Because most American dialects are rhotic, they think they are more linguistically conservative than southern British English which mostly isn't. But they also mostly have a large number of vowel mergers, many more than most of the UK. Both have changed pronunciation a lot, far more than we think.


Yeah, I've seen the argument a bunch of times and rhoticity is the only actual example I've ever seen.


I mean if we're going for phonological conservatism then Scottish English with its monophthongs where elsewhere innovated diphthongs has got to be up there


Good luck convincing Americans that they speak English in Scotland


In my experience listening to 'restored' Elizabethian era accents, it sounds a lot like West Country.


Even reconstructed early American accents sound more West Country than modern American.


Ah, but which Elizabethan accent? Dialect diversity in the British Isles has always been huge. You could no more talk about a single accent then than now


For sure. By definition hard to recreate, but it was based on the dialects Shakespeare wrote in. Which would probably have been understood by Londoners and Southern East England.


To my ear Dorset sounds closest.


The flowchart goes like this. Do you sound like a pirate? > You have a more traditional accent. That being said, I wonder about how traditional other regional accents like say a Yorkshire accent or a manc accent.


Exactly, which place's accent is the reconstructed accent supposed to be?


Where can I listen to ’restored’ Elizabethian era accents?


This is a good video from a respected Uni:https://youtu.be/gPlpphT7n9s


Ur Maws a monophthong!


I’ve no idea what any of this means, but it sounds interesting. Side note, i read that American English is based on an older version of English. English English got standardised and updated a couple of times. Reading something from the 16th century, the spellings are completely different.


All versions of English are based on older versions of English. American English is based on a specific dialect of English, just like all other dialects Claiming one is better than the other based on where it's from is redundant and a waste of time


mmm rhoticity chicken 😋👌


And it is a bad one given the number of us in uk who dont have a rhotic accent and the fact there are still millions in the US who do.


That, and individual, cherry-picked cases of vocabulary such as "fall" pre-dating "autumn".


Autumn is Latin though? Autumnus.


Yes, but "fall" was in use in English before we adopted the word "Autumn", making it the older term in use *in English*, though not necessarily the older word overall.


Off to Google pretty much everything you said, and in the meantime take my upvote for casually using linguisticy stuff in everyday conversation!


Thank goodness you're looking stuff up yourself - I'm not a linguist, just interested in it, and I'd hate anyone to rely on my scraped-together knowledge. Thank you for your kind words


My pleasure, and your info is 100% reliable. I'm just adding short definitions in case there's any other dummies like me reading along! - Rhotic: Uses a Hard R. I'm a non-rhotic speaker so I would say "Uses a Hahd Ah" 😆 - Vowel Merger: When two different vowels or vowel pairs are given the same pronunciation. Eg, Cot and Caught. My accent doesn't do vowel mergers so I would say "Cot and Cort."


The Mary-marry-merry one always horrifies me. At what point do we just say AmE it's just a bunch of rhotic growling :p


Hehe, you're right, it does sound a bit like growling. "Squirrel Warrior" would be a good one


Squirrel Warrior in a Caramel Mirror


Blame the mid-westerners for this one. Most of us in the heavily populated east don't do this.


Ah fuck THAT explains why British sounds more "proper and classy" to my ears (Canadian, but in Alberta so our accent is closer to an American one here) The lack of vowel merges


American English is absolutely chock full of those mergers. It's my main problem with it, basically all words with a strong vowel sound in the middle all sound the same. It lacks diversity


Thank you, I learned some new stuff today!


Me too! And you're very welcome.


I know that is what they are referring to, but it is extra funny because they are only speaking of spelling, and rhotic dialects doesn't manifest itself in the spelling. They have taken some factoid from the headline of some article, and then applied it to this subject, which is completely unrelated to that. Americans spell words the way they do because of Noah Webster, who defined American spelling in the 1820s.


And spelling is secondary, although eventually it can affect pronunciation.


As the British pronunciation of "herb" demonstrates. Whereas the Americans have kept the original pronunciation with the silent h.


