I wanted to tell you my experience with the term gutted. I've always associated it with "eviscerated", especially when applied to a human being. When applied to a document or law or something of that nature, to me it means "emptied of its important features". If referring to things like a burned house, it means destroyed so that nothing remains but the outer shell.A good lesson for all of us!
Last year I took to reading the online version of a newspaper in Scotland; I can't remember which one now but I was in the midst of a fascination with the Orkneys so it was probably in that vicinity. In the headline about a break-in and theft at a home, the newspaper said the residents were "gutted". Well! That seemed quite callous to me, to put a word that harsh in the headline. I assumed, you see, that the residents had been killed and eviscerated. So I wrote a note to the editor saying I thought it was pretty bad form.
Imagine my surprise to receive an email from a reader of the newspaper letting me know that the newspaper editor had published my email with a laughing note about the differences in American vs British English! Because, as you know, gutted in British English means some variation of "highly distressed".
I will tread very lightly when emailing non-American newspapers!
To give a little more info about BrE gutted--it's a relatively recent, informal (some would say 'slang') term. It was added to the OED in its 1993 edition, with quotations going back only to 1984 (but, of course, it could be much older in speech). Their senses for it are: 'bitterly disappointed; devastated, shattered; utterly fed up'. The last of these doesn't ring true for me--I'd usually interpret it as 'devastated'--that is, a feeling as if you've been emptied out. Of course, it's used for much lesser things as well. Google "I'm gutted" and you'll get lots of sport-related exaggeration.