Re: US style in Europe (was Punctuation tips (not that you need t hem!))

Subject: Re: US style in Europe (was Punctuation tips (not that you need t hem!))
From: Sheridan-Smith John <john -dot- sheridan-smith -at- BMWFIN -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 13:16:59 +0100

>My European readership, BTW, prefers American style -- that's what they've
told me.

It is important to distinguish British audiences from European ones.
Europeans used to learn English as second or third language; they learned it
from us Brits. Now, many Europeans no longer learn English but instead
learn American, from American sources (direct or indirect). Consequently,
some European audiences may prefer US idioms and standards and some may be
equally happy with either British or American usage.

British audiences still learn English from native Britons. Many of them
unfortunately go on to bastardise their native tongue by absorbing
Americanisms but this assimilation of foreign conventions is far from
systematic and is driven by almost wholly by a commercially exploitative
so-called youth culture. I believe any British audience making a reasonably
informed choice would opt for the genuine article, i.e. English as she is
spoke in the land of the language's invention.

Weary acquiescence, born of years of unrequested exposure to Americanised
terms and idioms does not constitute a genuine choice.

In years to come, I would not be surprised if some European countries used
American English as their sole frame of reference for using and learning the
language. In such circumstances it would make little sense to write manuals
for those audiences in anything other than US English. But this is not
likely to happen in Britain in anything like the foreseeable future.

>did an Englishwoman really write "fight _no_ more"?).

As Lulu is Scottish it would be no surprise to find non-English Englishisms
in her lyrics, although she is not noted as song writer. Given her singing
style, the above phrase might sound less incongruous if you shout it!



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