Then watch them tell someone speaking in authentic 18th century English to "talk properly". It's just American exceptionalism, nothing more nothing less


It's rare to read a top post in this sub that's actually cogent, factual, and informative. Thanks!


Thank you very much :-)


Rhoticity is actually an argument for it being older. High German also doesn't pronounce the r's


Ok, so here's the thing. Neither are what was spoken in the 16-1700s, they share a common ancestor back then and have since developed in different directions. Though even that is oversimplifying since dialects were a thing as well.


VVe thank thee, beloued redditour, for ſharing thy ingine on this matter.


Today I learned why the French call W double-V


Afaik only english calls it double U


In Spanish, W can be called «doble u» or «doble v», or even «doble uve»


I remember that now, but in my class everybody said doble v because that is just more natural to us


In german we just call it "we" [vay but without the y-sound]


So what do you call a V?


Vau (fow)


In Dutch (kinda the middle ground between German and English) it's "vay" for V and "way" for W.


The letters j,k,v,w,y,z aren’t original Latin letters and were all adopted later. So they’re treated inconsistently in different European languages. V was just a different way of writing a letter U, hence Roman inscriptions like SENATVS POPVLVSQVE ROMANVS. Add in the arrival of printing press and you get various usage conventions like ‘uppercase is V, lowercase is u’ until everyone agreed it’s a different letter. J began as a variant of i. Most Latin-derived words you can think of just used a letter i wherever there’s a J now: Iulius, iustice. J sounds very different in English, German or Spanish. Having decided we need a W for the Germanic languages, printers initially used two Vs to save costs. Still only really seen in foreign loanwords in Spanish and Italian like whisky or sandwich. K, Y and Z are from Greek. Originally only appearing in Greek loanwords but now common. Y called in several languages ‘Greek i.’


Fun fact, the K in Knight and Knife weren't always silent. https://ginsengenglish.com/blog/silent-k-words


Knight and Knecht (German/Dutch) are cognate and meant a young man. In German/Dutch the meaning pejorated to servant, while in English it meliorated to knight. Knight otoh is Ritter in German, which is cognate to Rider. So Knight Rider is cognate to Knecht Ritter in German :-D


Reminds me of the different words for castle. In English you obviously have 'castle' and 'Fortress', and in German you have 'Brug', 'festung' and 'Schloß'. But Dutch just uses every bit of the Germanic language tree so it has 'kasteel', 'burcht', 'slot', 'fort' and 'vesting', with all of them being used for castles. I guess it's appropriate the Netherlands are physically in the middle between Germany and England.


Kastell and Fort are used in German as well.


That's some awesome k'nowledge!


This should help clarify what OOP might believe. https://uk.news.yahoo.com/why-american-english-more-traditional-135739625.html


Apparently Shakespearean English sounds “somewhat Bristolian” when reconstructed. https://youtube.com/watch?v=uQc5ZpAoU4c&t=2m58s


Which is also the stereotypical pirate accent.


Yarr, that be GREAT news!


Gurt lush news.


I was thinking along the same line. Icelandic is similar to the language we used to speak in Scandinavia. We have since diverged in to 3 different languages. Using the same logic as op being that the oldest country speaks the traditional language, Icelandic would be (modern) even though that language is older. Except it is we in Scandinavia that have "modernized" or at least changed our language significantly while Iceland have kept it more traditional despite once being a colony.


Scandinavia also had two groups of dialects/languages before modern languages developed, West Norse and East Norse. The former developed into Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese (along with dead languages) and the latter into Danish and Swedish


I watched an interesting video on YouTube where a professor of Old Norse was speaking to someone from Iceland, Denmark and Norway. The Norwegian and Dane were mostly lost but he may as well be speaking Icelandic, as the third guy understood everything. Edit: [Here is said video for anyone interested.] (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MRfVHU9fr0)


Quebecois French is another example of this.


