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That's Not English: Britishisms, Americanisms, and What Our English Says About Us

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An expat’s witty, insightful exploration of English and American cultural differences through the lens of language.


A lifelong Anglophile, Erin Moore was born and raised in Florida, where the sun shines and the tea is always iced. But by the time she fulfilled her dream of moving to London, she had vacationed in the UK, worked as an editor with British authors, and married into an English American family. The last thing she was expecting was a crash course in culture shock, as she figured out (hilariously, painfully) just how different England and America really are. And the first thing she learned was to take nothing for granted, even the language these two countries supposedly share.

In That’s Not English, the seemingly superficial variations between British and American vocabulary open the door to a deeper exploration of historical and cultural differences. Each chapter begins with a single word and takes the reader on a wide-ranging expedition, drawing on diverse and unexpected sources. In Quite, Moore examines the tension between English reserve and American enthusiasm. In Gobsmacked, she reveals the pervasive influence of the English on American media; in Moreish, she compares snacking habits. In Mufti, she considers clothes; in Pull, her theme is dating and sex; Cheers is about drinking; and Knackered addresses parenthood.

Moore shares the lessons she’s had to learn the hard way, and uncovers some surprising and controversial truths: for example, the “stiff upper lip” for which the English are known, was an American invention; while tipping, which Americans have raised to a high art, was not. American readers will find out why bloody is far more vulgar than they think, what the English mean when they say “proper,” and why it is better to be bright than clever. English readers will discover that not all Americans are Yankees, and why Americans give—and take—so many bloody compliments, and never, ever say shall. (Well, hardly ever.)

That’s Not English is a transatlantic survival guide, and a love letter to two countries that owe each other more than they would like to admit.

223 pages, Hardcover

First published March 24, 2015

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About the author

Erin Moore

1 book16 followers
I am an American writer and former book editor living in London. I'm fascinated by the cultural differences between England and America, especially as they are expressed through language. In March 2015, Gotham Books (Penguin USA) will publish my book, THAT'S NOT ENGLISH: Britishisms, Americanisms and What Our English Says About Us. I live in Islington with my husband, our children, Anne and Henry, and our cat, Sukha.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 151 reviews
Profile Image for MISS Petra to you!  Say yes ma'am.
2,383 reviews33.9k followers
November 13, 2015
A linguistics professor was lecturing to her class one day. "In English," she said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

It didn't come from the book, but kind of sums up the differences between the English we speak. Also I thought it was quite a good joke, just quite good, like the book.

______

Profile Image for Jaylia3.
752 reviews129 followers
August 17, 2015
Reading about words is always an irresistible meta-pleasure for me, but Erin Moore’s book about the differences between British and American English adds another layer of fascination by exploring the cultural reasons behind the word use variations--why it is that two nations who share so much, including a common language, still can’t completely understand each other. I considered myself fairly fluent in “British”, I read lots of British novels and love to watch BBC shows, but almost every chapter taught me something I didn’t realize about the variations between the way everyday words are used on either side of the pond, and what the cultural implications of those differences are.

For me the word “quite” has always made whatever word it modifies stronger--"quite pretty” means “very pretty” in my lexicon--but according to Moore adding “quite” to “pretty” in England qualifies “pretty” downward instead, so saying someone is “quite pretty” would be translated to something like the semi-insulting “fairly pretty” in Ameri-speak. Moore uses “quite” to go into amusing and enlightening detail about the well-noted difference between the way Americans tend to express themselves with a lot of enthusiasm, whereas the British are more inclined to understatement.

That’s Not English has thirty-some short, entertaining, and informative chapters, each focused on the varied uses or non-uses of one word (including some words I’d never heard of--mufti?), and what those differences of language indicate about the culture and mindset of the two nations. Moore is an American who married into a British family, so she’s learned the differences between the two versions of English firsthand.

I read a free advanced review copy of this book supplied to me by the publisher through the website LibaryThing. Review opinions are mine.
Profile Image for Katerina.
792 reviews668 followers
May 5, 2021
3.5
I feel a bit stingy with my stars but can’t help it: the book is quite an elementary account of the differences between American English and British English.

The American author’s own experience and observations drawn from her living in London are somewhat curious but again, if you ever read social studies 101 or watched a number of TV shows you might have already arrived to the same conclusions.

