Read Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English by Christopher Davies Online

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Puzzled by signs warning you to mind the gap in the London Underground? Wondering what will be on your plate if you order toad in the hole from the menu of a London café? In Divided by a Common Language, Christopher Davies explains these expressions and discusses the many differences in pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary between British and American English. He comparPuzzled by signs warning you to mind the gap in the London Underground? Wondering what will be on your plate if you order toad in the hole from the menu of a London café? In Divided by a Common Language, Christopher Davies explains these expressions and discusses the many differences in pronunciation, spelling, and vocabulary between British and American English. He compares the customs, manners, and practical details of daily life in the United Kingdom and the United States, and American readers will enjoy his account of American culture as seen through an Englishman’s eyes. Davies tops it off with an amusing list of expressions that sound innocent enough in one country but make quite the opposite impression in the other. Two comprehensive glossaries help travelers translate from one variety of English to the other, and additional lists explain the distinctive words of Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Divided by a Common Language is the ideal travel companion for British visitors to the United States and American visitors to the United Kingdom. It is also the perfect book for Britons interested in American culture and Americans enjoying British novels, movies, and television at home....

Title : Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780618002757
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English Reviews

  • Wendy
    2019-05-22 07:42

    I didn't read this the traditional way--back to front. Rather, I hopped around, looking up things as I needed them/they caught my interest. Still, in that way, I'm pretty sure I've read the whole thing at least once. Some of it feels a bit outdated, but it's still good enough for what it is. Recommended for anyone who needs to know this stuff.

  • Susanna
    2019-05-24 04:59

    Highly entertaining! This book can be roughly divided into 3 parts. The socio-infrastructure of the English language, the difference of terminologies and slangs, and the unique dialect in some British colonies.While it's easy to spot the difference in spelling (rambunctious in US, rumbustious in UK), it's not that easy to decipher the difference in slangs. For instance, in the UK you can 'knock up' (wake up) a person, 'knock up' (warm up) at tennis, 'knock up' a meal in a hurry, and you can even 'knock yourself up' (knock yourself out). In the States, 'knock up' is strictly an expression meaning to make a woman pregnant.To make the subject more interesting, some dialects in other British colonies sound like a completely different language! For instance, 'on pogey' means unemployed in Canadian English, and 'retrenched' means laid off from work in Australian English. Here in the good Ole USA, 'unemployed' means unemployed. The final Cockney Rhyming Slangs chapter adds another dimension to this subject. These slangs are like Morse codes to average American. Seriously, who would have guess 'ginger beer' means queer, and 'rub-a-dub-dub' means pub?It's fair to say the United States, Britain, and the 13 British colonies are all divided, conquered, and united by a common language. I find this book highly entertaining and would highly recommend it to my friends.

  • Yvonne
    2019-05-04 00:47

    When I picked up this book 4 years ago, after just moving from San Diego to London, I found it silly --- we speak the same language, what's really the difference?!?! Now I can relate a lot of these different words and phrases to funny memories, like when I told a colleague that their pants were dragging the ground, so it's been a fun read this time around!

  • Debp
    2019-05-20 05:38

    This is a fun book to read through. It shows how different the English language can be, and how cultures really influence how we speak.

  • Aiyana
    2019-05-09 06:46

    I had such high hopes for this book, and found myself generally disappointed-- perhaps because I felt that the book was marketed as a narrative about linguistics rather than a travel guide. As a travel guide, it's fairly good, though I still would have liked to see more details.Alphabetical lists, sometimes sorted into categories by content (sports, food, etc.) offer "translations" from British to American English and back again. As I said, it might be handy for a traveler, but the organization made it difficult and repetitive for someone who wanted interesting linguistic comparisons between the lexicons. For example, the British-to-American and American-to-British lists for a given category would be almost identical-- but with just enough different words or definitions scattered about that I couldn't skip reading either one. And some of the translations seemed unnecessary to me, as I'm sure the meaning would be easily understood in context. I did appreciate, however, being notified when the same word had either different meanings or different pronunciation depending on the country.Every so often, the author offered a more in-depth definition or derivation for a word/phrase, and those were lovely. I just wanted many more of them.As an American, it was interesting for me to see the occasional lapses where the author (obviously of British origin) either failed to explain something British that must have just not occurred to him to need translation or, more often, failed to fully understand an American usage. In several cases, the "American" version given for a word was less familiar to me than the "British" one! (Some of this may be regional, too, of course, and some may be a matter of how quickly colloquial uses change).

  • Amber
    2019-04-24 06:40

    I like to think I am well-read, and I watch a lot of BBC, so when I picked this book up, I assumed most of the contents would be old news to me. I was wrong. I really did learn a lot from this book, and not all of the new knowledge was on the Queen's English. There were many American English phrases in the book that I had never before heard, much less used. As I have a fascination with all things language-related, I really enjoyed this book, to the point where I may even purchase a copy for my personal collection.

  • Keri
    2019-05-14 07:46

    The first part of this book was really enjoyable. It explained a lot about the differences in British English and American English in an easily accessible and interesting format. The second part of this book read more like a dictionary. While definitely helpful during our UK trip, it doesn't make for interesting reading per se. Overall, the book was well researched. SuBC: Judge a book by its cover, reading it solely for the title, 15 points

  • Soobie can't sleep at night
    2019-04-29 01:51

    I don't know what to say about this book. It's not what I expected. I wanted some sort of linguistic essay but all I got was lists, lists, lists and a short guide on how to live in the US or in UK with very basic notions.The lists were interesting but at the same time it's very difficult to use them as a reference. And the small lists written for the short guide were reprinted at the end of the book in the big final list.Sigh. So boring.

  • Beth Campbell- adams
    2019-05-08 05:58

    As an avid fan of British literature, I was intrigued with this book, even though there are several UK terms that I think are generally understood in America (assuming you are moderately educated) and probably vice versa. It was an entertaining read.

  • Agnes
    2019-04-30 08:53

    Great book, exactly what I need now. It was fun to read, I learnt a lot and I am sure that I read it again and again.

  • Leah
    2019-05-12 08:38

    a must have for the Anglophile!

  • Lily
    2019-04-30 03:04

    Fun book, very informative about the differences. I disagreed with a few of the things that Mr. Davies says Americans say, but overall it seemed pretty accurate.

  • Amanda
    2019-05-22 02:39

    I thought it would be fun to read this, especially after spending time with our British friends. We've had some funny moments of confusion that goes beyond not understanding their accent.

  • Shawnee
    2019-05-15 05:56

    Fun book, I got a kick out of the fact this this book was like a foreign phrasebook but it's all English.

  • R.L.
    2019-04-26 04:40

    This little book was fun to read to find all the ways our two English languages are so different. Perfect. Use it with the travel guide when going across the pond.