I secretly recorded a conversation between all of my flat(room)mates and myself. Why would she do that, you might wonder. On the one hand, I wanted to make explicit what is normally taken for granted: What are distinctive features of spoken language? On the other hand, I was very interested to identify who really dominates conversations and is the most active speaker in our house, i.e. the person who does most of the interruptions, introduces new topics, has the most number of turns, etc...
During the last weeks, I have experienced first hand that the different usage of certain lexical items (vocabulary) in American and British English can cause confusion, misunderstandings and sometimes embarrassment. Usually, the metaphorical phrase false friends indicates the existence of one word with different meanings inter-lingually, i.e. in two languages. However, they also appear intra-lingually, i.e. within a given language. One of the reasons for this has been the separate socio-cultural development and history of the United States of America and Great Britain...
I somehow feel obliged to contribute my thoughts on the phonological and lexical differences between American English and British English (hereafter AmE and BrE). This has two reasons: I recently moved from London to New York City + I hold a BA (Honours) degree in English language/linguistics.
Part I + II of this blog post are only concerned with the phonological and lexical differences between American and British English as the divergences in grammar and orthography are relatively minor.