Icelandic is also very similar to Old English, in fact I think academics use Icelandic to work out the tricky bits of the former


Actually Icelandic is just as modern as any of the others, that's sort of my point. While Icelandic is more similar in grammar and vocabulary to the common ancestor of all North Germanic languages, it is not identical to it. It's just that languages evolve at different rates, so Icelandic is in no way "older" than any other languages.


Literally lost on these people, they don't actually care about history, they just want to assert their authority over the way we communicate


Aren't there areas of Britain that preserved pre-Great Vowel Shift vowel sounds, too?


I have no idea, I just know how these things are viewed from a linguistic perspective. That is, any language in the present is as modern as any other, they just differ in how much they've evolved, as language evolution isn't a constant.


I just can't, why do they think it's called "English" if it's traditionally American, it's like some people in America genuinely believe English is an American made language.


It's because someone somewhere did a comparative study on English accents and found out that America retained more rhoticity than England. An American journalist jumped on this and announced that this meant that American accents are more like the accents we had during Shakespeare's time and Americans who read this went wild for it and spread it. It's nonsense obviously. There are still a variety of rhotic accents in the UK, none of which sound even remotely similar to each other, or any American accent. And this case, it seems like they've gone even further and decide that it also means the language as a whole is more traditional in America.


I'm gonna be the devil's advocate here. Even if a language is originated in one place, once it reaches other territories, the language will continue to evolve in both places and both are equally valid. Of course, some Usonians go the other way around and claim their English is more valid, but don't be fooled, the opposite claim is just as lame. This goes for English, Spanish, French, Portuguese... And even for different dialects within the same country.




> I'm gonna be the devil's advocate here. Nothing about what you are saying is relevant to the actual discussion or what is meant in the OP though. The OPs post is talking about which one is closer to the original English first arrived on the continent, not whether the current version is valid. And American English is perfectly valid of course, completely and entirely. It's American English though.


You are misunderstanding the argument being made. They are saying that American English is just British English from 300 years ago. That is why they call it 'traditional'


And that is not true.


I didn't say it was.


American is more similar in terms of rhocicity, but it's also very different in many other ways. Neither is all that close to what it was back then.


Man, it's so stupid you got downvoted for most people's lack of comprehension skills. Reddit be reddit, oh well.


🇬🇧 - English (Traditional) 🇺🇸 - English (Simplified)


English (Simplified) for Americans who are not able to grasp how the language is spoken and how words are formed due to a set of rules to help with pronunciation


They see the U in colour and have a panic attack


Personally I only have panic auttacks. The traditional variety.


I don't like the "u" colour. But I hope you'll consider me and make it an "us"


Colousr. (The s is silent yet unequivocally important)


I blame Noah Webster! This is all his fault!


Unironically so. Rest of the world teaches some form of research-supported phonics syllabus in primary school. The shift towards rote-learning and spelling bees as the primary means of instruction was a unquiely American trend.


Let's just set the flag to an Australian one and call it English (Standard). Im sure that will settle it once and for all.


ah that would make more sense lmao


“English spellings don’t make any sense” it’s okay to not have any knowledge of language development and why things are spelt and pronounced certain ways but it’s weird to not know any of that and then give a meaningless opinion on it anyway. Like the commenter who said “why use re instead of er when it doesn’t make sense”. It does make sense. The word centre comes from Greek *kentron* and then Latin *centrum* so it’s pretty obvious how the spelling developed. And also phonetics don’t work like that, the e isn’t “just there”.


>The word centre comes from Greek kentron and then Latin centrum so it’s pretty obvious how the spelling developed. That doesn't mean you have to spell it like the Romans. Italian is the closest language to Latin amd they have changed the spelling of many words. German uses the word "Cetrum" too, but we spell it "Zentrum". We also turned 'Photo' into 'Foto' and 'Cigarette' into 'Zigarette', because those are the appropriate German spellings. The English disregard for spelling and pronounciation is not the norm.


It’s not a “disregard” for spelling or pronunciation, I’m not sure where that sentiment comes from. English may seem like it has illogical systems but it really doesn’t, just multiple influences that inform how we use it. I’m also a native German speaker, Zentrum and Zigarette are spelt differently to centre and cigarette because they’re pronounced differently, not because it’s the “proper” spelling.


