We speak English in the UK.
So do you in the US.
But yet we don’t speak the same language.
Dept. of Geological Sciences, Durham University, South Road,
Durham, United Kingdom, DH1 3LE
d.j.barton [at] durham.ac.uk
David Barton maintains an extensive list of
Words That Could Be Confusing And Embarrassing In The UK & US
See the complete list at http://www.systms.demon.co.uk/ukus.htm.
It was said by Sir George Bernard Shaw that ‘England and America are two countries separated by the same language’. My first personal experience of this was when I worked as a camp counsellor for two months in 1993 in a Summer Camp run by the Boy Scouts of America, as part of an international leader exchange scheme. Before I went, all the participants in the scheme were given a lecture by an American woman in Baden Powell House (the world headquarters of the Scout Movement) in South Kensington, London. We were told what to do, say and expect of the United States. As part of the talk, we were given a short list of words that are in common use in the UK which Americans would either be confused by or would even offend them. I memorised the words and thought ‘I’ll cope’.
The complete list is available at: http://www.dur.ac.uk/~dgl3djb/ukus.html
The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. II, No. 5, May 1996