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    Tony Blair is [in]famous for his habit of changing the way to speaks to reflect the people he is talking to or imagines he is talking to. This is another example of it. he is rather like a cushion: he bears the imprint of the last arse to sit on him.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Tony Blair is [in]famous for his habit of changing the way to speaks to reflect the people he is talking to or imagines he is talking to. This is another example of it. he is rather like a cushion: he bears the imprint of the last arse to sit on him.
    hahahaha
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    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    Was anyone a bit surprised that the Prime Minister said "There will be no discussion on the EU rebate. Period."?
    I am more concerned about what he said, not the word he used to imply 'non'.

    He will end up eating his words as there is no way he can maintain the stance on Britains EU rebate without much dissent, discussion and debacle.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Are you saying that American English is only spoken by the uneducated? :confused:
    No but sometimes over here, you get quite a few people that try to use American idioms thinking it sounds different and cool. Unfortunately, most of them do it so badly, it would make any American crack up.
    Anyway, it's not like I don't throw in the odd americanism I picked up while living in North America for 2 years, often because my English isn't as good as I'd like it to be so I'm a bit clumsy in my choice of expression. I said that something was "weirding me out" the other day. But if there's someone that should master the (British) English language, it should at least be the Prime Minister!

    On BBC News in the early hours, I think I heard the news reporter jokingly say "Or full stop as we say over here"
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    Except that Blair said "period" in its proper context.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    What's with the superiority complex? Who cares what accent or dialect people speak with? I would argue that placing such high value on something that is no way indicative of intelligence is a sign of a lack of intelligence.
    I'm no expert in linguistics but I have a huge interest in it. The language and the accent you use are more than just words and sounds and an actual cultural indicator. There are historical reasons why people from Chesapeake, Virginia sound posh, why some londonders speak cockney...
    American media tends to reflect this idea of a common generic American language and accent. Ideally, why wouldn't that be applied to the whole of the English-speaking world? Because that would be totally ignoring cultural differences. As people mentioned, those that clumsily borrow expressions from other cultures usually aren't too informed about their own culture.

    It's nothing to do with intelligence or social class (here in the UK, people are obsessed with associating accents and social class).
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Except that Blair said "period" in its proper context.
    The "period" expression in the US has an equivalent in the UK and it's "full stop".

    The syntaxic (?) words of "period" and "full stop" exist both in the UK and the US, the latter being a punctuation mark and the former a "character", although I did notice that in the US, people tend to refer more to the character when talking about the punctuation mark.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Respect for their language? If someone said that in the US, they'd probably be branded a racist. Even the people campaigning for making English the national language would never suggest that there is only one correct dialect.
    I used the word dialect because i couldn't think of what else to use. Geordie is a dialect but apart from some local cooloqualisms still uses the same language. American is much more different, with spelling altered also.
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    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    No but sometimes over here, you get quite a few people that try to use American idioms thinking it sounds different and cool. Unfortunately, most of them do it so badly, it would make any American crack up.
    Indeed.
    Bismark i think you are just trying to get all rilied up by a perceived slight, when really you have little right to.
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    "The UK rebate will remain and we will not negotiate it away. Period." These were the Prime Minister's exact words and they are very different from what was quoted - or misquoted, to be precise - in the first post. It wouldn't matter however, if all you guys are hung up about is the use of the word "period".
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    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    I'm no expert in linguistics but I have a huge interest in it. The language and the accent you use are more than just words and sounds and an actual cultural indicator. There are historical reasons why people from Chesapeake, Virginia sound posh, why some londonders speak cockney...
    American media tends to reflect this idea of a common generic American language and accent. Ideally, why wouldn't that be applied to the whole of the English-speaking world? Because that would be totally ignoring cultural differences. As people mentioned, those that clumsily borrow expressions from other cultures usually aren't too informed about their own culture.

    It's nothing to do with intelligence or social class (here in the UK, people are obsessed with associating accents and social class).
    There is no generic American accent, and no one here seriously claims that there is one. There are several different accents in New York City alone, and many New Yorkers find it difficult to understand people from Boston let alone from the south. Other than a few jokes used against southerners for pronouncing "nuclear" "nukular", Americans don't claim that any one accent is better than the others. Even the ultranationalist groups like the KKK don't go that far. Since people in different regions have different accents, claiming that one accent is better than the others is a clear sign of prejudice, and possibly even racism (since many of the accents are tied to different ethnic groups). Anyone who cares more about the accent of a person than the content of their speech is probably short on intelligence or education themselves.

    You have yet to show how Blair misused the expression. And why does borrowing words from other cultures mean that the person doesn't know much about their own culture? Does one have to walk, talk, and act like all their conationals to show "proper respect" to their culture? Sounds like something the BNP would say.

    (Original post by foolfarian)
    Indeed.
    Bismark i think you are just trying to get all rilied up by a perceived slight, when really you have little right to.
    I'm concerned that some people care more about style than content.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Respect for their language? If someone said that in the US, they'd probably be branded a racist. Even the people campaigning for making English the national language would never suggest that there is only one correct dialect.
    But unlike in the US, English is our language and it's official. The US has no official language. The campaign for "English only" in the US shows what a mistake it was to reject all your British heritage...

    Well, we do have to remember that in this case, 'period' is actually in most English(British that is) dictionaries as a word or symbol emphasising the end of a sentence.

    (Original post by Trier)
    The problem here is that culturally, we have dropped the term in favour of 'full stop'- it isn't a foreign dialect, just an underused term that the Americans still use frequently.

    However, your points about the importance of defending our culture against intrusion are valid ones- but do we really want to isolate ourselves that much from other cultures?

    Why not allow for a cross-cultural exchange where we can benefit from the best of both?
    I answered to that in a previous post. Both in the US and the UK, the words "period" and "full stop" exist but this is an expression that is rather separate from the punctuation mark/symbol name.
    We can benefit from other countries without having to mimic them like a monkey. Although I didn't want to raise this debate (I just wanted to point out that I wouldn't expect such a well-educated politician use so clumsily a very American expression), but when it comes to Americanisms: most people who use them seem to think that it would be better to sound a bit more American and a bit less British but at the end of the day, you only sound like a British **** trying to use American words. I'm a huge admirer of the US and if I wanted to sound American, I'd bugger off to the US, not stay in the UK, sounding like a **** (well at least I'd try to sound like a British **** in that case)
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    I'm concerned that some people care more about style than content.
    I would argue that when the leader of the British govt starts dropping in american colloqualisms in official speeches we have the right to be concerned.
    THis isn't about the word 'period' but mroe a complaint of a broader erosion of the english language.
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Other than a few jokes used against southerners for pronouncing "nuclear" "nukular",
    "hahah you said nuclear, its nukular dummy the S is silent"
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    I hear British people using American words all the time, often not even realising that it is an American word. I don't see why there should be any different rule for the PM.
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    (Original post by SamTheMan)
    But unlike in the US, English is our language and it's official. The US has no official language. The campaign for "English only" in the US shows what a mistake it was to reject all your British heritage...
    Perhaps you can start by removing all the Germanic, French, and Latin words from your language?

    Well, we do have to remember that in this case, 'period' is actually in most English(British that is) dictionaries as a word or symbol emphasising the end of a sentence.
    You said people shouldn't use other dialects clumsily. Blair didn't use the American dialect clumsily, since he said the sentence in exactly the same way most Americans would say it.

    I answered to that in a previous post. Both in the US and the UK, the words "period" and "full stop" exist but this is an expression that is rather separate from the punctuation mark/symbol name.
    We can benefit from other countries without having to mimic them like a monkey. Although I didn't want to raise this debate (I just wanted to point out that I wouldn't expect such a well-educated politician use so clumsily a very American expression), but when it comes to Americanisms: most people who use them seem to think that it would be better to sound a bit more American and a bit less British but at the end of the day, you only sound like a British **** trying to use American words. I'm a huge admirer of the US and if I wanted to sound American, I'd bugger off to the US, not stay in the UK, sounding like a **** (well at least I'd try to sound like a British **** in that case)
    I guess freedom of speech doesn't apply to those who don't speak the same dialect as you?

