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Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 24. April 2003

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a useful reference book and a fun reference for word lovers r


Americans and Britons are exposed to unedited texts, scripts, and speech from one another's dialects at an unprecedented and accelerating rate. Most people have no trouble understanding the general meaning of language in the other dialect, but readers and listeners very often fail to understand or misunderstand critical words, references, and allusions for lack of familiarity of the social and cultural contexts that underlie various usages. This book remedies this gap in understanding by cataloguing the differences that language users on either side of the Atlantic are likely to encounter in their dealings with the other dialect. By taking a culturally neutral stance it addresses the needs of both British and American readers and listeners. The thematic organization of the book allows the user to access language differences in various subject areas, where words likely to be needed at the same time can all be found together. Chapters include; Politics, Law, and Government; Business and Money; Medicine and Healthcare; Education; Food, Clothing, and Shelter; Transportation; Sports; and Profanity and Obscenity, in addition to basic information on orthography, weights and measures, etc.

The appendices and extensive index provide a ready point of entry for quick look-ups, and there will be an extra chapter on Canadian, Australian, and Asian English.

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14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
British and American English decoded admirably 26. Dezember 2002
Von Hillary Arbuthnot - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I received this book as a "welcome to America" gift and I have hardly taken my nose out of it since! It's just what I was looking for: the only book I know of that treats systematically the differences between British and American English, and I did look for something on this before coming here. The two introductory chapters, on the differences between spelling and grammar, are alone worth the cost of admission: I have never seen this subject laid out so thoroughly, knowledgeably, and with such a sense of humour to boot! It is a great help to me as I try to negotiate various American institutions in real life, having done it only from a transatlantic distance before. I wish I'd had this book years ago, but as it is only just published, I guess that wasn't possible. The thematic chapters, which take up a large part of the book, are arranged to provide a great deal of related vocabulary in the same place and this has proved very helpful; for example, the summary descriptions of the American and British criminal justice systems, with all the pertinent terminology highlighted. I have even learned the odd fact about my own native (British) institutions, and understand what Chancery is at last! Don't miss the chapter on offensive language and the cross-cultural misunderstandings that may arise around this! I hardly stopped laughing. Recommend very highly, for any speaker of English who travels, reads, or talks between the US and UK and wants to get the definitive answers for just what the differences are between the top two dialects of the world's first language.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Great Yankee toolkit for over there 26. Dezember 2002
Von Jason Hundertmark - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I bought this author's book on London and happened to notice that he wrote this one too, so I picked it up. Glad I did! It's really just what I needed for understanding the ins and outs of British English. Everything is treated by subject matter and I have found the book a real gold mine for trying to figure out just what people are talking about here (in London). The methodical presentation of spelling differences is really informative - it goes a lot deeper than I thought! The chapter on grammar is useful too, and I skipped some of the technical terminology but the examples of usage really told me what I needed to know. And I actually started hearing a lot of this stuff, as soon as I read about it. Spooky! Maybe people were using these constructions all along and I just blanked it out because I didn't really understand everything. All the chapters that treat different subject areas are also laid out well, and I found the one on health and healthcare really helpful in my job; it's mind-blowing how different the NHS is from US healthcare, you really have to learn a whole new vocabulary for dealing with it (I thought surgery was something a doctor did, not a place where he worked!). The chapter about swear words and other language you should avoid is a hoot! And really, the author's sense of humor comes through everywhere; I found myself chuckling all the way through it, at the same time I was learning. Thanks to this book, I can follow a cricket match or read an article about one and actually understand what they're talking about. Who knew that would ever happen? I really recommend this book strongly to any American who deals with, or wants to get better acquainted with British English; it would probably also be useful for Brits trying to understand Yanks.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
But what about pronunciation? 17. Juni 2013
Von Athene - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I am a little disappointed that Mr. Hargraves has not addressed the question of the changes in the pronunciation of English over the centuries. According to linguist scholars that I studied, American English is more "conversative," has tended to change less since the 16th century, than British English has done. One example is the accentuation of 4+ syllable words, e.g., laboratory and formidable, where Americans (at least those whom I know) have kept the first syllable accentuation, while accentuation has moved--long since--to the second syllable in British English. I believe that vowel sounds have undergone more rapid change in the U.K., as well. Didn't some literary historians note that the pronunciation of present-day Appalachians is closest to that of English-speakers of Shakespeare's time than any other present-day speakers of English? Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. I studied linguistics long ago, and historians may have changed their minds. I am pleased that word meanings, expressions, and spellings were so thoroughly covered, but disappointed to find no reference to pronunciation, the area in which we might dispute the Brits' claims that we've destroyed the language. Interesting, isn't it?
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Deciphering Brit 9. Dezember 2011
Von TT - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Went to London armed with this baby loaned to me from a friend. Determined to find this book upon my return, I found it here. I purchased it and similar others. Next time I fly over the pond, I will be armed with Brit Lingo Book Arsenal of Verb-age via this stellar book.
1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fun read 14. Februar 2009
Von Michael Burdick - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this book for two very specific reasons. 1) I went to high school with Mr. Hargraves, and 2) I married a British subject.

What fun and how informative! I've been learning British vernacular first-hand, but it was fun to see how the various words and phrases have come to be. Orin's book provides excellent advice on seemingly innocuous phrases that might get you into trouble. Additionally, he provides scholarly information for writers who need to compose prose that sounds "native" and fully understandable to those living on the other side of the pond.

If you plan on traveling in either direction, this book is for you!
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