alphabets, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and the evolution of English
This is a linguistic reflection inspired by PEP 3131.
English is a language that has undergone a major transformation in the last 200 to 300 years. It used to be spoken mostly on one particular island across the channel from France. Now it's spoken worldwide. Two of the larger populations of English speakers, residents of the UK and residents of the US, live an ocean away from each other.
Unlike Python, English never had a PEP process. It naturally evolved. But like Python, English has been promoted, for various reasons, as a worldwide language, mostly successfully. English is also like Python in the sense that it had a mostly fresh start during certain colonizations, but it still had backward compatibility issues.
1) US and UK residents can mostly converse with each other.
2) American English has diverged from British English in vocubalary, although many of the differing words are esoteric, or are inherently culturally incompatible, or have synonyms recognized on both sides of the ocean, or are idiomatic expressions.
3) American English differs from British grammar only in pretty non-fundamental areas. American English, despite 200 years of evolution away from its parent, preserves subject-verb-object ordering. Adjectives almost always precede nouns. Differences come down to subtle things like how you deal with collective nouns, etc.
4) Some words are spelled differently between American English and British English, but the spellings are generally mutually understanded by all speakers. (Even on the same side of the ocean, spelling can be ambiguous in English, so variant spellings often arise [more often, than, say, Spanish].)
5) American English and British English still have the exact same alphabet. A to Z.
Are there analogies here to be drawn to Python? Thoughts?
On AmE and BrE:
"America and England are two nations divided by a common language."
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