However, for amateur English enthusiasts the book could be a good start. Unlike Kate Fox who’s dealing with the English exclusively Moore always offers an insight about Americans to balance the story.
Profile Image for Netta.
172 reviews131 followers
January 21, 2018
It might have been a neither witty nor insightful magazine column but it happened to be a book.
Profile Image for Indah Threez Lestari.
12.9k reviews232 followers
February 4, 2016
055 - 2016

Quite.

Versi Inggris: Tidak terlalu
Versi Amerika: Sangat

Quite rich.

Inggris: Tidak terlalu kaya.
Amerika: Sangat kaya.

Homely.

Versi Inggris: cantik
Versi Amerika: jelek

Jadiiii...

Kalau kita membaca buku dalam bahasa Inggris, perlu dilihat dulu penulis atau tokoh ceritanya orang mana, atau seperti apa konteks ceritanya. Cuma kata "quite" saja bisa mengubah arti sangat jauh.
Profile Image for Perri.
1,251 reviews47 followers
August 26, 2022
Nothing ground shattering here, but a fun, light read about the difference words make in American and UK culture. I rather quite fancied it. Three and a half stars
Profile Image for Emily.
1,695 reviews37 followers
October 24, 2015
I loved this from start to finish. It's an easy book to read on the side, reading a few chapters each day and savoring for as long as you can. At least, I'm glad I did it that way instead of devouring it, which would also be easy to do.
The author names each chapter for a word that Americans and English people use differently, or words one country uses exclusively (my favorite English ones are moreish, snaffling, and Crimbo). But it's not a book that's strictly about language. She takes each word and uses it as a launching point to talk about culture in England and America. As an American who married into an English family, she has a lot to say, and it's all presented with affection and humor.
I might need to add this to my personal library. It's one to be read and enjoyed more than once.
Profile Image for Shawn.
251 reviews42 followers
October 14, 2014
This was "witty and insightful", as promised, but what does it say about Me that I am firmly convinced that it would have been wittier and more insightful coming from a Brit?
Reading this, I was so aware of my prejudice, that I had to force my eyes steady when they felt compelled to roll upward. I've even given it an extra star, by way of recompense for my bias. That being said... You'll smile through this if you enjoy books that remind you that you're much smarter than the average reader, but modesty (or being British) prevents you from crowing about it.
Profile Image for Leah Mosher.
131 reviews159 followers
April 26, 2015
As a teenager, I was obsessed with all things British. I couldn’t get enough of The Arctic Monkeys, the strap for my guitar (on which I strummed clumsily along to Laura Marling songs) had a Union Jack print, and I infuriated my little sister by pretentiously saying I was skint instead of broke.

I finally got to live my dreams my sophomore year of college, when I spent a semester in London. I attended uni (university), got a lot of wear out of my wellies (rain boots), and made sure I always had my brolly (umbrella) packed in my bag. I giggled to discover that my orange juice contained juicy bits instead of pulp and marveled at the way out signs helping commuters exit the Tube. And in the pub, I had long, slightly confusing discussions with my classmates about the differences between England and America’s education systems and the words associated with them, including school, college, and uni. Despite the fact that we were all speaking English, it was clear that some of the words we used meant entirely different things in either language.

This all goes to say that there are few books that could be more up my alley than That’s Not English: Britishisms, Americanisms, and What Our English Says About Us by Erin Moore. It’s funny, informational, and thoroughly charming. It was fascinating to learn more about English society, but it was also just as interesting to read Moore’s observations about American culture. As an American expat who has made her home in London, she has been experienced both ways of life — and she is keenly observant of both.

That’s Not English is broken down into 31 chapters, each of which takes a different word (quite, knackered, and gobsmacked, to name a few), describes its use in both languages, and discusses what its usage reveals about either culture.

