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To think using the word Americanism

(15 Posts)
Hippobottymus Wed 29-Nov-17 22:14:23

As a criticism is quite rude?

If you think it’s okay to use it in this way, would you feel okay saying the equivalent about other cultures? I see it used quite a lot on here and it’s always said it quite a nasty way.

Sprinklestar Wed 29-Nov-17 22:16:56

I see it used here a lot too. It's the most stupid comment as the US is so diverse for a start, 300 million+ population, how can one thing be seen as representative? And that's without mentioning the rest of 'America' - Canada, anyone? South America?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 29-Nov-17 22:19:45

Well I do find it annoying when people type with American spellings. It's one Americanism that I don't like and it is universal across America thus would be considered representative...

I think it really depends on what exactly you are referring to.

JoJoSM2 Wed 29-Nov-17 22:21:42

I generally find English people take the piss out of Americans. Usually portrayed as slightly dumb in most jokes etc.

Movablefeast Wed 29-Nov-17 22:28:36

Often words and phrases Brits criticise originated in the British Isles. "Gotten" for example.

MaidOfStars Wed 29-Nov-17 22:30:52

Some American spellings are better.

Fetus, paediatric, estrogen....nobody needs unnecessary double vowels.

The argument for ‘er’ in centre/litre/theatre/etc is pretty strong too.

In general, American spellings are far more simple, and that makes language more accessible. I’m all for that.

MaidOfStars Wed 29-Nov-17 22:32:41

And I agree, OP. ‘Americanism’ is often used as a dismissive insult, with an undertone of ‘They’re too stupid to say/do it properly

Oysterbabe Wed 29-Nov-17 22:36:41

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to preserve our culture, language and spellings. If you're in a queue at a coffee shop or something it seems most people will say "Can I get..." which sounds awful.
I don't think it's always an insult, just pointing out that it's not the British way.

Ttbb Wed 29-Nov-17 22:38:22

To be fair 'Americanism' is only applied to the things that only or mostly Americans do badly. What else are you going to call it. If they don't want to be insulted maybe they should learn how to spell and stop using so much corn syrup.

Hippobottymus Thu 30-Nov-17 08:14:30

@Ttbb but they don’t need to ‘learn to spell’, they have a different way of spelling and as PP said it’s not necessarily a bad way of spelling a lot of words. And the corn syrup comment is quite frankly just rude. Would you say something similar about other cultures or is it just Americans were allowed to patronise?

Hippobottymus Thu 30-Nov-17 08:14:46


lljkk Thu 30-Nov-17 08:37:57

I don't mind Brits bashing Americans (speaking as an American).

I DO MIND Brits think they know everything about USA, and then say totally ignorant things about Americans, especially when they use their sweeping generalisations to bash Americans. I don't mind wildly, but I am confused and amused & stunned how people can be so flippin' smug and ignorant at same time.

knogBlinder Thu 30-Nov-17 12:24:22

The term Americanism tends to refer to the way language is used or a word coined by them as opposed to spelling conventions.

Their spelling and pronunciation tends to stick to 'rules' much better than BrE does. We tried to use Latin rules for our grammar which is why it's nonsense. It doesn't work and English is a pig of a language because of it.

I do dislike the misuse of reflective pronouns (myself, ourselves, yourself etc) and their bastardisation of non-continuous verbs such as loving, realising, tasting. They make me wince a little despite knowing language evolves and that it's a normal and wonderful process.

Yes, 'Americanism' can be used sneeringly but can be purely descriptively.

Hippobottymus Thu 30-Nov-17 13:27:28

I completely agree with Americanism being used purely to describe. It’s just the snobbery that often follows that makes me hmm

SeekEveryEveryKnownHidingPlace Thu 30-Nov-17 13:28:42

It's especially annoying when -ize endings are described as Americanisms, because they're not.

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