An Almost Common Language

So, I speak English or I speak American English, American Southern English and I am learning British English.  Mostly, I have no problems either understanding or being understood.  I get a  lot of, “Where are you from?” and variations on that question.  I also get an occasional, “. . .with THAT accent!”  Some people are just contrary.

As though everyone I meet does not have an accent. Some are barely comprehensible.  I love the Scots’ accents unless they speak fast and then it is like hearing a Formula 1 race.  All sound and no comprehension.  So, I watch Shetland to help with that before I venture to Zetland.

I usually have little difficulty communicating and I do assimilate some British pronunciation and terminology.  However, you will not hear me using aluminium.  Why in the world is an extra syllable necessary?  I do not get it.    It is aluminum! Thank you very much.

The occasions that are most difficult are when playing Scrabble with British people.  Between spelling differences ( such as er or re AND those words with unnecessary letters) and British words like “po” it is a constant grab for the dictionary.

Be that as it may, I am learning to communicate in Britain with the occasional mishap.


6 thoughts on “An Almost Common Language

  1. I’ve never seen ‘po’ written or typed. My dad used to drive us all crazy with ‘a little ditty’ which began “give me the night po”. I hadn’t realised it’d even got into a dictionary!

    A lot of words used by Brits (of which I’m one) are from French, which explains some of the odd pronunciation. Aluminium isn’t (here’s the derivation: , but I find the American English version as strange as you do the Brit one. An alternative is just to call it ‘tin foil’ which is what we do… though… it isn’t exactly tin…

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