Courgette or zucchinni, whose language is it anyway?

Which do you teach?

  • British English
  • American English
  • Both
  • Neither
  • I’m forced to teach American English, but I resent it.
  • Other

0 voters


Which one do you teach in Taiwan?

I teach Canadian English, eh… I refuse to spell the simplified forms of “honour”, “colour”, “centre”, etc. but I don’t use “tyre” “bonnet” or “lorry” either. What really pisses me off is people who insist one way or the other is right.

[color=green]Can’t we all just get along? - Rodney King[/color]

Eh? I thought that was President Jack Nicholson in “Mars Attacks” (and look what happened to HIM) :wink:

I’ll get in early and say it’s both for me. Six one way, half a dozen the other. I’ll give this topic a fortnight before it gets controversial.

Fookin’ English, mate


I’m pretty careful about teaching various vocabularies and spellings (Most of the teaching texts in my school are in American English) because I think it’s important for students to be able to understand any English speaker who is writing or speaking to them and to know that there are several functional systems in the world. One is not better than the other, contrary to what parents seem to believe, and from what I can see, most English-speakers are tolerant of each others’ spellings and deviations. Interestingly, most students are quite understanding when I point out that Chinese operates in a similar fashion.

btw, did you know that in South Africa, they call traffic lights “robots”? Isn’t that neat? :!:

I’ve always taught American English, I guess one could say it’s because I grew up learning the President’s English, not the Queen’s (so say my British mates!) :wink:

Robots, I like that! Here we simply call them traffic lights. I think I’ll write my congressman and see about changing that. Your term has a much cooler ring to it. However, if we change to calling our traffic lights robots, what do we call the politicians then? :shock:

Considering who your president is, I wouldn’t be bragging about that…

Oh, believe me, I’m not giving him any credit whatsoever. In fact, I’ll spare talking about him at all. This discussion has too much good going for it for me to revert to such language and have it thrown to the Flames! :laughing:

Maybe "
bottom feeders
" or "
pond scum

I’ve noticed in my school’s lesson plans that we’re supposed to teach these poor children to end sentences with prepositions. Everyone knows that prepositions are not good words to end sentences with!
(tee hee)
Seriously, though, for those of you who went to university in the US, was this considered appropriate speech at an academic level? I have a difficult time asking, “What country is Washington DC the capital of?”, but if it’s right, perhaps I will teach it as set forth in the lesson plan. Let me know what you think. :?

Well, I can’t speak for all anyone other than myself, but as far as I know it is still incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. Is it done regularly, even by professors and well-educated people? Yes. Is it still incorrect then to do so? Yes, I believe it is. I can’t blame anyone else for it, yet I can’t say that educators do their job in correcting these mistakes.

Other than in correcting essays and turned-in assignments did I ever notice educators correcting the bad habits of students. I believe part of the problem is that we’ve become rather lazy in our daily language use, given into all the “social norms” and often forget how to correctly use the language we were all taught in school. On another note, such severe slang and “dialects” such as Ebonics have been recognized as credible and the rules of speech are being challenged and changing ever so rapidly, but that’s an entirely different discussion.

Thanks for pointing it out, mjnenesis. I was completely unaware that I’d done so. Perhaps I should write less like the way I speak. Fortunately, I’m far more cautious when in the classroom and avoid these mistakes, but I guess further extending that consciousness wouldn’t hurt any either. Thanks for correcting me! :wink:

Oh no! The “dangling preposition” question! It’s been discussed here before and it seems even experts can’t agree, so let’s not go there.

Back to vegetables… being American, I don’t remember seeing or hearing the words courgette or aubergine until I started looking at recipes on the net just in the last few years!

Here’s a little history on the names eggplant and aubergine:

Thanks for pointing it out, mjnenesis. I was completely unaware that I’d done so. Perhaps I should write less like the way I speak. Fortunately, I’m far more cautious when in the classroom and avoid these mistakes, but I guess further extending that consciousness wouldn’t hurt any either. Thanks for correcting me! :wink:[/quote]

Pointing what out? You don’t write like that (unless I’m blind as a bat), so no harm done. Besides, if you’ve read any of my stuff, you know I’m a less than eloquent writer. And I know I make constant grammatical errors in speech (who doesn’t; I’ve actually written on the nature of conversational spoken versus written English, and have concluded that they almost function as separate languages, so I guess it’s not wrong. Or so I rationalise…).

I just don’t want to TEACH the wrong habits to my students, especially if they’re going to be spending some time writing that way, only to be shut down by some sinister overly picky professor with sock garters in ten years time. Of course, by then the rules will probably have changed again, at least in American English. And I’ll still have no idea whether it’s right or wrong. Thus is the nature of language, I suppose. :unamused:

The rule that one may not end a sentence with a preposition is a spurious, superstition probably based on Latin grammar, which does not allow one to do so, but there is no reason you can’t end with a prep in English.

When someone upbraided Winston Churchill for doing so, he responded, “That is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I shall not put.”

Sorry I didn’t cite my source: A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, Bryan A. Garner (Oxford University Press 1998), p 519. Excellent update of HW Fowler’s 1926 classic by the editor of Black’s Law Dictionary. Not only is it very informative but it’s also fun reading.

Surely you teach what you’re paid to teach and what the students want ?

Question about British English: In reviewing a document written by a Hong Kong lawyer, I noticed that the author wrote, “X Company amended their bylaws. . .” I corrected it by changing “their” to “its.” My colleague informed my that it was not a grammatical mistake but British English – that Brits refer to a company in the plural unlike proper American English where we’d say “X Company amended its bylaws.” True?

Maybe Brits tend to think of a company as a “collection of workers” as opposed to a bloated, corrupt corporate entity (like Enron).
How can a company “amend” a bylaw anyway? Companies don’t make laws.

News to me. Company is singular, whether you’re from Britain or the wrong side of the pond. Your friend has it wrong. Maybe some Brits use company as a plural in colloquial English, but its incorrect usage nevertheless.

Example: “Tesco has a special on at their Taoyuan store – Philips DVD players for NT$1,999, reduced from NT$6,888. Offer ends on March 26.”

Is this one still being disputed?

There are differences in American and British English regarding the singular/plural nature of some collective nouns.

For example, a Cobuild search of “company” finds just as many collocates with “have” as “has”. And if just do a search of just American corpora, “company+have” can still be found.

No one is wrong.

As a previous poster has said, it is just different usage depending on if you perceive the thing as a single entity or a collection of individual things or people.