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Thread: questions

  1. #21
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd say take your pick and stick with it. I was describing a courgette over the phone to a Japanese friend and she had no idea what I meant. When she arrived at my house, she saw the vegetable and used the American word 'zucchini'. Now, I won't make the same mistake with eggplant\aubergine. If you have to learn one English, stick to it; it's up to American, British and other teachers to sort ourselves out.

  2. #22
    Susie Smith Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by twostep
    The British and the Americans - successfully divided by the same language. How about us innocent bystanders?
    Good question! I think the differences are interesting and rather amusing, but how do you "innocent bystanders" feel about these minor divergences among native speakers? Baffled? Amused?

  3. #23
    Susie Smith Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    ...,could you tell me whether a public school can be either a day school or a boarding school?
    In addition to tdol's reply, anybody can attend a public school. That meaning is expressed by the adjective 'public' (i.e. for the public sector). Public schools are run by and funded by the town, city, province, or state, through taxes. Private schools, on the only hand, are run by and funded by the private sector--parents, previous students, etc., who provide the funding for non-public schools.

    All the best,
    Now I am confused. :? Are we talking about the same thing? In the US I attended public schools which are free and can be attended by anybody, but I was told that the term "public school" has a different meaning in BE. I got the impression that it was the same as the American private schools and that the BE term for what I would consider a public school is "state school". Has this changed?

    public school/ n [C] a private British school, paid for by the parents, where children usually live as well as study (I'm quoting Longman Dictionary) (This is why I asked the question about boarding school/day school.)

    In Britain public schools are private. The reason for this is that they were public in the sense that they weren't training for ther church.
    Thanks, Tdol, for explaining the reason for the name "public". I was never able to understand it.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    Quote Originally Posted by twostep
    The British and the Americans - successfully divided by the same language. How about us innocent bystanders?
    Good question! I think the differences are interesting and rather amusing, but how do you "innocent bystanders" feel about these minor divergences among native speakers? Baffled? Amused?
    Innocent bystanders - more like those of us using either version of English as second language.

  5. #25
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    A great read for anyone interested in the development of the English language, and some of the differences between AE and BE is Bill Bryson's Mother Tounge, English Language and How It Got That Way. It's a surprising book, easy to read and very captivating. One of the most surprising things I learned in the book is that AE is really more conservative the BE! The british kept evolving the language, while the American, in isolation, tried to stop the evolution in order to maintain ties with their mother country.

  6. #26
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Fifty years ago, Brits were complainging about the way Americans were changing the language. Now it's the opposite.

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