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Old 11-30-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
sr71plt
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British vs. American Renderings

This is just a start, off the top of my head, on the differences in renderings between British English and American English. (One of my first editorial jobs was to translate British English in documents to American English for American policy makers. I've forgotten most of what I once knew of the variations, though.) Feel free to add. It would be especially interesting to hear of any variations in Canadian, Aussie, and South Asian English.

None of these are to be taken as “wrong” for posting stories at Literotica. The kicker is that the stories should be faithful to one system or the other (although comments from the Canadian and Aussie perspectives may reveal a mix of the two basic English-language systems being used in their regions).

B: favour . . . . . A: favor

B: favourite . . . . . A: favorite

B: judgement . . . . . A: judgment

B: jumper . . . . . A: sweater

B: knickers . . . . . A: panties

B: labour . . . . . A: labor

B: staff (a single person can be "staff" and when used in the plural, the verb is plural) . . . . . A: staff members ("staff" is plural—the group--although the verb going with it in American is singular)

B: table (introduce for discussion) . . . . . A: table (take away from discussion)

B: towards . . . . A: toward


Additions? Canadian, Aussie, South Asian perspectives?

(For American system writers/editors: if you see a notation "chief Brit var in a dictionary entry, you need to use the American equivalent given.)


A related question (and I haven't researched if there's an "approved" way of doing this): If you are writing American style and you have a British character, do you use American or British renderings in that character's dialogue (and vice versa)? Any authority you can cite for the choice you make? It could be that it doesn't matter as long as the author remains consistent about it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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You missed a few obvious ones
Centre...........Center
Colour............Color

We have both Knickers and panties, depends on how much is covered except for french knickers

There are many other differences for example in the U.K. you visit someone, you don't visit with them. A visit involves traveling somewhere.

Then of course there is the irony.
I think I'm going to have to pay John a little visit. Implies I.m going to find John and do something he isn't going to like.
Don't even start on Scottish, Welsh and Irish.
I'm awah te ma Messages. ........ I'm going to run some errands.
I'm here for the craic ................ I'm here for the laughs, jokes, and general good natured chat
Past tense of fit is fitted ........... US appear to use fit (this is the same for many verbs.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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I didn't "miss" any. I posted that those were off the top of my head and that there would be more. In that vein, you "missed":

B: bisquits . . . . . A: cookies (an American bisquit is something enitrely different)

B: chips . . . . . A: French fries

B: crisps . . . . . A: potato chips

B: flavour . . . . . A: flavor

B: manoeuvre . . . . . A: maneuver

B: theatre . . . . . A. theater (Although there are some "nose up" instances where Americans use the British spelling for this--often in formal titles.)
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #4
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B Shag..............A Fuck

B Trousers.........A Pants

B Pants..............A-C Panties

B Wank..............A-C Masturbate

B Mate................A-C Friend

B Bog.................A Toilet, ladies' room/gents....C Have a leak, take a piss, need to go. (depends on the level of education of the person speaking.)

B Quilt..................C Comforter/Duvet (depends on the level of education of the person speaking.)

B Telly.................A-C TV.

B Coach...............C Bus (Long distance not city bus)

B Chips................A-C Fries

B Crisps...............A-C Potato Chips

Can't think of more for now, I'll have to come back and add some when the fog lift from my brain.
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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Afters=dessert
Hire=Rent or Let
Flat=Apartment
Boot=Trunk (of a car)
Bonnet=Hood (of a car)
Lift=Elevator
Constable=Police (copper is more common)
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:06 PM   #6
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After seeing a lot of these, do Canadian, Aussie, and/or South Asian writers think they pick and choose or that they fall toward one side as opposed to another?

I've edited for South Asians (who, at the time were heavily British style) and I edit now for an Australian (but who was born and raised in the UK). The biggest mystery is what the Canadians do. In the mainstream, all the Candadian-author manuscripts I see are for the American market, so they are Americanized.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
B: manoeuver . . . . . A: maneuver
I might be wrong here, but I think "manoeuvre" is the more common British spelling, with "manoeuver" being a rare variant.

Australian English spelling usually follows British English, with various exceptions - e.g. British English uses "programme" for everything except computer programs, while Australian English follows US English and prefers "program" everywhere. I think there's a very gradual shift towards US spellings where they are simpler, but I don't know how far that will take us.

Some more here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austral...ng_and_grammar

Oddly, while "labour" is the standard Australian spelling, our largest political party is the "Labor Party" for historical reasons.

There are some minor regional variations in Australian dialects (e.g. "suitcase" vs "port"), but it's not nearly as pronounced as in the USA or UK, and it's not generally possible to localise somebody just by hearing them speak. The class-based variations are much stronger.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #8
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I think I can answer your question. I'm a French-Canadian and I've always written with Canadian orthography and its own set of rules and grammar -- I learned English as a child (6-7 years old) because the people who lived next door to us were always asking me to do some errands for them and nobody in my family knew enough English to understand what they were saying.

