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  1. #11
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Dear probus,

    Now the whole matter is getting more and more interesting. Would you suspect that someone using the have you-form is British or someone who is at least influenced by the British vernacular? Could that because of its Britishness perhaps be the reason why you perceive it to be snobbish or pedantic? Do Americans in general tend to consider the British in linguistic terms to be less lax? And what about the New England states, havenīt they preserved a lot of typical British traits as e.g. the have you-form (I donīt mean as in in the present perfect)?
    Hi Hucky:

    I have spent three years in London, and my opinion is that although "have you..." is perhaps heard more there than in North America, it is still less common than the other two forms. When I said "a foreigner", I was thinking of someone who has become rather fluent but is not fully conversant with the most used phrases.

    I think there are a few people on this side of the pond who think that some varieties of BrE are superior to AmE, so that was where the snobbish came from. And if one looks at the three forms logically, the got is quite unnecessary, and "do you have" is three words versus only two for "have you." So I thought some pedant might consider "have you" the most elegant of the three.

    As to New England and what Americans in general think, I'm sorry but you are dragging me beyond my depth.

    Probus

  2. #12
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hucky View Post
    Dear probus,

    Now the whole matter is getting more and more interesting. Would you suspect that someone using the have you-form is British or someone who is at least influenced by the British vernacular? Could that because of its Britishness perhaps be the reason why you perceive it to be snobbish or pedantic? Do Americans in general tend to consider the British in linguistic terms to be less lax? And what about the New England states, havenīt they preserved a lot of typical British traits as e.g. the have you-form (I donīt mean as in in the present perfect)?

    Greetings

    Hucky
    In the following response I speak solely for myself and it may or may not represent the majority of AmE speakers. First, I would suspect that someone using the "have you form" is British or learned the language in Great Britain but I would also consider accent in my evaluation. But I'm not sure how someone would be "influenced by the British vernacular". Give me some examples. I consider it neither snobbish nor pedantic. Second, with regard to considering the British to be less lax, I think you must understand that our (AmE) English is based upon BrE and unfortunately, I am not so proud of what, in some cases, it (AmE) has become and is becoming. But unfortunately also, as the saying goes "popular usage rules". I suspect that this is true in any language.

    With regard to New Englanders. Having spent three years in Massachusetts, the only noticeable trait for me was the accent, and I wouldn't call it BrE. The usual example, "park the car in Boston Yard" becomes "pack the cah in Baston Yad"
    Last edited by billmcd; 01-Mar-2011 at 20:55. Reason: addendum

  3. #13
    Vidor is offline Member
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    Default not a teacher

    Never in my life have I heard an American use the "Have you" construction. As for what is snobbish, I do agree that an American using British constructions is engaging in a rather silly attempt to sound sophisticated. I remember a coworker once saying that the "queue" to the bathroom was too long. Ridiculous.

    That said, I do like "gobsmacked".

  4. #14
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: not a teacher

    I feel the same when I hear restroom used in the UK.

  5. #15
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Have the Americans a clue too?

    It depends how you're defining Britishness- have you a may sound like Brideshead Revisisted English to some, but that's only reflective of a small number of BrE speakers nowadays, and BrE is changing at a great pace. AmE speakers may find the opposite on many things- BrE is more 'lax' in many ways. Over the years in many discussion, I have come across may AmE speakers expressing surprise at what we're using.

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