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    #1

    different Englishes.

    Hi! I was given some examples coming from different Englishes. I guess some of them come from various parts of english speaking world, some from different slangs. I have no idea how to go about that as I can not find any reference resources. I have to identyfy where they come from, what part of them makes them unusual and whether I would or not use them myself. Here are examples:

    1. I like lying on the beach doing absolutely nothing.
    no idea
    2. She is like "no" and I am like" Why not?"
    idiomatic use of "to be like no" or "to be like why not" sounds like AE, I would use it, why not:)?
    3. There are less cars on the roads on Sundays.
    no idea even where is the trick, is it the use of less instead of fewer?
    4. It is always better to honestly say what you think.
    split infinitive. correct form would be "it is better to say honestly" I have no idea who might use it.
    5.We have already gotten to know each other pretty well.
    American English, the form "gotten" is rather colloquial, I would use it while in USA, "pretty well is common in BE and AE (or not?)

    PLEASE, HELP!

  1. Philly's Avatar

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #2

    Re: different Englishes.

    Hi magdalena
    .
    I'll get you started and maybe some of the other members will add more:
    2. She is like "no" and I am like" Why not?"
    This sounds like very colloquial North American English --> The use of is like to report what someone said (this is possibly more common among younger people).
    .
    3. There are less cars on the roads on Sundays.
    The word less is grammatically incorrect and should be fewer but this usage of less with plural nouns is amazingly common --- on both sides of the pond, I believe. Less + plural = informal/colloquial.
    Additionally, I've heard people claim that the use of the word car vs. automobile is an indication of where the English comes from. Some people have the mistaken impression that Americans hardly ever use the word car. But Americans use the word car quite regularly.
    .
    5.We have already gotten to know each other pretty well.
    American English, the form "gotten" is rather colloquial, I would use it while in USA, "pretty well is common in BE and AE (or not?)
    I'd say the word gotten is a definite indicator of American English. It is standard in the US and is definitely not considered "colloquial"! Pretty (well) is also quite common in the US.
    .

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: different Englishes.

    .
    Honestly, they all sound like reasonable, middle-of-the-road, warts-and-all American English to me, except for #2, which sound like a younger generation of same.
    .

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    #4

    Re: different Englishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber View Post
    .
    Honestly, they all sound like reasonable, middle-of-the-road, warts-and-all American English to me, except for #2, which sound like a younger generation of same.
    So split infinitives are less common in Britsh English than in American English? Besides that, why did you use "a younger generation of same" instead of "a younger generation of the same"?

  3. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: different Englishes.

    #2 This style of "speaking" (and I use the term loosely, as this type of conversation drives me insane) gained popularity in the 1980s when Valley Girls were all the rage. Now it seems like every random American teenager, no matter what part of the country they come from, talks this way. Listen in at any shopping mall or high school cafeteria, and it's all "And she's all like, and I'm like 'no way!' and she's like 'way!' so he goes 'Dude!'".....


    #3 The only "clue" I see here is not related to grammar. The reference to less cars being on the road on Sunday, however, indicates to me that the conversation is not taking place in the US. Traffic on Sundays tends to be just as heavy as during the week. Unlike much of Canada (and perhaps the UK), stores and shops are open on Sundays, so it's a big shopping day. Plus, a lot of people who take weekend holidays are all returning home on Sunday afternoon/evening.


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    #6

    Re: different Englishes.

    M-W online:

    Main Entry: 1 less

    Function: adjective, comparative of 1LITTLE

    usage The traditional view is that less applies to matters of degree, value, or amount and modifies collective nouns, mass nouns, or nouns denoting an abstract whole while fewer applies to matters of number and modifies plural nouns. Less has been used to modify plural nouns since the days of King Alfred and the usage, though roundly decried, appears to be increasing. Less is more likely than fewer to modify plural nouns when distances, sums of money, and a few fixed phrases are involved <less than 100 miles> <an investment of less than $2000> <in 25 words or less> and as likely as fewer to modify periods of time <in less (or fewer) than four hours>.

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    #7

    Re: different Englishes.

    The OED has it down as a disputed usage, so they won't come down and say it is incorrect.


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    #8

    Re: different Englishes.

    That's because the use of less with countables isn't incorrect, Tdol. As the CGEL states; "[T]he relationship between less and fewer is fairly complex."

    Once again, the prescriptivist failed to look closely enough at the issue before making their pronouncement. Such is all too often the case.


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    #9

    Re: different Englishes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    #2 This style of "speaking" (and I use the term loosely, as this type of conversation drives me insane) gained popularity in the 1980s when Valley Girls were all the rage. Now it seems like every random American teenager, no matter what part of the country they come from, talks this way. Listen in at any shopping mall or high school cafeteria, and it's all "And she's all like, and I'm like 'no way!' and she's like 'way!' so he goes 'Dude!'".....
    It's common amongst young people in Britain too, due to the influence of the 'Bill and Ted' and 'Wayne's World' films in that period - as in "No waay!" - "Yes way, Dude!"

    I thought it was Californian Surfer-Speak though.

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    #10

    Re: different Englishes.

    Thank you all for help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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