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Study: American Pronunciations of English Words Not Thriving in the British Isles

A study by the British Library revealed that despite concerns to the contrary, Britons have not begun adopting the American pronunciation for English words. In fact, British English is changing at a faster rate than American English. Jonnie Robinson, one of the researchers, said:

‘In fact, in some cases it is the other way around. British English, for whatever reason, is innovating and changing while American English remains very conservative and traditional in its speech patterns.’


Here's how Robinson and his colleagues conducted the study of 10,000 English speakers:

The volunteers were asked to read extracts from Mr Tickle, one of the series of Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves.

They were also asked to pronounce a set of six different words which included ‘controversy’, ‘garage’, ‘scone’, ‘neither’, ‘attitude’ and ‘schedule’.

Linguists then examined the recordings made by 60 of the British and Irish participants and 60 of their counterparts from the U.S. and Canada.


Link via Ace of Spades HQ | Image: Daily Mail

Era -> Error???
Nuclear -> Nukilar???
Lasso ->Laysoo???

I don't think they actually got Americans to say those words. I think they're just comparing British English with Stephen Fry's impersonation of George Bush.
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These words are misrepresentations (much like Canadians say "aboot" when they really don't), but the only pronunciation I don't understand that I've hear Americans is getting "ruff" from "roof".
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I think they are a little wonky on a few but garage stood out to me. "Garidj" is a distinctly English pronunciation. And c'mon! Where is the "left" in "lieutenant?" The English may have invented it but we refined it.
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What I don't get is the logic that British English pronunciation is "innovative". Wasn't the whole premise based on the fear that "traditional pronunciation" was being lost. Are those the same thing. So which one is it. Traditional British pronunciation lives on or is it changing.
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I have never in my life pronounced research as 'rIsearch'. Nor have I ever heard anyone do so... I think they may have gotten a tad bored and starting making things up...
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U.S. of A. is a very large country. People in the U.P. of Michigan and other northern regions speak a lot more like Canadians. Compare them to people from the deep south, and they can barely understand each other. People in the other parts have their own way of saying things. This study means nothing.
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This study is obsolete. Dialects of English cover the globe. To even limit something to the US and the UK is provincial. The fact is that there is no Dialect Society for English so every version is as legitimate. So who cares what the US and UK may be doing. Include India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Belize, the Philippines. Just a few countries where English is an official language.
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Some of these are definitely made up or at least missing the regional American dialects. I'm guessing this was made up by a Briton who things all Americans wear cowboy hats and talk like southerners.

For instance the big difference with garage is on syllabic accent. Britons tend to emphasis the first, while Americans emphasize the second.
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This study is being reported in the DailMail, and is therefore probably being misreported and distorted to a degree - if there was a link to the original study however...
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I live in the Dirty South and I've heard words pronounced in every way you can imagine. Though I've heard each way the "American" version was pronounced, I think a handful of them were misrepresentative as the US as a whole. They should be getting their pronunciations from national newscasters and those that coach them on their accents. Aren't they trained to have generic accents of the country they're broadcasting to?
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I grew up in British Columbia, Canada and moved to Ontario, Canada when I was 17. I immediately noticed differences in the pronunciation of words, the usage of slang and the general demeanor with which conversations took place. Living in B.C. I'd never heard someone say "wope" in reference to wiping-past-tense ("I wope it up") but I began hearing it a lot in Ontario. I took a job at Teletech, a Call-Centre handling calls for Nextel (an American company), and all of my calls were from Americans.

I learned that on occasion I do say "aboot", but being from B.C. I don't pronounce it that way quite as much. Eastern Canadians, from Newfoundland, P.E.I. and New Brunswick tend to pronounce it more like "aboot". All the distinctively Canadian pronunciations are found on the east side of Quebec.

However, during my time working for call-centres, I frequently heard statements like "Oh! Thank God! An American!" I had to inform them I was not in-fact an American, but it became clear to me that the pronunciation I picked up on the West-coast was more akin to Norther-American dialects. I always sounded nothing like Southerners.

So I think if you take the Western regions of Canada, B.C. and Alberta (especially) they tend to sound more like the bordering American states, but unlike the Easter-Canadian or Southern-American dialect. Which makes sense considering the geographical proximities. Never-the-less, we still spell neighbour with a U, and centre with the E on the end. Though this distinction has broken down for me since the internet.
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They chose a sample of 60 out of 10,000, but it does not say how they chose the sampling, but it is seems they chose 60 who would confirm what they want to believe. Oxford Univesity found that the influence of American to British is 20:1 compared to British to American. Of course all news about the US in the UK has to fit in the narrative of British superiority and American stupidity. Sadly British journalism is so shoddy and biased, it wasn't always that way.
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As someone who grew up in the South, I can also say that I have never heard anyone call a roof a ruff. However, there is a common pronunciation that is somewhere in between the two. It would be like the vowel sound in "took."
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Oof, I just remembered!

Dean Johnson from HomeTime calls a rOOf a ruff.

-I think he's from Wusskaahhnsn, though.

Still chuckle at the way Southerners pronounce Syrup ('surrrp') + other things, though hahaha ...
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The area around central Iowa pronounces "roof" like "ruff". They also say "crick" instead of "creek". But then again, living in the Deep south I hear "oil" and "all" pronounced exactly the same by the older generation.
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