British English

Discussion on schools, colleges, universities, educational facilities, teaching, and learning resources for adults and children.
Dr Mike
Guru
Guru
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: British English

Post by Dr Mike » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:29 pm

The kids going up IN the tree house and up INTO the tree house mean two quite different things

In the first the tree house is rising as in, up in an elevator, in the second they are climbing into a stationary tree house.

Its not about pedantic grammar it about meaning

User avatar
JimmyGreaves
Legend
Legend
Posts: 2888
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:06 am
Location: HuaEireHin

Re: British English

Post by JimmyGreaves » Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:38 pm

Is this the tree house that was blown down, put on a crane and then raised again with kids inside?

Look, the kids are going up in the tree house :P
Diplomacy is the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he looks forward to making the trip

Dr Mike
Guru
Guru
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: British English

Post by Dr Mike » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:02 am

Although I am British/Canadian my daughter is American, born and educated in the US.
She works in PR/Marketing and went to London for four years. Although she writes really well she was VERY nervous that there, in the home of the English language, working in an agency where language was the heart of the business she would be the idiot American.
Fortunately, she had gone to Catholic School in the US and the sisters had hammered grammar, spelling and punctuation into her.
She was amazed, within a few days all the British staff we bringing their work to her for correction as their British schools had neglected language instruction. Within a month,she was promoted, given a private office and given the title of Editor and nothing went out of the office without her approval.
Chinese Hong Kongers and Singaporeans who attended old fashioned 'British type" schools, have told me similar stories.

User avatar
sandman67
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4421
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:11 pm
Location: I thought you had the map?

Re: British English

Post by sandman67 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:30 pm

Fish is an odd one.... in modern accepted use fish is a plural and singular....so it would be "fish of the mekong" not fishes.

Fishes is an archaic term....loaves and fishes. It also sounds clunky....
Biff and Chip went up in the tree house. I think that the proper word is into.
Correct (unless the tree house itself is going up) ...if it sounds wrong it usually is
The children went down the garden. I think there should be the word to or into after 'down'.
Correct again - to, into or through are needed to make the sentence make any sense...unless you are from London. "went down" implies movement in a space, as opposed connecting the movement to a thing like "the stairs" or "the ladder", so to make any sense the sentence should also contain some form of additional descriptive "direction". In its OP form it may be acceptable but sounds bloody awful and again sounds slangy or clunky.

The bugger with English is it's a very fluid language that constantly changes. I'm not that finicky about grammar and such, but examples like the two in the OP make me cringe. In spoken form they sound slangy, in written form in a school book it's just plain wrong.

PS: It's not British English...it's just plain old English. All other variants, such as American English - (archaic spelling and words meaning completely different things/being misused eg "Esq.") - require an epithet before "English"....the mother tongue does not.


:cheers: :cheers: :cheers:
"Science flew men to the moon. Religion flew men into buildings."

"To sin by silence makes cowards of men."

User avatar
richard
Deceased
Deceased
Posts: 8805
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2003 1:59 pm
Location: Wherever I am today

Re: British English

Post by richard » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:41 pm

A word that makes me cringe is 'gotten' :(
RICHARD OF LOXLEY

It’s none of my business what people say and think of me. I am what I am and do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. It makes life so much easier.

Dr Mike
Guru
Guru
Posts: 674
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:33 pm

Re: British English

Post by Dr Mike » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:02 pm

Gotten, I agree, it sounds ugly and sounds SOOOO american---its actually old English--as is Fall for autumn.
One of the most readable books on the language is Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson, who documents all this.

Arcadian
Ace
Ace
Posts: 1860
Joined: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:35 am

Re: British English

Post by Arcadian » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:16 pm

In the UK we live IN a road or street, but in the USA you ON a road or street.
We talk to, Americans talk with.

User avatar
PeteC
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 22032
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:58 am
Location: All Blacks training camp

Re: British English

Post by PeteC » Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:15 am

All of this is an interesting dilemma concerning international schools, but unfortunately real life for my daughter and other students. Besides what can be considered an incorrect text book, which is probably one of many, we have English speaking teachers from: England, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada, Philippines, South Africa and Australia. She is getting bombarded by different accents and, most likely different spoken usage and grammar. I guess no real harm though as it exposes her to everything and in the long run probably an advantage. Thanks to everyone for your input. :thumb: Pete :cheers:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Source

User avatar
barrys
Legend
Legend
Posts: 2137
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 1:52 pm
Location: Enjoying the sea air on a boat around Pak Nam Pran

Re: British English

Post by barrys » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:52 am

prcscct wrote:All of this is an interesting dilemma concerning international schools, but unfortunately real life for my daughter and other students .... we have English speaking teachers from: England, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada, Philippines, South Africa and Australia. She is getting bombarded by different accents and, most likely different spoken usage and grammar .. :thumb: Pete :cheers:
As long as they really are qualified teachers, I think she's very lucky Pete.
Being exposed to languages at an early age is one of the best things for a child's development and education in my view.

User avatar
dtaai-maai
Addict
Addict
Posts: 9812
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Hua Hin

Re: British English

Post by dtaai-maai » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:10 pm

Roel wrote: My understanding (as a non-native English speaker)...
And it has to be said that the understanding of non-native English speakers is often far superior to that of the 'natives' - particularly with regard to grammar.