For three examples of Britishisms from the book, see the full review on Books Speak Volumes
Profile Image for Phair.
2,045 reviews41 followers
November 25, 2018
Each ch takes a word (ex: quite, mufti, gobsmacked, toilet, knackered, ginger) and discusses the use and meaning on both sides of the pond and what the differences say about our respective cultures. I liked that it went way beyond linguistics to look at historical reasons for the use or non-use of specific words or type of word (like swearing) or even societal things that differ like relationship terms. A good read. Nice long bibliography but no index.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,700 reviews41 followers
May 22, 2017
As a certified word nerd I gobbled up this fascinating comparison of British English and American English. I have long been curious about the differences I have observed between the two countries. Chips vs. fries. crisps vs. chips, biscuits vs. cookies, loo vs. restroom, fortnight vs. two weeks, and just what is a "bloody American?" My queries were, for the most part, answered in addition to an in-depth education about many aspects of the two cultures.
The book is reminiscent of Bill Bryson's work, not in terms of his style of humor but in that it is palatable enrichment. In other words, didactic text transported via engaging reading and highlighted by numerous observations both of the author and others.
Tidbit spoiler that's just too good not to share: scunner which is an antiquated Scottish noun for personal opinions, prejudices, and aversions. I know, I know, Scotland and England are not the same country. However, some of the words we use may be scunners for those across the pond. Why do Americans use euphemisms for toilet? Does one really want to rest in a public "restroom?" I've never applied powder there either.
As an American, accustomed to being able to "bespoke" nearly everything according to my personal preferences, this book was tailor-made for me.
Profile Image for Beth Kakuma-Depew.
1,626 reviews17 followers
August 5, 2015
Nice short chapters that dissect both American and English culture through the lens of language. While the introduction gives some background about the author, her roots as an Anglophile from Florida, the rest of the book is devoid of her personal story. For better or worse, depending on your opinion. I found it rather easy to put down and forget about.
4,676 reviews48 followers
December 23, 2014
A book consisting of several essays about the differences between American and England. The trouble is, the author is painfully parochial, not seeming to know there is a whole lot of America that is not in Manhattan.

Profile Image for Molly Mirren.
Author 6 books30 followers
February 28, 2020
I read this for research, and I found the differences in the two cultures quite fascinating. The author is also witty, which kept it from being too dry.
Profile Image for Simone Beg.
70 reviews1 follower
July 19, 2019
It’s an interesting enough read if you have a general interest in intercultural relations and linguistic differences.

The author entertains with anecdotes of her personal life as an American who moved to Britain. However, this way sometimes she seems to get a bit lost on random tangents. By the end of some chapters I found myself flipping back to the title of a chapter to find out what word it was, she’d been discussing just now. Another drawback for me was that many terms didn’t really seem to be in common usage anymore in neither countries. I am not sure if this is due to the author’s age or her social environment. There were quite some terms I barely ever heard used in either countries, while other more obvious terms were missing.

All over it felt a lot more like an intercultural blog made into a book. I’m not sorry I read it, but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest it to a friend either.
Profile Image for Keturah Lamb.
Author 3 books40 followers
January 5, 2021
*listened to audiobook*

This came up on my library app because the narrator was the one who'd just narrated the book I'd been listening to, "Alice in Wonderland". I'd been impressed by her voice, and thus wanted to hear it again in another format.

This was such a fun little book of the differences between American and English English. I wish I'd have read it before writing my Susan serial! Quite afraid to look at my book now and see the mistakes that will certainly face me.

I love how she celebrated the differences, even as she was thoroughly honest about some of the history. That some of the differences were merely cultural, but even then, more had to do with that they were also a direct result of ideologies, economical viewpoints, and so on. Such as the way we tip, being able to choose what goes on your sandwich, and so on. I found it very fascinating how English can be prejudiced against red-heads (gingers) and how that was indeed also a result of a political tiff between neighboring red-headed countries.

If you love words, if you love English, if you love quirky quintessential gems, this is the book for you ;)
Profile Image for Sophia Castillo.
71 reviews
November 20, 2022
A fascinating commentary on how choices in vocabulary reflect differences in culture, and how cultures are shaped by historical events. There were plenty of eye-rolling generalizations regarding the two cultures, but it was done knowingly (and is to be expected to some level with this kind of book).

It does stay fairly surface-level, but serves well as an introduction to the topic.

For those with even a passing interest in etymology, this is a great casual read/audiobook. The book can be taken chapter by chapter so the pacing is up to the individual reader. Personal anecdotes are interwoven throughout, keeping the reader/listener engaged.
Profile Image for Amy.
452 reviews3 followers
July 14, 2019
It was interesting, but not compelling, I have other things I'd rather read.
Profile Image for Robin.
96 reviews2 followers
May 9, 2018
Okay kids, story time. Over ten years ago I was an American studying abroad at Lancaster University in Lancaster, UK. I'd finally settled into my classes and schedule, figured out the train system, and could roughly calculate the difference between dollars and pounds in my head. I was comfortable at last and felt pretty satisfied with myself. Until one of my fellow British students started talking about revising for the exams. Revising, I thought? Revising what? I'd written some short papers, but no one had told me I needed to rewrite anything. My panic (I'm a classic over-achiever, thank you) continued as fellow students continued bringing up this idea of "revising". I finally asked about this and, after some confusion, I realized that, in the UK, "revising" does not mean "editing", as it does in the US. It means "studying"! I'd nearly forgotten this (now funny) misunderstanding, but reading the title of this book brought that memory back to me, and I laughed.

