I’ll let David Mitchell in the below video do most of the talking for this English Lesson post. Thanks to my English native friend Ben who sent it to me with the blog in mind. I have always wondered why we say “I couldn’t care less”….
I especially love the part where he says “it’s an inflatable hover fort” (3:00).
Phrases in England are different from ours. As are words spelled differently and pronounced funny, to me anyways. It was these subtleties that taught me British English rarely mirrors the English I had been speaking and perfecting for 22 years.
Sometimes I would answer a question that wasn’t a question at all–their intonations threw me off. Other times I would realize mid-conversation everything the other person was saying was sarcastic which made everything I had been saying understood with sarcastic intentions I didn’t know I had. Confused yet? So was I, for about 12 months.
I’m grateful my professors didn’t deduct points when I consistently dropped the “u” from words like “color” and used the ” instead of the ‘. My supervisor was gentle in how he told me to tone down the American-sounding phrases in my thesis, always the less formal ones. I suppose we tend toward sloppiness in our speech. And they tend toward long-windedness.
Not that one is better than the other, but an dialect that allows for an efficient and completely useful word like “y’all” is fine by me.