About Lynneguist

Hi, I’m Lynne Murphy. When I'm at work, I'm Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sussex. (Here's where I have to say: the views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Sussex.)

Since 2006, my alter ego Lynneguist has used this blog to explore the often subtle differences in American and British English. At first this was a distraction from the linguistic research I do at my day job, but increasingly my professional work has been inspired by the topics here.

In 2016, I was a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar, preparing a general-audience book on British and American Englishes for Penguin USA and Oneworld (UK). It's scheduled for publication in Spring 2018, under the title The Prodigal Tongue (with different subtitles for the US and UK releases).

My story so far: I grew up in western New York state and studied linguistics at the Universities of Massachusetts (Amherst) and Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). My first two academic posts were in South Africa and Texas in the 1990s.

In 2000, I moved to Brighton, England to work at Sussex University. Since then, I have married a Londoner, acquired a British passport, and become a parent. My daughter (b. 2007) is referred to here as “Grover”, in some effort to protect her privacy.

Getting in touch…

The comments section on each blog post is possibly the best part of it. Please join the conversation! The comments policy is here.

Please use my lynneguist email address for blog-related business
For university-related business, please use my university email address.

Follow @lynneguist on Twitter for the UK/US “Difference of the Day” and lots of observations and links about US-UK language and culture.

“Like” Lynneguist on Facebook for more links and fun stuff.

The book!

View by topic



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