I sometimes feel like the creature in the old Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham. I will not say trousers, I will not say trainers. I will not say them in a house, I will not say them to a mouse. I will not say them here or there, I will not say them anywhere. I can be stubborn when I put my mind to it, which is basically all the time.
Okay, this is not true. I do try to refer to both American English and British English for a few reasons (reasons I have deemed good ones, as I like to congratulate myself on my decisions):
American English is in all the movies. There are British movies and television shows, don’t get me wrong. For example, the glorious show known as Downton Abbey. (Do not call it Downtown. It’s quite far from downtown, actually.) But the vast majority are produced by none other than Hollywood. Now, Spaniards don’t really see this as a problem in either way because almost all movies and television shows are dubbed, and people have told me on many an occasion that they don’t like “reading” while watching movies. I get it. But someday, perhaps you’ll like to watch television shows in English to improve your skills! We Americans have got ya covered. Come to the Dark Side!
American businesses are in Spain, and I do believe there are more of them than British ones. I realize that there’s the proximity issue for Spaniards. You are indeed much closer to them than to us. But there are a lot more of us, and we’re invading your schools, teaching English with our American accents, and the kids might just benefit from it. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
The Rubber Issue. You might actually go to the US one day, and you don’t want to be caught asking for a rubber. It’s okay to learn the word rubber; I just think it’s better to realize that in the States, you’d be asking for a condom. Yeah, not exactly the word you want to bust out in the middle of
maths math class.
There is no reason to think American English is less “pure” than British English. Okay, I hate this one. First of all, languages are in constant flux and no language or accent is better than any other. I admit to having my preferences (yes to British and Irish, no to deep-South accents), but still, it would be more than snooty to assume I speak a “purer” language than another person, based purely on snobbery. For example, Britons tend to hate the verb form “gotten,” considering it an Americanism. Oh, I beg to disagree, sir. According to multiple sources, the word is of British origin and its usage dates back to the fourth century. How’s that for ancient, British folk? Oh yeah, and it was used by none other than Mr. William Shakespeare himself, so shove it!
American English is closer to the phonetic spelling. We all know English is notoriously difficult due to its nonsensical spelling. (Thank goodness for the gloriousness of the phonetic Spanish language!) Well, the Americans at least realiZe that the word realize sounds like it has a z in it! Realise, pshhhh … no. Also, theater makes more sense than theatre. Come on. It just does.
Americans love British accents. We aren’t snooty about our language, realizing that we got it from across the pond, and we love them for it! Thank you, Britain! We also wish to give our thanks for their seriously sexy accents, which—if we didn’t speak English with an American accent—we wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate! Swoon!
So, come on, tell me: should I start referring to flashlights as torches or what?