many times, even invented) at the time of American independence.
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@Rawley, it's a railway station. Train station is what a four year old would call it. That's the thing about so many of these irritating uses of language. They're not specifically American, but they are juvenile.

@Tamara - Scots-Irish is still wrong. It's Scottish-Irish.

@Cormac - I can get by perfectly well without you. Oh and if you don't need the English why not invent your own language rather than butchering theirs?

@Mac - It's amusing that your reference is an American one. If it's English-English we're talking about the only reference is the OED.
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Ziggy Starbucks,

"Scots-Irish? Scot can be used as a noun to describe a person from Scotland, so scots is the plural of that. However in the context you are using the word it is incorrect. Scottish would be correct.

My ancestors are Irish, Welsh and Scottish. I prefer to describe them as Celts. It's easier.
"

'Scots-Irish' as a term would indeed be meaningless in the United Kingdom, as it specifically denotes a particular wave of immigrants in North America. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots-Irish_American)

Which river in England is Mississippi?

Ask any resident of Appalachia whose family has been there since the 18th Century their ancestry, and you will be told "Scots-Irish-Cherokee". Amazingly enough, the Cherokee part was always a princess.
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