Only just spotted this interesting thread, Pete.

'Use of English' is a thorny issue whichever English-speaking country you come from, and the Brits are often among the very worst offenders - a quick look around HHAD will confirm that! It becomes glaringly obvious (to me, anyway) when watching footballers being interviewed.

After years of PR coaching, Beckham manages to string quite a few coherent sentences togevvah (oops), but listen, for example, to the current (well, today's) England captain John Terry followed by William Gallas or Drogba or... well, many of the overseas players in English football. There's no question whose English is technically better. Not just technically, the depth and breadth of vocabulary and the use of imagery is often much more imaginative as well (seagulls following trawlers aside...). I'd love to know how good Beckham's Spanish was when he was at Real Madrid.

Good English (really good, fluent English) should be a huge advantage in Thailand, and having an English-speaking parent should be a huge advantage. Lots of shoulds, I know, but having a Brit or US father doesn't automatically make a child bilingual. I'm sure you know this already, Pete, but for anyone with luk kreung, there's loads of info on the Net about raising a child bilingually. You can't leave it to the schools, especially here.
My neighbour's kids (5 and 7) are half French and spent a year in France. They speak perfect Thai, almost fluent French and passable English.
barrys wrote: Being exposed to languages at an early age is one of the best things for a child's development and education in my view.
Couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, exposure to the wrong type of language-learning at an early age isn't so easily undone, and that's the problem in Thailand.
sandman67 wrote: The bugger with English is it's a very fluid language that constantly changes.
Oh very yes!
sandman67 wrote:PS: It's not British English...it's just plain old English. All other variants, such as American English - (archaic spelling and words meaning completely different things/being misused eg "Esq.") - require an epithet before "English"....the mother tongue does not.
And God Save The Queen! Victoria, of course... :wink:
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and St George!’

User avatar
margaretcarnes
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4222
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:28 am
Location: The Rhubarb Triangle

Re: British English

Post by margaretcarnes » Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:55 am

I fully agree - or 'agree fully' perhaps? that 'going up in the tree house' is wrong when used in the context of climbing up into it.
'Going down the garden' would be acceptable if they were already in it., although it would sound better if qualified e.g. 'going down to the end of the garden' - in which case of course the word 'down' would be unecessary.
If they were indoors then 'going out into the garden' would be correct.
This use of the phrase 'going down' is used too often in English as a slang abbreviation, as in 'going down the pub' or 'going down the inlaws' etc, but the most interesting useage is 'going down to London', which is used by people who are travelling North to London as well as South, East or West! Apparently the term comes from the 'up' and 'down' tracks of the railway lines - or so I've heard.
A sprout is for life - not just for Christmas.

User avatar
johnnyk
Legend
Legend
Posts: 2861
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:23 pm

Re: British English

Post by johnnyk » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:15 am

prcscct wrote:All of this is an interesting dilemma concerning international schools, but unfortunately real life for my daughter and other students. Besides what can be considered an incorrect text book, which is probably one of many, we have English speaking teachers from: England, Ireland, Scotland, USA, Canada, Philippines, South Africa and Australia. She is getting bombarded by different accents and, most likely different spoken usage and grammar. I guess no real harm though as it exposes her to everything and in the long run probably an advantage. Thanks to everyone for your input. :thumb: Pete :cheers:
I taught English for 10 years and have foreign homestay students in my house. I tell them its a good thing to hear English spoken by people from different places because it can help their listening skills. If all they heard was old-style BBC English they would be in a bad way when travelling in places like India or Oz or parts of the USA.
I also tell them English is crazy and illogical unlike the Latin languages, its a soup made from many other languages.
Example: hydroelectricity and aquaculture, each referring to water
"Hydro" = Greek for water
"Aqua" = Latin for water

Its a dynamic language, adding new words every day and dropping others, exasperating and glorious at the same time.
Happiness can't buy money

User avatar
margaretcarnes
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4222
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:28 am
Location: The Rhubarb Triangle

Re: British English

Post by margaretcarnes » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:59 am

Arcadian wrote:In the UK we live IN a road or street, but in the USA you ON a road or street.
We talk to, Americans talk with.

Two good - (and rare!) examples of American English being more sensible IMO.
Surely we live 'in' a house 'on' a street? And talking 'with' someone does sound more polite than talking 'to' them.
Or is it that we 'talk to' and 'discuss with'? :wink:
A sprout is for life - not just for Christmas.

User avatar
johnnyk
Legend
Legend
Posts: 2861
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:23 pm

Re: British English

Post by johnnyk » Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:25 am

One Americanism I don't enjoy is, "Do you want out?" when the speaker means "to go out".
Happiness can't buy money

User avatar
margaretcarnes
Rock Star
Rock Star
Posts: 4222
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:28 am
Location: The Rhubarb Triangle

Re: British English

Post by margaretcarnes » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:19 am

johnnyk wrote:One Americanism I don't enjoy is, "Do you want out?" when the speaker means "to go out".
Which brings to mind that classic line in the movie 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' --'Take the dog out'...Bang :wink:
A sprout is for life - not just for Christmas.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests