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Divided by a Common Language: 11/28/06

Divided by a Common Language

As Divided by a Common Language notes, 70% of the world's native English speakers are American but British English is the most common dialect taught as a second language in the rest of the world. In the nearly two and a half centuries of independence have given rise to two very different dialects of English. The book says it serves as a must have survival guide for British tourists on holiday to the United States. While there are some useful tips, I hope this isn't their only guide as there are many mistakes in the the American side of things.

The author of the book is a British ex patriot who spent time living abroad first in New Zealand before settling in Florida. This book's lexicon and descriptions of the differences of life the UK versus life in the US. Unfortunately Florida is just one region of the United States and not necessarily a good one for extrapolating how the rest of the nation works (or talks)!

Here is my BookCrossing Review:

I enjoyed Divided by a Common Language but Christopher Davies didn't understand the United States as much as he thought he did when he wrote this book. There are many goofy assumptions about the United States and at least one error about British English. This copy is a first edition, a second one was published in 2001. Having not read that version, I'll hope that some of these errors have been corrected.

In the meantime, I plan to hold onto this book for a little longer. I want to do a series of blog posts about some of the sillier assumptions I found in this book. I don't plan to tear the book apart, just to use it as a starting point for an ongoing discussion on language.

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