Then in school we had English class (it started in 4th grade) and I found out that our neighbor weren't just English, they were American -- with their own set of rules, grammar and orthography -- (English quickly became the easier language to me).

Then I had to go and marry a Brit. Imagine the massacre of language it could have been. By pure luck, I didn't massacre anything. I learned to combine French, English US, and English UK, and differentiate between the three depending on who I was talking to.

So, to make a long story short, when I write in French and/or English-Canadian, I use French-Canadian orthography, when I write and/or 'edit' in English US, I use English US rules and orthography and when I write and/or 'edit' in English UK, I use its own set of rules and orthography. Yeah, it sounds a bit complicated, I know, but it's what I've been doing all my life so I don't notice it much. It's natural to me now.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCibelle View Post
B Wank..............A-C Masturbate
I'd have said more "wank - jerk off" here. "Masturbate" is used on both sides of the pond in a formal way; wank/JO are more casual.

"Fanny" and "jumper" are both significantly different from British/Australian English to US...
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
I'd have said more "wank - jerk off" here. "Masturbate" is used on both sides of the pond in a formal way; wank/JO are more casual.

"Fanny" and "jumper" are both significantly different from British/Australian English to US...
You are entirely right; jerk-off was just not 'there' when I needed to write it. So I went with the bland "masturbate".
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:23 PM   #11
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Cars and Automobiles

These are open to correction because I'm not wholly sure that they are right:

British = US

Car = Auto(mobile)
Petrol = Gas
Gallon (Imperial = 4.55litres) = Gallon (US = 3.79 liters)
Bonnet = Hood
Boot = Trunk
Gas (Liquified Petroleum Gas) = US?
Bumper = Fender
Lorry = Truck (but also used in UK)
HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) = Semi-Trailer
Van or Transit = Panel Van
Tyre = Tire
Driving Lessons = Driver's Ed
Registration Document = Pink Slip
Driving Licence = Driver's License
Saloon = Sedan
Estate = Station Wagon
Silencer = Muffler
Carburettor = Carburetor
Petrol Station = Gas Station
Motorway = Freeway
Unmade Road = Dirt Road
Bridle Way (track for horses) = ?
Public Footpath (track for pedestrians usually cross country) = ?
Pavement = Sidewalk
Roundabout = ?
Manhole Cover = ?
Gutter = Gully?
Level Crossing = Grade Crossing
Zebra (or Pedestrian) Crossing = ?
Gear Lever = Stick shift
Highway Code = (Traffic Laws?)
Traffic Police = Highway Patrol

Other notes:

We drive on the left. The steering wheel is in front of the right hand seat.
Most UK cars are not automatic. They are stick shift.
On roundabouts we give way to traffic coming from our right.
Our Traffic Police are Policemen first. They are trained for Traffic duties but will happily arrest you for burglary, indecent exposure...

National Speed Limits for cars are:
70 mph on motorways and dual carriageways; 60 mph on all other roads UNLESS signed otherwise.

School Buses in the UK can be normal buses, single or double deckers, or coaches, or minibuses. They are not normally distinguishable from any other form of bus and have no special status. We are expected to treat them with caution because schoolchildren might appear from behind them but how do we know whether it is a school bus or not? We don't know.

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Old 11-30-2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
I might be wrong here, but I think "manoeuvre" is the more common British spelling, with "manoeuver" being a rare variant.

Australian English spelling usually follows British English, with various exceptions - e.g. British English uses "programme" for everything except computer programs, while Australian English follows US English and prefers "program" everywhere. I think there's a very gradual shift towards US spellings where they are simpler, but I don't know how far that will take us.
Right on "manoeuvre." It was a typo, which I've correct now. Thanks.

And programme/program is another good term to include.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:51 PM   #13
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I think Americans use "car" more than "auto(mobile)"

lorry/truck is a good one.

we might add tonne/ton, which goes deeper than just regional language difference. "tonne" as well as being used by the British (I think) is a metric measurement and is a different volume than the American "ton." This was probably the single worst word to pop up when I was translating British into American for "gotta have it now" American policy makers. I couldn't just right "ton"; I had to recalculate the volume indicated.

Americans used "bridle path" for the British "bridle way"

And I just drove 2,200 miles in the UK, so don't mention roundabouts to me, or I think I might hyperventilate all over again.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
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British=trainers American=gym shoes, sneakers, tennies, keds, tennis shoes
Athletic shoe is a generic name for the footwear primarily designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise but in recent years has come to be used for casual everyday activities.