Damn zigarette sounds metal as hell


I'm born and raised in the US, and UK English is better than American English because Brits aren't nearly as bothered by the word "cunt" as we Yanks tend to be. It's a great word. It should be used more often.


“You cunt” “He’s being a bit cunty today” “You cunting wanker” can also combine with “cuntwad” “cunt stain” “He’s a dribbling cunt” “cuntwaft” “he’s cunting you off mate” and many, many more, you can get really creative with it


Stop it. Piers Morgan might appear.


😂 He’s what I would refer to as a “nuclear grade cunt”


Breaking news : today some cunt did something cunty to some other cunt. But they were both cunts, so fuck those cunts. It's also inclusive as you can see.


Top cunt, smart cunt, special cunt...me fellow cunce.


Wait till you hear cunt screamed by a bogan, you might reconsider


*Scarnon yaffarrncunce?*


I'm the country member


*yes, I remember* RIP Gough.


If you want to see a masterclass of "cunt" watch the film Sexy Beast with Ben Kingsley. When he's not pretending to be Ghandi he's a right cunt! https://youtu.be/iSBH80jm-rc Possibly one of the most terrifying depictions of a human being ever on film.


No it shouldn’t


Today's game: r/shitamericanssay or r/badlinguistics?


POV: the american school system failed you


That's been torn apart for decades. There are people in this country who can't even read analog clocks.


Geezus, how arrogant does one have to be to tell the english that there’s is not the proper english.. yours is. It’s always the same argument, like they all read it in the same article. Geezus 🙄


And this idiot didn't even read the article they linked as their source. Second paragraph of the article: "That’s not entirely right. The real picture is more complicated."


IMHO, it's more stupidity than arrogance. I was born, raised, and educated in a part of the US that is non-rhotic. We were taught that the English language came from England, as did most of our legal system. There has been a push over the last 50 years or so to spend less money on schools and teachers. So, as the saying goes, "You get what you pay for." Personally, I'd rather see teacher getting paid more, and politicians, school administrators, etc. get paid less.


You know, Austrian German (in terms of pronunciation and a few other aspects) is closer to Middle High German (medieval times) than German German is. It wouldn't occur to me in a thousand years to act as if that aspect was remotely relevant. While we're at the topic - I'm curious. We (Austrians) obviously don't get our own translation for websites. Do the Mexicans and Spanish get different ones? Is there different kinds of French available depending on whether you're from France or from one of the French-speaking African nations? I'm getting the sense that the only country consistently insisting on that kind of special treatment based on "but not all words are the same" is the US, but maybe I'm wrong.




We (Austrians) don't. In retrospect, I phrased it weird. Sorry for that.


>I'm getting the sense that the only country consistently insisting on that kind of special treatment based on "but not all words are the same" is the US, but maybe I'm wrong. \*coughs in former Yugoslavia*


Well, that's an extraordinarily dumb take.




I'm a guilty colonialist twat who is shite at 'soccer', but my god, let English actually be my own language.


Pisses me off when apps/sites use the Yank flag to describe English!


It is the English language, the English are the only ones who get to claim they speak it correctly. Except brummies, they speak it horribly


I'm a scouser. Brummies are posh.


When two of them speak to you at once you can just about claim assault.


You're not speaking English it's more a screech with syllables


now now, calm down!


this language im speaking in, whats it called again? wheres it come from? also i would argue re and er have very slight differences that still make the word sound as it should but in tiny ways. i think re sounds like rrrrr whilst er sounds like errr.


We should go back to Old English, just give this whole thing a redo and maybe there'll be some less conflict


ungōd earming! If you think I'm adding genders and cases back into my daily utterances you've got another thing coming.


UK: "we call it 'autumn' which can have its etymology traced back to the Latin word meaning 'to grow', as this is the time of year when harvest takes place" USA: "GEE WILLARD WE DONE CALL IT FALL BECAUSE THE LEAVES DONE DID FALL DOWN FROM ALL THE TREES YEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAW *fires revolver into air*"


The Old English word for Autumn is Hærfest. This ultimately becomes the word Harvest and the season is replaced with the Latin word Autumn.


