When someone from Britain speaks, Americans hear a "British accent"...

DaveM asma61 at dsl.pipex.com
Fri Oct 7 08:44:23 CEST 2005


On Fri, 07 Oct 2005 00:33:43 -0000, Grant Edwards <grante at visi.com> wrote:

>On 2005-10-06, DaveM <asma61 at dsl.pipex.com> wrote:
>
>>>Frankly, I can't watch Shakespeare or movies like "the full
>>>monty" or "trainspotting" because I can't understand a damn
>>>word they say. British talk sounds like gibberish to me for the
>>>most part.
>>
>> Not just you. It always amuses me in trips to the US that
>> British voices (outside of the movies) are often subtitled,
>> while first-generation Americans whose English is. um,
>> limited, are not.
>
>What?!?  I've never seen a British voice (inside or outside of
>the movies) subtitled -- with the exception of one of a
>nightclub scenes in one movie (I think it was Trainspotting)
>where the dialog was inaudible because of the music.

I noticed this watching news footage rather than imported shows. I haven't
seen 'Trainspotting', but I have seen Scottish accents subtitled
(unnecessarily) on English TV, to understandable anger across the border -
so this isn't uniquely a US phenomenon, to be fair.

<snip>
>For example: In British English one uses a plural verb when the
>subject consists of more than one person.  Sports teams,
>government departments, states, corporations etc. are 
>grammatically plural.  In American, the verb agrees with the
>word that is the subject, not how many people are denoted by
>that word.
>
>In sports (thats "sport" for you Brits):

Yes.

> American: Minnesota is behind 7-0.  The Vikings are behind 7-0.
>  British: Minnesota are behind 7-0. The Vikings are behind 7-0.

True.

>In politics:

>  American: The war department has decided to cancel the program.
>   British: The war department have decided to cancel the program.

Not sure about this one. They may be used interchangeably as neither strikes
me as sounding "odd".

DaveM



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