Six Americanisms we should adopt into British English

Although I’m renowned among my friends as a language pedant, I know that pedantry has its limits, and can be taken too far. For example, I fully accept the following facts about language:

1. Languages have different dialects, which are each as valid for their own speakers as any other

2. Language changes over time

So I hope it’s not too shocking to reveal that I’m perfectly comfortable with the existence of a dialect called “American English” with different pronunciations and vocabulary.

I’m even comfortable with some influence and exchange between American and British. It was absolutely right, for example, that we British standardised to the short scale and accepted that a “billion” is a thousand million – though it would be nice if the Americans, in return, would stop being idiots and convert to an internally consistent date notation system.

However, I think it will probably surprise many people to learn that there are a few Americanisms which I actually think are better than their British equivalents, and which I’d be happy to see adopted as standard British English.

Continue reading