Is British English a dying language?

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navarre
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As the title suggests.

We are saturated with American TV, films and books from a very early age, and naturally, many children grow up using Americanisms that previous generations would never use, eg using 'butt' as opposed to 'bum'. American spelling is becoming more commonplace (no doubt due to its simplicity), and internationals are usually taught the US version of English rather than British English.

I recently travelled round the US, and it's a wonderful nation- I especially loved the South West- and it was very fun teaching the internationals (Koreans, Germans, Swiss) on my tour British words and pronunciation (waw-teh for water). However, some didn't even know we spoke English in England, and even made fun of my accent, which they thought sounded rather silly. They especially found how I said 'pass' funny.

A small percentage of the world's English speakers even live in the UK- America, India, Pakistan and Nigeria all have larger numbers of English speakers than we do. I'm sure these dialects will further push British English into obscurity.

Just interested to hear others opinions.
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mitchellshazia
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It may well do, people in my school use American vocabulary/spelling all the time because they hear it so often on the TV. It seems sad but I suppose it doesn't really matter.
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lyrical_lie
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There were two little girls who lived next door to my aunty and they had american twangs to their accents even thought they lived in Scotland and their parents are Scottish my mum said she thought it was because they watched american cartoons. And I know what you mean about some Americans not knowing about where English is spoken they asked if I spoke it in Scotland and said my English was really good when I worked there. :facepalm:

But I did teach them new words like rubbish, which if you think about it it's a great word so many uses :awesome: also they all loved my accent so nobody made fun of it. Except the way I said the word poor. They said it like pour. Good times I miss working there.
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daisydaffodil
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(Original post by navarre)
As the title suggests.

We are saturated with American TV, films and books from a very early age, and naturally, many children grow up using Americanisms that previous generations would never use, eg using 'butt' as opposed to 'bum'. American spelling is becoming more commonplace (no doubt due to its simplicity), and internationals are usually taught the US version of English rather than British English.

I recently travelled round the US, and it's a wonderful nation- I especially loved the South West- and it was very fun teaching the internationals on my tour British words and pronunciation (waw-teh for water). However, some didn't even know we spoke English in England, and even made fun of my accent, which they thought sounded rather silly. They especially found how I said 'pass' funny.

A small percentage of the world's English speakers even live in the UK- America, India, Pakistan and Nigeria all have larger numbers of English speakers than we do. I'm sure these dialects will further push British English into obscurity.

Just interested to hear others opinions.
I don't think it's a dying language but it's continuously altering, being changed and being used in varying forms across our country and across the world.

I think one day though - as it always has been - English will have been altered so much that we would only vaguely recognize it as English, just as we currently see with Old English.
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Jonah Ramone
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Let's bomb America and make everything better. (Pronounced betta.)
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Tpos
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I agree with daisydaffodil.

Though americanisms usually annoy me and I feel the need to correct people if they say, for example, "elevator" instead of "lift"etc and I always use English spellings instead of American ones and sometimes I purposefully use more English sounding words than American, for example swapping "weird" with "odd" lol ...I'm trying to stop being so bothered though, cuz it's really not a big deal is it?!
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Ilovechocolate09
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No cos you still gotta write in propa english in exams
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navarre
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(Original post by Ilovechocolate09)
No cos you still gotta write in propa english in exams
American English words/spellings in exams would likely not be scrutinized.
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VitaCoco
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Us lovely English Canadian folk still tend to represent British English - not all of us - but I certainly think most of us do use British English. In fact British English is our "official" form, it's what all Government publications are printed in, giving you an example.

I mainly use British English, but I follow the American English for words like recognize and realize, as that's how I was taught back home before moving here to England. I do use the British English spellings in my schoolwork over here, but when I'm typing online or chatting on IM, I don't think about and therefore instinctively use the -ize spellings.
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CherLloyd
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The queen's english is dull!
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Converse Rocker
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(Original post by navarre)
American English words/spellings in exams would likely not be scrutinized.
Agreed, if anything you could probably find examples in the questions. Most notable one for me is the use of 'z' instead of 's', as mentioned above actually.

You've got it completely right that young kids are exposed to a lot of American media. A lot of it comes from TV and when I think about it, I'm included in that. So much of Comedy Central is American, it'll take you like 30 seconds to hear the words 'awesome' or 'bite me'.

As someone that studied prescriptivism vs descriptivism, I suppose we can just say it's the language developing.
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magiczebras
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I would say it's an evolving language!
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Harrie Lyons
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I don't think so, there may be an American influence but I think pronunciation (the most distinctive difference, since after all the differences aren't that big) is getting bigger in some areas like we pronounce tune like 'chune' and our grandparents pronounced it more like Americans (ie without changing 'tu' into 'chu' and 'du' into 'ju', which creates sentences which sound like 'wa ju fink' 'what do you think' in London English. Also we have the second highest amount of speakers: Indian English, Nigerian English, doesn't count because its not native so they always have to look to us.
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Qwob
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In honesty I wouldn't mind the 'death' of British English, as long it meant there was only 'English' left and no need for the terrible phrase 'American English'.

Makes me want to punch my computer screen every time I read the words 'American English'.
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ed-
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I listened to an article on Radio 4 about something similar to this...

They were saying that just as there are 'Americanisms' in the UK, it also goes the other way and people use British phrases to sound more intelligent and they gradually spread. I can't remember all the examples but I remember they said that some people say 'hard man' instead of 'tough guy'.
All language evolves over time. There are plenty of things that we no longer say but we still consider out language to be British English
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Drewski
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US English is English.

Arguably, it is British English that is the newer, more corrupted version of the language. It is US English that has largely kept trends from 'old' English alive.
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OedipusTheKing
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I refuse to spell gaol as 'jail', curses to the Americanisms :pierre:
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slickrick666999
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English is the most widely spoken language in the world. It's not dying at all. More people learn English every-year. It's the worlds finest language, from he worlds finest people. The English

Looks like I offended a few minorities by the thumbs down?
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scrotgrot
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The future of English is in "Global English", which is the English of people (mostly Asians) who use it for business communication.

Between American and British English, British English actually holds way more sway than it ought to. Due to the influence of the Commonwealth, most learners of English worldwide are taught the British variety. The only foreigners you hear displaying an American accent are Chinese or Eastern European.

British English has adopted many American word choices but the colourful vernacular is in no danger of disappearing. In fact, with the rising popularity of BBC output in America they are learning about words like "shag" and "rubbish" and "bloke" and "****" and beginning to use them.
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deedee123
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Americans have ridiculously bad geography. They thought I (A scot) was English- to me our accents are completely different. I understand thinking we're irish as we're fairly similar but English? Some of them had never even heard of Scotland, they just think the UK is England alone
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