British English
Arvamus 08 Feb 2010 Vello VikerkaarEWR
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“We speak British English,” proclaimed Vesta, an Estonian woman, aged sixty, with whom I was trying to have a discussion about an essay I’d written for her firm’s corporate magazine. She refused to speak Estonian and insisted on English, though the whole process would have gone faster had she deigned to suffer through my halting Estonian. Instead, Vesta attributed our difficulties in communication to my Canadian English.

I often receive comments from Estonians about the superiority of British English over Canadian and American English. On a certain level I agree: When spoken properly, British English is indeed more beautiful than American or Canadian English. And although Vesta might not agree, I find Irish- and Scottish English even more pleasing to the ear. Canadian English, however, falls somewhere in between British and American—more American, but with the preservation of British spellings in a nod to Her Majesty The Queen, who is, indeed, still our Sovereign.

When a “British English” speaker likes Vesta gives me the speech about the inferiority of my brand of English, I often want to ask her why she pronounces the “L” in "salmon" and why, in written communication, she capitalizes the “Y” in “You” when it isn’t at the beginning of a sentence. I once pointed this out to a class of English students at a Tallinn high school who claimed that’s just how they’d been taught. I told them to go find their teachers and demand their money back. Whatever kind of English they’d been taught, it certainly wasn’t British.

Read on at Vello’s blog: http://vellovikerkaar.blogspot...
 
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