The name 'Fall' was once used in Britain and taken to America while 'autumn' became more common in the UK. This is exactly what the American in the OP is talking about.


>while 'autumn' became more common in the UK Fall was barely used - Autumn came long before (hundreds of years before Fall was ever used), stayed the main word while Fall was around to a minor degree, and stayed after Fall died off.


Yes, some pronunciations and words that are no longer used in Britain still exist in America. Languages and dialects change and develop over time. The idea that that makes American English “more traditional” is batshit insane.


Americans lost each and every bit of authority on spelling with their/they’re/there, are/our, it’s/its and their constant mix-ups with -er/-or.


Look, any more of this shit and we won't let you use the language at all.


Good thing I'm studying other languages.


How can they forget that they are questionably Europe's worse export? I mean they celebrate being European and slaying the natives day every year.


To be fair the Spanish and smallpox did far more slaying of the natives than the US ever did. Also the worst export of Europe is definitely fascism and Imperialism/colonialism.


>Imperialism/colonialism Yeah, but that's exactly the USA are


Most American accents have retained rhoticity while most British accents haven’t. That it. That’s literally all that’s happened and it’s been twisted and retold and bullshitted around the internet to the point that there are now Americans who think that prior to the founding of America everyone in Britain spoke like Tom fucking Cruise. That one fucking tumblr post has a lot to answer for.


🤦‍♀️ the embarrassment of being from the US in ‘22


Is it old fashioned of me to think the parent form of English should be considered traditional? Like, whose English existed when North American languages were French, Spanish; and innumerable Native American languages and dialects?


Isn’t the difference usually Traditional vs. Simplified, but I guess if they used that metric they would only be proving that British English is traditional.


“But I don’t understand metric”


Gonna assume history was this person’s least favorite class in school. Since they clearly don’t understand any of it.


Motherfucker the american accent also changed over the years. People havebeen saying yeet traditionally and religously for no more then.... I actually don't know for how long we been saying shit like that. I hope less then a decade.


That's a trifecta.


There are letters missing in American words literally because of capitalism I mean what do you expect from these people


What no functional literacy does to a mf.


Yank here, I can’t believe I just found this sub. This is my new favorite (favourite) thing. Can’t wait to see what other shit we come up with next


England: 927 AD United States: 1776 AD Americans: Our English is older.


If it is a flash light, why does it stay on?


Yeah British English is really new, American English is the oldest and should be the standard. /s It's why our youngest traditional churches are twice the age of the US. In fact we have a lot of pubs that are older


He literally got those two backwards. British English is the original while American English is more modern.


No english spelling makes any sense. Anyone that says it does is just coping with the fact that their language is a poor assembly of various languajes without normalization


Sorry I can’t understand any of the spellings in your sentence, could you write this in Elder furthark or hieroglyphics please.


ᚾᛟ ᛖᛜᛚᛁᛊᚺ ᛊᛈᛖᛚᛚᛁᛜ ᛗᚨᚲᛖᛊ ᚨᚾᛁ ᛊᛖᚾᛊᛖ. ᚨᚾᛁᛟᚾᛖ ᚦᚨᛏ ᛊᚨᛁᛊ ᛁᛏ ᛞᛟᛖᛊ ᛁᛊ ᛃᚢᛊᛏ ᚲᛟᛈᛁᛜ ᚹᛁᚦ ᚦᛖ ᚠᚨᚲᛏ ᚦᚨᛏ ᚦᛖᛁᚱ ᛚᚨᛜᚢᚨᚷᛖ ᛁᛊ ᚨ ᛈᛟᛟᚱ ᚨᛊᛊᛖᛗᛒᛚᛁ ᛟᚠ ᚢᚨᚱᛟᚢᛊ ᛚᚨᛜᚢᚨᛃᛖᛊ ᚹᛁᚦᛟᚢᛏ ᚾᛟᚱᛗᚨᛚᛁᛉᚨᛏᛟᚾ ~~I'm not the OC just thought it would be funny lmao~~


Now do Younger!