    I find it very ironic that I'm having this argument with people who support leftist parties, while being defended by a Conservative. I guess ultranationalism is more of a characteristic of the left in Britain.

    (Original post by foolfarian)
    I would argue that when the leader of the British govt starts dropping in american colloqualisms in official speeches we have the right to be concerned.
    THis isn't about the word 'period' but mroe a complaint of a broader erosion of the english language.
    Erosion of the English language? Last time I checked, American English was still English.
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    (Original post by CNN Center)
    "The UK rebate will remain and we will not negotiate it away. Period." These were the Prime Minister's exact words and they are very different from what was quoted - or misquoted, to be precise - in the first post. It wouldn't matter however, if all you guys are hung up about is the use of the word "period".
    Thanks for correcting me there. I just posted from what I remembered from I what I saw last night. It makes no difference, he still used the expression "period" (it's more than just a word).


    (Original post by Bismarck)
    There is no generic American accent, and no one here seriously claims that there is one. There are several different accents in New York City alone, and many New Yorkers find it difficult to understand people from Boston let alone from the south. Other than a few jokes used against southerners for pronouncing "nuclear" "nukular", Americans don't claim that any one accent is better than the others. Even the ultranationalist groups like the KKK don't go that far. Since people in different regions have different accents, claiming that one accent is better than the others is a clear sign of prejudice, and possibly even racism (since many of the accents are tied to different ethnic groups). Anyone who cares more about the accent of a person than the content of their speech is probably short on intelligence or education themselves.

    You have yet to show how Blair misused the expression. And why does borrowing words from other cultures mean that the person doesn't know much about their own culture? Does one have to walk, talk, and act like all their conationals to show "proper respect" to their culture? Sounds like something the BNP would say.
    I'm totally aware of the different accents in the US. In New England, I met quite a lot of older people with the most peculiar accents and pronunciations ever. But I would still say that there's a certain accent that appears to be standard: when in North America, younger people would go on about "not having an accent". That so-called generic accent is copied by many foreigners (have you ever heard a foreigner trying to sound like he's from the Midwest or Texas?).

    I can understand why such a debate would sound totally pointless and extreme to an American: you have no actual language to be attached to. American culture is not based on language or religion like a lot of other countries' cultures are.

    It's not a discussion about the form, while ignoring the content (the UK rebate is a very interesting topic of conversation) but the form is an indicator. In the US, using one expression over another has little to do with which culture you belong to. In the US, I always got the impression that people say English as nothing more than a communications tool. Most people use English without ever thinking about the fact it originated in Britain. Here language counts a lot. Just as German is important to Germany and French is important to France (we're not as crazy as the French about our language at least) .

    Plus I'm not so sure George Bush saying "We're increasing the budget. Full stop" would go unnoticed...
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    (Original post by Kard)
    I hear British people using American words all the time, often not even realising that it is an American word. I don't see why there should be any different rule for the PM.
    Very true... there was a long debate a while ago. Because of close ties between the two countries, American English and British English have not evolved independently. Someone claimed that the structure of sentences in English, as it was spoken in the 20th century was already influenced by American English. The thread would have to be dug up...

    Well actually my point was that I think that a different rule does apply to the PM.
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    [QUOTE=Weejimmie]Tony Blair is [in]famous for his habit /QUOTE]


    While we're being pedantic - the word you need is notorious, sheesh, does nobody do Latin any more?

    Pompous, moi?
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    (Original post by Bismarck)
    Erosion of the English language? Last time I checked, American English was still English.
    Sigh, resort ot over simplifying the argument if you will

    Color - American English, but not found in British dictionary.
 
 
 
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