In 1882, Oscar Wilde wrote about Great Britain: "We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language."
That still rings true today.
So if you're one of the estimated 250,000 Americans going to the Olympics Games in London this summer, you might want to pack a dictionary.
For English-to-English translations.
For example, "The lorry driver taking kit to the football pitch was so knackered he pulled into the lay-by near the petrol station for a quick kip," means this in the United States, according to the Associated Press:
The truck driver delivering uniforms to the soccer field was so tired he pulled into the rest area near the gas station for a nap.
The differences are endless, from pronunciation and punctuation to spelling and slang. So here is a beginners guide to the differences between British English and American English.
The Olympic rings are in front of London Bridge, lit behind in red, and the skyscraper The Shard at left.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
When watching sports (that would be sport in England, singular not plural):
- Track and field is called "athletics."