ᚾᚬ ᛁᚾᚴᛚᛁᛋᚼ ᛋᛒᛁᛚᛚᛁᚾᚴ ᛘᛅᚴᛁᛋ ᛅᚾᛁ ᛋᛁᚾᛋᛁ. ᛅᚾᛁᚬᚾᛁ ᚦᛅᛏ ᛋᛅᛁᛋ ᛁᛏ ᛏᚬᛁᛋ ᛁᛋ ᛁᚢᛋᛏ ᚴᚬᛒᛁᚾᚴ ᚢᛁᚦ ᚦᛁ ᚠᛅᚴᛏ ᚦᛅᛏ ᚦᛁᛁᚱ ᛚᛅᚾᚴᚢᛅᚴᛁ ᛁᛋ ᛅ ᛒᚬᚬᚱ ᛅᛋᛋᛁᛘᛒᛚᛁ ᚬᚠ ᚢᛅᚱᚬᚢᛋ ᛚᛅᚾᚴᚢᛅᛁᛁᛋ ᚢᛁᚦᚬᚢᛏ ᚾᚬᚱᛘᛅᛚᛁᛋᛅᛏᚬᚾ ~~I lowkey don't think any of this transliteration is completely accurate, I'm just using a transliteration generator lmao.~~


She delivers!


What you’ve just described is all naturally evolved languages. Sorry we don’t have a Peoples Republic Ministry for Languages like China or France


L'académie Française doesn't stop the language from normally evolving. I mean they are just here to edictate language standard from schools or what's in the dictionary. But they adapt to how the language evolves naturally. And anyways there's no linguists at the Académie Française. It's an honorific title for writers.


Putting to one side British English and American English using different words for objects. Wasn't American spelling a result of News Papers charging per letter so companies started shortening words? So, American English is literally English (simplified). Might be wrong?


Where did ‘British English’ come from? It’s just English.


"British English" comes from the fact that other countries now speak a version of English that is different to the original, eg American English and Hiberno English (Ireland).


Okay, but that doesn’t really answer my question.


The Newspaper charging per letter as the reason for American spelling is a load of shite, I've seen it used as an explanation a lot but it's false. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/american-spelling-canceled/


I've heard this before but I'm pretty sure it was Webster or something


Smartest American


Unless the website uses Month/Day/Year, you can sit down.




Pet peeve but i hate when people misuse the expression point of view lol Grinds my gears lol


I never knew this sub existed until now, I will browse for an eternity




I love the smell of copium


What the fuck is pastdecisions trying to say


The commenter just saying “No” to the insanity is a mood for sure


The stupidity is strong with this one


Americans always bring up how "re" like in "centre" makes no sense, and should be spelt "center", while having no problem with words like "castle". By their logic it would make more sense to spell it "castel", or even "cassel" if they really wanted to spell words how they're pronounced.


Ken i hev a gless ovadder pliss?


Am I the only one that thinks that the *re* sound at the end of words like *centre* is actually a subtly different sound from *er*.


How about English (Simplified) for the low brain cell count.


It's kinda like humans and monkeys, they both split off and evolved seperately. Neither is more traditional than the other, they're just different


[Soccer](https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C44&q=stefan+szymanski+soccer+2014&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&t=1670391122236&u=%23p%3DkE98vQS_b_wJ) is a British word


Like all the English words


Your point?


And football is older and was the default before, during, and long after "soccer" was a term - it's more of a brand really, one that never took off as a name to use.


This cant be real


Anger 😠


I think I’d rather be a member of ISIS than be one of these kinds of Americans




What the fuck have they been drinking




Bunch of Fanny’s


From my understanding the spelling of American English is the more modern the pronunciation is in most cases more traditional/native then British English.


What the fuck is wrong with these people? Also I grew up playing neopets back when neopets had a pretty English identity