Category Archives: Language Variation

Social stratification of English

Dear All, This blog post has to do with the social stratification of English. In other words, it deals with how a language use can depend on the social class of speakers. The most well-known classic research in this area was conducted by linguist William Labov (originally industrial chemist) and published in his book entitled …

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Some features of vernacular English

Dear All, One of the things that I have been recently noticing in modern English is the vernacular usage of certain forms. This post briefly discusses some of these forms. I would like to focus on seven vernacular forms which seem to be used often: 1) she don’t; 2) he ain’t; 3) I just said …

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British English – American English: Prepositions (grammar)

Image credit: Mode de Vie Software, “Prepositions” December 6, 2010, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Dear All, This post compares BrE and AmE use of prepositions and discusses some other relevant differences between these two language varieties. I would like to start with prepositions. Prepositions are short words which serve to indicate relations between words …

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British English – American English: Nouns (grammar)

Image credit: Mode de Vie Software, “Nouns” December 6, 2010, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Dear All, This post continues exploring grammatical differences between BrE and AmE. Specifically, I would like to focus on nouns. There are two major points of interest in this respect: collective nouns and the use of articles. First of all, …

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British English – American English: Verbs (grammar)

Image credit: Mode de Vie Software, “Conjunctions” August 12, 2009, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Dear All, The previous several posts have been examining differences between BrE and AmE and have covered such aspects as pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary. The next three posts are going to deal with another important aspect – grammar. Grammar is the …

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British English – American English: Idioms (vocabulary)

Video credit: GrammarSongs by Melissa, “Idioms Song (Idioms by Melissa)” August 12, 2013, via YouTube. Dear All, This post finishes the series of posts comparing vocabularies of BrE and AmE. Today I would like to discuss one of my favourite topics, phraseology. One of my course papers at the University was devoted to this doubtlessly …

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British English – American English: Units of measurement (vocabulary)

Dear All, One more interesting aspect of the vocabularies of BrE and AmE is units of measurements. As it is known, numbers require precision; otherwise, one can find him/herself in a situation where s/he is late for an important meeting, underpaid or overpays his/her bill. In order to avoid these or similar situations, it is …

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British English – American English: Miscellaneous (vocabulary)

Dear All, In the previous post, the topic of food has been discussed and some major differences between BrE and AmE have been pointed out. The present post continues exploring the vocabulary of the two language varieties and focuses on such topics as: people and home/buildings as well as some other words in common use. …

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British English – American English: Food (vocabulary)

Image credit: keepps, “Salad 1” October 19, 2005, via Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Dear All, The previous post concentrated on the topic of clothes and pointed out some key differences between BrE and AmE vocabularies. The present post focuses on the topic of food. Food is something we deal with every day and if you are …

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British English – American English: Clothes (vocabulary)

Video credit: WatchandLearnEnglish, “English Clothes Vocabulary | British & American English” September 4, 2012, via YouTube. Dear All, This post continues exploring differences in vocabulary between BrE and AmE. This video discusses the topic of clothes which is one of the most important topics because this is something we use every day. It is necessary …

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British English – American English: Transportation (vocabulary)

Dear All, The previous post has focused on the vocabulary pertinent to the topic of education and pointed out some major differences between BrE and AmE in this respect. The present post focuses on the topic of transportation. Before we start the discussion, it is worth noting that most of the differences in vocabulary between …

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British English – American English: Education (vocabulary)

Video credit: Macmillan Education ELT, “David Crystal – Which English?” December 24, 2009, via YouTube. Dear All, This video shows David Crystal, a world-known linguist who authored, co-authored or edited about 120 books, including the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, the Cambridge Encyclopedia, and the New Penguin Encyclopedia. Crystal is …

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British English – American English: Spelling

Video credit: in30.tv, “English in 30 Seconds: Common American and British Spelling Differences” October 28, 2009, via YouTube. Dear All, The previous post was focused on the differences between BrE and AmE in terms of pronunciation. The present post focuses on some key spelling differences. First of all, it is worth mentioning that two important …

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British English – American English: Pronunciation

Video credit: Anglo-Link, “British vs American | English Pronunciation Lesson” April 25, 2013, via YouTube. Dear All, Today I would like to discuss with you two varieties (dialects) of the English language: British English (BrE) and American English (AmE). First of all, let us define BrE and AmE. BrE can be defined as the form …

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Canadian Ukrainian (Ukrainian in Canada)

A lot of Ukrainians came to Canada at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th centuries. These people brought not only their excellent farmers’ skills that were in great demand in Canada then, but also their own language and preserved for over a century. The Ukrainian language in Canada has a number …

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