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Thread: British and American Spelling Differences

  1. #31
    apollo13
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    Had a very funny science lesson today - I never knew that Americans spell foetus, fetus. My friend Talia, who is from America, said that we were "crazy English people" for putting random letters in words. I responded that Americans were crazy for calling a full stop a period, because over here period has an entirely different, a little taboo, meaning.

    ~Evie

  2. #32
    CakeorDeath
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    Quote Originally Posted by apollo13
    Had a very funny science lesson today - I never knew that Americans spell foetus, fetus. My friend Talia, who is from America, said that we were "crazy English people" for putting random letters in words. I responded that Americans were crazy for calling a full stop a period, because over here period has an entirely different, a little taboo, meaning.

    ~Evie
    LOL. I am pretty sure period means the same thing also in the USA.

    On an other topic: What do Americans call post natal depression (when a woman is depressed after having a baby)? I know it is something differnet but I can't think waht

  3. #33
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by quibblequill
    Actually, not sure whether that's just regional, but I'm usually a little more specific as to what berries I'm eating; I only say 'berries' when I eat a mix of, say, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, ecetera.

    Is that what you meant?
    I think I got it wrong. I remember reading a book once where the English husband of an American woman was getting annoyed because she said 'berries' instead of strawberries, raspberries etc. It was probably just him being impatient. Although in UK I think we'd say 'soft fruits' for a selection rather than 'berries'

    Regarding Jelly or Jam- what is 'Jam' in America then? I have it in mind to introduce an American into a future chapter so would quite like to know the difference.
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  4. #34
    Rhi for HP
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    Jam: I was taught that it depends on the sugar vs. fruit content. So you have jelly, jam, and preserves in that order (of healthiness), with jelly tending to be of a runnier consistency (and pure sugar) than preserves, while the latter can be hard to spread. However, it's also a bit idiomatic. For instance, people always say "I'm eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich", even if, like me, that 'jelly' is really preserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by CakeOrDeath
    What do Americans call post natal depression (when a woman is depressed after having a baby)? I know it is something differnet but I can't think waht
    I'm pretty sure it is called post-natal depression. I've heard the term in my (mandatory) Sex Ed class.

    pyjama (British) vs. pajama...that's one I found out recently. It's interesting the number of words with 'l's that are spelled differently. I'll be typing away (and I'm a pretty perfect speller) and set my automatic spellcheck to English (U.K.), and suddenly half the words will turn red because there's a British/American spelling change.

    (on that topic, if you want to Britpick your writing it's a good idea, if you have Microsoft Word, to set the language to English (U.K.). However, don't assume it's doing everything for you-- 'ize' words it will not set to 'ise' and so on.)

  5. #35
    quibblequill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kcharles
    Actually, Jelly and Jam are diffrent things, so in America either could be said, most people just use jelly though.
    I always thought certain fruits made jelly while others made jam. Like, grape jelly, raspberry jam? Or maybe that's just me. Maybe it's regional, but, yes, we say 'jelly' AND 'jam' in America.

  6. #36
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick
    Can't find it now but someone posted that in Britain they don't put fullstops (periods- that's another one ) after abbreviated titles. We do- or should do- unless the grammar rules have changed.

    So we would say Mr. and Dr. etc.
    Correcting myself here- I've just bought a proper punctuation and grammar book and apparently in Britain it is no longer required to put the full stop after contractions. A contraction being a word like Dr where the first and last letter are used to shorten the word. However we do still use a fullstop if we shorten a word like Captain to Capt.

    This is contrary to what I was taught and also some of my friends but I guess using the word required means it's not obligatory to leave it off.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

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  7. #37
    emmaholloway
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    I have another spelling difference:

    Jewellery is the British spelling as apposed to the American jewelry

  8. #38
    bellaoc
    Guest
    "On an other topic: What do Americans call post natal depression (when a woman is depressed after having a baby)? I know it is something differnet but I can't think waht"

    We call it Postpartum Depression. A slight difference, but I'm pretty sure that if someone said "Post natal depression" over here (america!) we'd still know what it meant!

  9. #39
    beccleroo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equinox Chick
    I think I got it wrong. I remember reading a book once where the English husband of an American woman was getting annoyed because she said 'berries' instead of strawberries, raspberries etc. It was probably just him being impatient. Although in UK I think we'd say 'soft fruits' for a selection rather than 'berries'

    Regarding Jelly or Jam- what is 'Jam' in America then? I have it in mind to introduce an American into a future chapter so would quite like to know the difference.
    Jelly, Jam, and Preserves are all very similar. For instance, they all work well with peanut butter. However, it depends on how they are made for their exact name and properties.
    In jelly, the fruit comes in the form of fruit juice.
    In jam, the fruit comes in the form of fruit pulp or crushed fruit (and is less stiff than jelly as a result).
    In preserves, the fruit comes in the form of chunks in a syrup or a jam.

    Check out this website for a really good explanation.
    http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/mai...efinitions.asp

  10. #40
    BleedINink
    Guest
    I learned this today:

    kerb- British English
    curb- American English

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