They are also known as kicks (American English) trainers (British English and Hong Kong English), trabs (British English), daps (Wenglish), sandshoes, gym boots or joggers (Australian English), running shoes, runners or gutties (American English, Canadian English, Hiberno-English), sneakers (American English, Australian English, and Indian English), tennis shoes (British English and American English), gym shoes, tennies, sports shoes, sneaks, tackies[1] (South African English and Hiberno-English), rubber shoes (Philippine English) or canvers (Nigerian English).
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:26 PM   #15
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Not to mention hoover for vaccume.
Pram for baby carriage
starter for appitiser
and my own personal favourite prat for fool or idiot
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:26 PM   #16
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Cool

British (in hospital) American (in the hospital)

British English tends to say "mobile" for mobile cell phones. In the US we tend to refer to them as cell phones or cell or as just your phone because many people are getting rid of their land lines. At least that's what I have noticed.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
British=trainers American=gym shoes, sneakers, tennies, keds, tennis shoes
Athletic shoe is a generic name for the footwear primarily designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise but in recent years has come to be used for casual everyday activities.
Yes, yes, yes. I just did a "hey, what?" on that in an edit.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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MoHbile for cellular
uni or university as in I lost my mohbile while attending uni.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:29 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
British (in hospital) American (in the hospital)

British English tends to say "mobile" for mobile cell phones. In US we tend to refer to them as cell phones or cell. At least that's what I have noticed.
Yes, I encounter that frequently in discussions with my Australian publisher. This is made worse (for me), because when I worked in embassies, we had what were then cutting-edge secure telephones to talk to each other when we were in the field. Those were called mobiles. And this was long before the world of cell phones.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:36 PM   #20
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Of course the word for soda pop have many regional differences in the US. In the Midwest they often call it pop. In the deep South people refer to sodas as co-colas. In Texas many people love DP (Dr. Pepper). I think I have seen the British use the terms soda pop, pop, and fizzy drink.

US (brown bag) vs. British (sack lunch)
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:41 PM   #21
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There was a great scene in The Office (original UK version) where Keith is explaining to Dawn some of the differences between British and American English:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDsfzJXGAo8

Here's a few more:

Brit = US

Sack = Fire (someone)

Overtake = Pass (as in pass another car)

In hospital = In the hospital

Diary = Personal appointment book (Day Planner)

Rather ordinary = Not very good

Knocked back = Get rejected, turned down

Made redundant = Laid off

Taking the piss (out of) = Making fun of someone

Having a go = Taking a shot at someone

You alright? (Greeting) = How are you? Are you doing okay?

Mum = Mom

Gran = Grandma

Mobile = Cell Phone
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #22
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Talking Prehistoric cell phones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Yes, I encounter that frequently in discussions with my Australian publisher. This is made worse (for me), because when I worked in embassies, we had what were then cutting-edge secure telephones to talk to each other when we were in the field. Those were called mobiles. And this was long before the world of cell phones.
Just how large were those phones? Sometimes when I see old movies or old episodes of the XFiles, I can't believe how large those phones are.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:46 PM   #23
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Talking Love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Yes, I encounter that frequently in discussions with my Australian publisher. This is made worse (for me), because when I worked in embassies, we had what were then cutting-edge secure telephones to talk to each other when we were in the field. Those were called mobiles. And this was long before the world of cell phones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dream_Operator View Post
There was a great scene in The Office (original UK version) where Keith is explaining to Dawn some of the differences between British and American English:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDsfzJXGAo8

Here's a few more:

Brit = US

Sack = Fire (someone)

Overtake = Pass (as in pass another car)

In hospital = In the hospital

Diary = Personal appointment book (Day Planner)

Rather ordinary = Not very good

Knocked back = Get rejected, turned down

Made redundant = Laid off

Taking the piss (out of) = Making fun of someone

Having a go = Taking a shot at someone

You alright? (Greeting) = How are you? Are you doing okay?

Mum = Mom

Gran = Grandma

Mobile = Cell Phone
Just viewed your clip. Hysterical. I love both versions of The Office. Have you ever seen Extras on HBO?
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
Just how large were those phones? Sometimes when I see old movies or old episodes of the XFiles, I can't believe how large those phones are.
About the size of a loaf of bread. You kept them in your vehicle or your house; you didn't walk around with it on your belt. I was chief of the office, so I made my deputy carry mine--and answer it too. I hate telephones.
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:56 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NekoParks View Post
Just viewed your clip. Hysterical. I love both versions of The Office. Have you ever seen Extras on HBO?
Yes, I've seen many of the episodes on overseas flights. My favorite was the one with Daniel Radcliffe and Dame Judy Dench.

If you like British humor, An Idiot Abroad is brilliant. The Trip with Steve Coogan is also very good.

----

A couple more:

Estate Agent = Real Estate Agent

Stuff Up = Mess Up

Stay Back = Work Late

High Street = Main Street

Spanner = Wrench

Football = Soccer

Solicitor = Lawyer

Scheme = Plan -- Pension Scheme (Plan)

Chemist = Pharmacy, Drug Store

Fag = Cigarette
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