Written by ForeignExchange Translations on Monday, October 15, 2012
Brits have long been whining about the gradual encroachment of Americanisms into everyday speech, via Hollywood films and TV shows. But now, "Britishisms" are crossing the Atlantic the other way, thanks to Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, The Daily Mail and other British media.
The Britishism invasion includes terms like "cheeky," "twee," "chat-up," "sell-by date" and "the long game," as well as "do the washing up," "keen on," "bit" (as in "the best bit"), "brilliant", "called X" (instead of "named X") and "to move house."
The New York Times called all of this borrowing from the Mother Tongue "Anglocreep" and "annoying" and "a slippery slope". But is this influx of Britishisms really happening, or is it just in the imagination of fashinistas, jet-setters, and TV critics?
While the trend may be hard to prove definitively, Slate has pointed out that some helpful metrics do exist. Using Google Ngrman, it's possible to see a marked increase in the use of British English expressions such as "run-up to" and "went missing".
So, what do you think? Is it pompous to say "cheers" instead of "bye", or is this just further evidence of the evolution of (American) English?
For related articles, take a look at the following:
- Language fact: British vs. American English
- 10 reasons why English is so difficult to translate
- It's Labor Day - not Labour Day!
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