I kept laughing as I started reading. An absolute delight from cover to cover, Erin Moore's witty culture study/lingo analysis/memoir won't change your life but will make you laugh and think more about how you use the English language, whether you are American or British-born.

When American Erin Moore married into a British family and moved to the UK, the general idea was that, even though she was so far from home, at least she didn't have to learn a new language. But the longer she lived in the UK, the more she learned that, even though Americans and Brits technically speak the same language, the realities of how we use that language to describe ourselves and understand the world around us were very different. What follows are a number of chapters, featuring a particular British or American word (or the usage of a word) and showing the subtle conflict in how each culture understands or communicates around that idea. My personal favorite bits were from the "Sorry" chapter, in which we learn just how many ways the British can use that word in the most passive-aggressive manner, and the very different ways Americans and British use the word "quite." (Although she did include a chapter about why "cheers" is a silly thing for Americans to say, which I plan on willfully ignoring, because "cheers" is the best way to end every conversation, email, etc. I'm American, which, according to a chapter about this, means we are insufferably independent and can what we want.)

For those reading this review who aren't especially keen on history or language studies, don't think you are going to get a treatise on these topics. These are light chapters, usually between 5-8 pages. Yes, Moore definitely includes history and word usage, but they are interspersed with personal stories and funny examples. It's compulsively readable, and I read multiple chapters without even glancing at the clock. On the other side, for those of you looking for an in-depth language and cultural study...this isn't it. And that's really okay, because it's an awful lot of fun.

I suppose my only real objection was that, while the book was described in the introduction as being useful for both Americans and British folks in trying to understand one another's language, I really felt it skewed more towards Americans trying to understand British-isms. I don't think this is a fault nor is it probably preventable, as the author herself is American. But I did feel that the majority of the text inclined toward it being more interesting for American readers.

Still, "That's Not English" was a delightful, fun read. It brought back not only memories of my time abroad, but it also reminds its readers that cross-cultural communication is less of a fine art than it is an amusing example of trial and error, that may lead to good-humored understanding only after a good deal of misunderstanding.
Profile Image for Elaine Ruth Boe.
539 reviews30 followers
June 22, 2015
After putting aside a similar 'field guide to British culture' (Sarah Lyall's The Anglo Files) only 70 pages in due to gross generalizations and obvious bias, I was hesitant to begin another book that touted itself as a guidebook to the British. But I'm glad I took a chance on That's Not English, for I thoroughly enjoyed the dictionary style case study of the two countries.

Each chapter in That's Not English explores the similarities and differences between Brits and Americans through the definition of a word. Cheers, gobsmacked, dude, ginger. From the exclusively British to the transcontinental, the words illuminate how a shared language can unite and alienate in equal measure. Here are a few of my favorite topics:

Middle Class - Class status is stricter in Britain than in the U.S. It's based on more than income (the primary indicator of class in America). How you talk, what you do with your money, how you spend your free time--all are indicators of your social status in England. Most Americans are proud of being middle class, while 'middle class' in England is almost a term of insult.
Partner - in the U.S., 'partner' most often means 'same-sex partner.' For the British, 'partner' can take the place of boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband. In the U.K., marriage doesn't have to come before children; in fact, many Brits agree that it doesn't have to come at all if the parents are in a committed relationship. From dating to marriage, there are striking differences in how the two cultures approach relationships.
Yankee - Moore uses a passage from E. B. White to outline the gradations of this contested term: "To foreigners, a Yankee is an American. To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner. To Northerners, a Yankee is a New Englander. To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter. And in Vermont, a Yankee is somebody who eats pie for breakfast." By definitions one and five, I guess I'm a Yankee.
An American married to a Brit and raising her daughter in England, Moore achieves a level of objectivity in her writing that Lyall's book lacked. Americans like to choose how much they tip their waiters; Brits add a standard gratuity to all restaurant bills. Each practice works for the user. Who's to judge which system is 100% right? Moore's witty, cheeky tone reminds us of the difficulties of generalizing about a country. One Brit might agree with Moore's assessment of her country, another might not.

Even if I can't remember the various meanings of 'quite' that the British utilize, thanks to this book I will remember to allow for a certain degree of misinterpretation and confusion when conversing overseas. In all likelihood, I will offend and be offended due to linguistic interpretations. That's a bit scary. But that's also the point of study abroad--to learn about and adapt to new cultures. By the time I return stateside in December, I might boast that I'm bilingual: understanding (if not speaking) American and English English.
Profile Image for Tina Culbertson.
537 reviews19 followers
December 31, 2015
I enjoyed reading this book, one of the better non-fiction collection of essays I read in 2015. The author, Erin Moore, is American by birth growing up in Key West, Florida. She has always been a self-professed Anglophile so moving to London must have been a fulfillment of a childhood dream. Moore married into a British family and eventually relocated to London.

In the introduction the author corrects some popular misconceptions about what it means to say England versus Britain or The United Kingdom.

Evidently Great Britain includes the countries of England, Scotland and Wales. The United Kingdom includes not just Great Britain, but also Northern Ireland.

There are 31 terms explained and compared in separate chapters. Some words have the same meaning on both sides of the Atlantic while others are way off. The chapter titled Tip means to leave a gratuity but in England it could also mean garbage dump. I suppose one would know which meaning was inferred by how it was used in conversation. As the author explains, tipping isn’t the norm in England while Americans find it compulsory.

Other words that are different from our cultures are:
Elastoplasts = Band-Aids
“to go potty” is obviously a trip to the bathroom here while in England it means “to go a bit crazy.”
A child goes off to nursery in England and goes to preschool is the U.S.
Getting used to your child calling the letter Z zed and not zee
Diaper vs nappy
Sneaker in the U.S. is a trainer in England

The selected bibliography is excellent providing the reader with a lengthy list of book titles, blog addresses, periodicals and websites. This is handy as she mentions a few of the books in the various chapters. Also a good reference for the Anglophile seeking more reading material.

That’s it for my 2015 reviews!
Profile Image for Biblio Files (takingadayoff).
570 reviews291 followers
May 15, 2015
How many books about British vs. American English have we seen over the years? I think anyone who's the least bit interested in the topic already knows that it's 'football' in Britain (and the rest of the world) and 'soccer' in America. So Erin Moore, an American from Florida who married an American whose parents are British, doesn't waste our time with trivia like that. Instead, she takes an approach that has the anthropological bent of Kate Fox (Watching the English) with some Sarah Lyall (The Anglo Files) thrown in and the result is brilliant (in the British sense of very good, not in the American sense of being a work of Einsteinian genius).

One topic that Moore covers is that while many words are making their way from Britain to America and others are emigrating the other way, there are some words that simply will not travel. While Brits are well aware of the American "dude," they simply can't bring themselves to use it. And while Americans are willing to adopt just about any British phrases that catch our fancies, we often get them wrong. Lynn Truss, in her introduction, describes an NPR host asking her during an interview whether she considered herself a "berk or a wanker" which left Truss well and truly gobsmacked.

Moore goes beyond words and phrases and also talks about how Brits and Yanks differ in their amount of vacation time, the ceremonies involved in serving tea and in celebrating Christmas (Panto!), and what is the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom.

In addition to being unusually informative, Moore is a witty and entertaining writer. I want to read more of her writing.
Profile Image for K. East.
1,041 reviews13 followers
August 12, 2015
This nonfiction book is really a collection of rather collegiate essays about the character of the British and American societies. It masquerades as a book about the differences in language -- always amusing to speakers on both sides of the pond -- but it's really more about the differences in temperament, social strata, and national pride/personality.

The author is an American living in England with her husband and child and commenting on her observations about both cultures, using 31 vocabulary words as jumping off points for her observations. The case she makes for each word's use/abuse and/or misunderstanding in either country is followed by rather long-winded conversations about their etymology and current sociological reasons for their current interpretations.

As a long time word-lover, I found this book entertaining, at first. Always interesting to see how the same word can mean so many different things to different speakers. But even I grew tired of the lengthy passages about the shortcomings of each culture. This began to feel like a college dissertation rather than a book written for the popular press. While she is fairly even-handed in her approach to Britain and the US, she has chosen to live and raise her child in England, so there's obviously some small personal bias there.
Profile Image for Victor Sonkin.
Author 18 books308 followers
January 15, 2016
This is a wonderful and hilarious account of language and cultural differences between America and Britain, told by an expat American who lives in London with an English husband and children who are doomed to be English and to perceive the US as a foreign country. (The ice tea story was especially poignant.) It's balanced enough to be of interest to audiences on both sides of the pond; it's Anglophile without pandering and patriotically American without being nauseating. Lots of personal insights, historical details, quotes from current blogs, discussions of class distinctions and various social prejudices. Tea-drinking, tipping, the use of 'cheers' and 'OK' are covered among many other fascinating subjects. A true gem, indispensable for anyone wishing to understand the language barrier that exists between the Brits and the Yanks (there's a chapter on 'Yankee', too!).

Contents: Quite — Middle Class — Moreish — Mufti — Gobsmacked — Trainers — Sorry — Toilet (that was enlightening and unexpected! I didn't know the word was so studiously avoided everywhere) — Cheers — Knackered — Brolly — Bespoke — Fortnight — Clever — Ginger (also a revelation: being red-headed is a social stigma in the UK) — Dude — Partner ('partner' in the UK, 'gay partner' in the US) — Proper — OK — Whinge — Bloody — Scrappy — Pull — Shall — Sir — Yankee — Skint — Crimbo — Tip — Tea — Way Out.
Profile Image for Naomi.
453 reviews1 follower
January 29, 2015
Disclosure: I received this book for free through a Goodreads' First Read's giveaway.

I'm a sucker for any book that discusses languages, particularly those that focus on language differences or local dialects or the like. This book by Erin Moore perfectly fits the bill. It presents different words or phrases used in England and/or America, and discusses how they are similar and dissimilar. After reading this, I feel like I've learned some new words (for example, mufti and whinge), although I doubt I'll ever use them in actual conversation. And I feel like any individual from America or England would gain some knowledge in reading this book, because Moore presents an equal amount of information for each side of the Atlantic.

Moore balances this book through quotes and actual information from others, including experts in linguistics, as well as personal accounts and other less serious sources. These all lend to an entertaining read, that is informative without being dull.

I would recommend this to others!

Profile Image for Am Y.
742 reviews34 followers
October 14, 2015
Didn't really like this on the whole. The book is divided into many chapters based on the word the author wants to discuss: e.g. "tea", "dude", "knackered", "quite", etc. I found some chapters to be interesting, others not at all (some words were so obscure I'd never heard of them nor heard anyone using them), and in some the author rambled on so annoyingly I found it supremely unbearable. I'm not a fan of small talk and just like to get to the point. I appreciate my facts and information presented to me in a straightforward manner; I find it a waste of time having to sift through idle chatter and meaningless prattle just to get the point the author is trying to make... and in some chapters the point wasn't even clear!

Some of the more interesting words for me: toilet, way out (which we use here in Singapore too, instead of "exit", especially in carparks), bespoke, pull... there may be have been others too, but in some chapters the author blathered on so much I got lost.
Profile Image for Monika.
508 reviews146 followers
March 27, 2015
This is such a fun, lighthearted book about the idiosyncrasies between American and British English! That’s Not English isn’t so much about etymology or accents as it is about the implications, cultural context, and attitudes behind and related to our word choices, using our shared but oh-so-different language as its inspiration. Sometimes Moore's observations feel more like generalizations; it’s like she speaks in hyperbole, but there is certainly plenty of truth within her statements. But I like that she doesn’t spend too much time on each word. For a nonfiction read about language and word usage, this was never once tedious. To be honest, it was downright funny much of the time; I laughed out loud often! More of my thoughts on this title can be found on my blog at A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall.
Profile Image for Deanne.
1,775 reviews108 followers
December 21, 2015
Some interesting differences pointed out between the two languages though sometimes I did find myself wondering how she drew her conclusions. Maybe it's because she spent her time in the south and I'm from the Midlands. Dad was from Derbyshire and Mum is from Leicestershire, don't think I have ever heard anyone say chrimbo.
I'm from a family of coffee drinkers, the only person who could make a decent cup of tea was granddad, stronge enough to stand the teaspoon up in.
Still find it hard to believe that Americans get so little time off, mine is given in hours.Each year the NHS gives me 307.5 hours off (315 the years of the wedding and the jubilee), which works out at about 8 weeks, but I have worked for them for 15 years.
Profile Image for Theacrob.
238 reviews18 followers
February 9, 2017
Quick, fun read about how meanings have evolved here vs England. Interesting and insightful.
Profile Image for Ashley.
143 reviews98 followers
June 26, 2015
This book is much more than a catalog(ue) of vocabulary differences between British and American English. Yes, you'll learn why "quite well" has opposite meanings in each region -- but more importantly, you'll learn the differences in national psyche that cause that to be so. The "why" of the book is really what makes it a treat. A good book indeed.
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