analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

10 January 2001 Wednesday



MY English friend, who moved to the US a year ago, made some interesting observations the other day.

Americans, in general, use more words, simpler words, more repeatedly, and more informally than the English. Americans use more gesture and are more expressive.

Thus it's possible to speak with an American accent but still speak like the English, as I do. He, on the other hand, has adapted to the Americans, "I'm calling to check on a reservation for tonight." When his English friends were visiting, he said, instead, "I'm calling to confirm a reservation." More formality.

I now understand why my American friends think I have an English accent when it's merely an American accent with English-speak. Similarly, my English friends think I would never lose my American accent. It's not the accent at all. It's patterns of speech.