Why does English (US) get people so riled?

Ahh Facebook groups. A good look through and you’ll find pretty much every type of bigotry and small-mindedness you could think of on display.

And, looking through some of my friends’ additions, I come across a group dedicated to their theory that English (US) is not a language. And it’s not alone – there are a number of groups dedicated to the SAME subject i.

Let’s look at the stated objections of some of these groups…

Shoving z’s in words and not being able to spell doesn’t create a new language!

Just cause American’s spell so many word’s wrong doesnt not mean they should get there own langauge, and it definitly should not be the default for facebook, word ect. There are other countrys on earth with people who can spell proply. IT’S COLOUR NOT COLOR!

Ah, the irony of that one, with its bad spelling and grammar.

U.S. English is a DIALECT and should be referred to as one. Join this group if you agree.

At last some sense – as far as I can tell, yes they are correct – US English is a dialect. But, then, when you install software or visit a website it normally refers to “English (US)”, indicating that the language IS English, but the US variation or, in this case, dialect. In other words, it’s English but with the US Spelling.

Most of the objections are around the apparent “misspelling” of certain words or the fact that they use alternative words. However, in many cases, the words the US use are simply words that were a lot more prevalent in this country at the time the US was first being colonised. Because of the distances between the two countries, however, the languages moved on in their own directions. In some cases (the dropping of “U” in many words, such as “colour”) the US brought in attempts to simplify the language – English is, after all, one of the most complex languages due to its inconsistent language and grammatical rules.

Comments in these groups, however, include…

May I also state another of my pet (American) hates? The inability to understand sarcasm/irony.

Indeed. And this coming from somebody who thinks a big visible, chunky chain around the neck is in someway appealing. I’m guessing he certainly wouldn’t get through all of Stephen Fry’s thoughts on this.

There are many comments about how you don’t see Australian or Canadian English as an option, so why should the US have one. I dunno, the fact that most of the sites and software in question was made in that country, and therefore will reflect their language? Amusingly, some Canadians have a Facebook group complaining this very fact – that they don’t have an option in software for their language. Sorry, dialect.

No, from what I can see those inhabiting these groups consist of people who have put as much thought into this as they have their generally cliched and xenophobic spoutings.

  1. which I guess just goes to shows how much effort they put into these things[]


Talk to me!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: