British vs American English

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Historical background | This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2009) |
The English language was first introduced to the Americas by British colonization, beginning in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia. Similarly, the language spread to numerous other parts of the world as a result of British trade and colonization elsewhere and the spread of the former British Empire, which, by 1921, held sway over a population of 470–570 million people, approximately a quarter of the world's population at that time.
Over the past 400 years the form of the language used in the Americas—especially in the United States—and that used in the United Kingdom have diverged in a few minor ways, leading to the versions now occasionally referred to as American English and British English. Differences between the two include pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary (lexis), spelling, punctuation, idioms, formatting of dates and numbers, although the differences in written and most spoken grammar structure tend to be much less than those of other aspects of the language in terms of mutual intelligibility. A small number of words have completely different meanings in the two versions or are even unknown or not used in one of the versions. One particular contribution towards formalizing these differences came from Noah Webster, who wrote the first American dictionary (published 1828) with the intention of showing that people in the United States spoke a different dialect from Britain, much like a regional accent.
This divergence between American English and British English has provided opportunities for humorous comment, e.g. George Bernard Shaw said that the United States and United Kingdom are "two countries divided by a common language";[10] and Oscar Wilde wrote "We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, the language" (The



References: 24. ^ "prove – Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary". M-w.com. 2010-08-13. http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/prove. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 34. ^ boughten. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000 35 41. ^ § 56. shall / will. 1. Grammar. The American Heritage Book of English Usage. 1996 42 58. ^ Partridge, Eric (1947). "Than, different". Usage and Abusage. London: Hamish Hamilton. "The impeccably correct construction is different...from although different to is permissible" 59 61. ^ Huddleston, Rodney; Pullum, Geoffrey K. (2002). The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 610. ISBN 0-521-43146-8. * Algeo, John (2006). British or American English?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37993-8. * Hargraves, Orin (2003). Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515704-4 * McArthur, Tom (2002) * Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62181-X. * Trudgill, Peter and Jean Hannah. (2002). International English: A Guide to the Varieties of Standard English, 4th ed. London: Arnold. ISBN 0-340-80834-9

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