separated by a common language

When I first moved to the UK, more than six years ago, I started a list of ways in which British English (henceforth BrE) and American English (AmE) differed. I thought I might try to write a grammar/spell-checking program that would translate texts from one dialect to the other. That idea never got off the ground, largely because I can't program, and because I doubted that the amount of work it would require would be in reasonable proportion to the number of people who would actually want to pay for such a thing.

Dictionaries of British/American English mostly cover well-known variants like truck/lorry and elevator/lift But these are just the tip of the iceberg. What I intend to cover here are words/phrases/pronunciations/grammatical constructions that get me into trouble on a daily basis.

If you'd like to suggest any words for discussion, please use the 'e-mail Lynneguist' feature.


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AmE = American English
BrE = British English
OED = Oxford English Dictionary (online)