Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English

Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions: Making Sense of Transatlantic English

by Orin Hargraves
     
 

Have you ever traveled to England, been offered a "fairycake," and not known how to respond? Have you ever had to explain the difference between a "sleeping policeman" and a "speed bump" to a visiting Brit? Are you sure you know the difference between a "chip" and a "crisp"? (Transatlantic English) is a practical

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Overview

Have you ever traveled to England, been offered a "fairycake," and not known how to respond? Have you ever had to explain the difference between a "sleeping policeman" and a "speed bump" to a visiting Brit? Are you sure you know the difference between a "chip" and a "crisp"? (Transatlantic English) is a practical and entertaining guide to the differences between American and British English. As if written from a point in the Atlantic ocean exactly between Britain and the U.S., this book catalogs the differences between the "two" languages by taking a culturally neutral stance - addressing the needs of both British and American readers and listeners. Not a collection of lists, the chapters of (Transatlantic English) are arranged around important and familiar topics, including Politics, Law, and Government; Business and Money; Medicine and Healthcare; Education; Food, Clothing, and Shelter; Profanity and Obscenity, making this book essential not only for word lovers, but also students abroad, business and casual travelers, and anyone confused by the differences in our common tongue. With (Transatlantic English) you won't be caught with your "knickers" down again.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A well-organized guide to the differences between American and British English....A very readable book that is as entertaining as it is informative."—Library Journal "A scholarly but highly readable dissection of the differences between British and American English."—Copyeditor

Library Journal
Hargraves, a lexicographer and cohabitant of the United States of America and Britain, has written a well-organized guide to the differences between American and British English. The historical introduction makes for interesting reading, and Hargraves has clearly made an effort to provide an unbiased account. In fact, instead of suggesting that the two dialects should move toward uniformity, he declares that native speakers of each would be enriched by an understanding of the other. The subsequent two chapters on lexicography and syntax would be helpful for nonnative speakers of English, although knowledge of grammatical terms is assumed. The majority of the book, however, is devoted to lexical variations between the dialects, organized by subject/ theme, such as "Money, Business and Work" and "Education." There is even a wittily written chapter on "what you don't say." Perhaps from a linguist's point of view, Hargraves is too quick to dismiss other, less dominant regional dialects such as Australian, Canadian, and South African English. Nevertheless, on what could have been a rather dry and technical subject, Hargraves has written a very readable book that is as entertaining for native speakers to dip into as it is informative for nonnative speakers or editors.-Rebecca Bollen, Jersey City, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195157048
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
12/19/2002
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,167,919
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 6.38(h) x 1.06(d)

Meet the Author

Orin Hargraves is a long-time freelance lexicographer with much experience in both the U.S. and U.K. editing.

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