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English Usage
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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #1
28-12-2010 10:39 PM

[Moved from SE23 Topics > Found Rooster]

'Cock' is the traditional British word for the American 'rooster', as the Oxford English Dictionary shows.

I can't resist noting such examples of creeping Americanisms, even though I realize people may find this sort of pedantry a bit annoying.

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michael


Posts: 3,220
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #2
28-12-2010 11:18 PM

I can see why the thread is not titled 'Found Cock!'. Somebody might have been horribly confused.

Would it not be more sensible to object to the spelling of cemetary rather than the use of rooster?

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #3
28-12-2010 11:21 PM

Robin - you do realise that 'realize' is an Americanisation as well?

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lottie


Posts: 45
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #4
29-12-2010 08:23 AM

Hey I'm American so whats the problem. Just trying to reunite my COCK with his owners!

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sandy


Posts: 189
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #5
29-12-2010 09:50 AM

The ize ending is of Latin or Greek origin while the ise is from French. Because American English has taken up the z it is often thought to be an American form. In the OED realize is listed before realise and many academic publications use ize over ise.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #6
29-12-2010 10:02 AM

Apologies, Lottie. (Actually, I did wonder - I suspect 'Lottie' is a commoner name in the USA than here.) Obviously nobody can object to Americans following American usage.

Quote:
Robin - you do realise that 'realize' is an Americanisation as well?


Now that's an interesting point, Royal Horticultural Society. On the '-ize'/'-ise' issue more generally, Fowler's Modern English Usage says that 'most English printers follow the French practice of changing -ize [as in the original Greek root of the suffix] to -ise; but the OED of the Oxford University Press, the Encyclopaedia Britannica of [no longer, alas] the Cambridge University Press, The Times, & American usage, in all of which -ize is the accepted form, carry authority enough to outweigh superior numbers. ' The (British) Modern Humanities Reseach Association style guide prefers '-ize', and says other academic publishers do too.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #7
29-12-2010 10:04 AM

Interesting, Sandy. I'm sensitive on the subject because American editors are always criticising my 'poor spelling' because it's their way or the highway - they want a 'zee' every time and don't even know there is a legitimate alternative.

Robin - as someone who is always stifling their inner pedant, can I recommend you try to do the same? And apologies to the OP for highjacking the thread. Hope the COCKEREL is claimed soon.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #8
29-12-2010 10:07 AM

Robin - I see you have also replied while I was typing. My advice on stifling your inner pedant was meant kindly, if that wasn't clear.

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #9
29-12-2010 10:07 AM

If it was indeed a young cock, which is what 'cockerel' means.

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Andy


Posts: 57
Joined: Feb 2005
Post: #10
31-12-2010 11:06 AM

Well, there is no such thing as American english, there is english and there is bad spelling.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #11
31-12-2010 05:22 PM

As a purist I would normally agree with you, however a lot of American English has its roots in Northern Irish English in respect of terms, and accent, as so many of my ancestors had to emigrate after being forced into famine by the English landlords, so I would have to say that the spelling is probably correct and original, its just that the English English culturally went down a different path.

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davidl


Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #12
31-12-2010 05:57 PM

Roz, do you have any sources for the information below? I'd be interested to learn if so.

While I was taught at school that Northern Irish English (itself very much closer to English as it was spoken in England during the reign of Elizabeth I) was an influence on American English, this was qualified and limited - being mainly the case in the pre-famine waves of migration.

The cultural and linguistic impacts of the Northern Irish (including bluegrass music) were thus more prevalent in the Appalachians/Virginia and have survived there as a lasting influence.

During the time of the Great Famine, the rate of emigration from what would eventually become Northern Ireland was much lower both in percentage and absolute terms than from the rest of the island - Belfast actually grew in size quite substantially in the period 1841-1851, as reported on wikipedia - so any cultural impact from the specific Six Counties would have been diluted on the far side of the Atlantic.

Going slightly back to the overall theme of pedantry in this thread - "being forced into famine by the English landlords" does only tell part of the story - potato blight played a part, as did the lack of conscience among the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. I would quote Alan Partridge on this, but I don't think you'd appreciate it, somehow.

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roz


Posts: 1,793
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #13
31-12-2010 07:59 PM

Indeed, I agree entirely. Who's Alan Partridge?

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lottie


Posts: 45
Joined: Mar 2009
Post: #14
31-12-2010 08:41 PM

I was taught Enlish/England etc always had to have a capital 'E'

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michael


Posts: 3,220
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
31-12-2010 11:44 PM

But the 'g' is optional?

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sandy


Posts: 189
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #16
01-01-2011 01:32 AM

'Who's Alan Partridge?' Are you serious? Aha!

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #17
06-01-2011 04:19 PM

Language is changing all the time and I don't think that British English is 'better' or 'more correct' or 'purer' than American English; it's just different. However I always feel a little pang when British people use American forms where there's a native version which is just as good. I think I read somewhere that it's a general linguistic law that the language or dialect of 'higher status' speakers tends to be adopted over time by 'lower status' speakers. I guess I just don't like to be reminded that many British people think of American culture and language as being 'higher status' than ours.

Here's another example I've just noticed on another thread. (If 'Elizabeth25' is American, I apologise.) 'Knock on wood' is, I discovered comparatively recently, American English for British English 'touch wood.' I remember going as a boy to see the Danny Kaye film ('movie' for younger readers) Knock On Wood and wondering what the title meant.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #18
06-01-2011 04:45 PM

Also noticed that nobody asks, 'Can I have a coffee?' any more. It's always, 'Can I get...'

No reason why I should care, but it's like nails down a blackboard.

I should 'get' out more.

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nevermodern


Posts: 653
Joined: Feb 2007
Post: #19
06-01-2011 04:46 PM

And when did everything become awesome?

Smile

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robin orton


Posts: 716
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #20
06-01-2011 04:55 PM

'May I have a coffee?' was what I was brought up to say! Or even, 'May I have a cup of coffee?'!

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