I’ve always been a bit snobby about the American language. I’ve thought it as being a bit lazy. I’m starting to change my mind. it’s actually quite efficient. Think about it, the main difference to the Queen’s English (not that any of ever speak like the queen…or she us) is that;

they remove any unnecessary letters e.g. U in colour etc.
If a letter makes the sound of a word, just use that e.g. You=U, Queue=Q etc.
they remove any unnecessary prepositions or joining words e.g. From, to, until etc.
If a word can be shortened or compressed it is e.g. Infotainment.

This seems particularly prevalent with road signs e.g. Why use 2 words, Give Way, when one, yield, will do. Thens there.s Thru Traffic and Ped Xring (Pedestrian Crossing. Come on, keep up at the back). However this efficiency in words isn’t exclusive to Americans. The Germans (the kings of efficiency) have been doing it for years. But they just stick entire sentences together to make one word. even I can do that. Icallthisonetheicannotfindthespacebaronmykeyboard. See, simple. But Americans compress them to make new words so the above sentence would be something like “space bar-loss” or “key-AWOL” which itself would become “keywol”. So there you go, next time you can’t find a key whilst typing just shout “dude, massive keywol!” (Which means “I say, I cant for the life of me find the key which I am looking for on my keyboard. It is most annoying!”. I thought I told you to pay attention at the back).

Just as I’m starting to warm to this “efficient” way of spelling, today the American people, in particular Trader Joe’s threw a curve ball (back to baseball again). Trader Joe’s is a sort of organic supermarket famous (in my world) for Charles Shaw wine. Mr Shaw has an extensive range of wines (Cab Sav or just Cab as they call it over here, Merlot and Shiraz. That to me is extensive as that is more choice than just red or white which is already too much choice for me). But these quaffable (I bet they don’t use that word much over here) little beauties retail for a mere$1.99. Yes, you read correctly $1.99. He is nicknamed “2 buck Chuck”. But I digress.

Over the express checkout counter was the sign “12 items or fewer”. Not less, fewer. Oh my English master would be so happy with that. A correct use of English which even we in England don’t use (well not at Supermarket check outs anyway).

American may not be the most elegant language compared to Shakespearian English, but it makes a lot of sense, even if I do cringe at words like infotainment. Wot say U?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *