For over 200 years people have complained that Americans trash the English language. But is it corruption — or simply normal change? John Algeo investigates how both American and British English have evolved.
Habla usted Americano? Sprechen Sie Amerikanischer?
We’ve all heard the following accusations at some point in our lives: Americans don’t know how to speak English properly or, Americans are ruining the English language. It’s as if we actually haven’t been speaking English at all. So perhaps we’ve been speaking “American”.
All kidding aside, if Americans are actually ruining the English language, in what does the ruination lie? Just how are Americans ruining English? These are the questions posed by John Algeo, Professor Emeritus at the University of Georgia, in a 1999 essay.