Divided by a Common Language: Summary of the text
In the late 1700s the people of America became independent from the British. Americans believed that the break with England would lead to a new language. This did not happen.
Differences in vocabulary normally don't cause misunderstandings. (On page 96 you will find a list of some important vocabulary differences.) Misunderstandings sometimes happen when the same word means different things in Britain and the USA.
When a British and an American have a conversation we can hear who is who from the way they speak. Americans often pronounce r’s where most British don’t. The sound from 'tt' often becomes 'dd' in American pronunciation.
American spelling has been made 'easier'. Here are some examples:
British English or American English?
It does not matter which form of English you choose. Both are correct. Choose one and try not to mix them. Remember that there are also other forms of English, for instance Australian and Canadian English.
Slang terms such as 'wanna', 'gotta' and 'ain’t' can be found both in British and American English. They are not part of the standard written language. Use them where they belong, but not in essays and applications, for instance.