(Going) “to university”

The “university” saga continues. Most recently, I looked at Americans talking about being “at university” or “in university” instead of the traditional “in college.” (I will note there was pushback against the idea of “in university” being a thing. See the comments to the post.) Yesterday, I heard a new one (for me) on National … Continue reading (Going) “to university”

“At university”

On previous occasions, I’ve addressed Americans using, in various circumstances, the British term “university” rather than “college,” which Americans traditionally use even in reference about institutes of higher learning that indeed are universities. That is, someone who graduated from Pennsylvania State University would say he or she “went to college” there, or “when I was … Continue reading “At university”

“University students”

College students, but complicated. Institutions of higher education are traditionally “universities” in the U.K. but in the U.S. (and Scotland!), the term “college,” the OED notes, “has come to be interchangeable with ‘university.’” The traditional English meaning of “college,” meanwhile, is given by the OED as a “society of scholars incorporated within or in connection … Continue reading “University students”

Britishisms in an American Novel

I’ve written several times (most recently here) about the phenomenon of American characters in British novels using British expressions, seemingly because the writer didn’t realize they were British expressions. I’ve just read a book by an American novelist, with American characters, where Britishisms abound. The book is The Plot, the author Jean Hanff Korelitz. In … Continue reading Britishisms in an American Novel

American Character, British Lingo

I’ve noted in the past examples of British writers (unwittingly?) putting Britishisms in the mouths of American characters. Actually, I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often, as well as the opposite case of American writers having British characters utter Americanisms. There are so many big and small differences in the dialects: how can we possibly … Continue reading American Character, British Lingo

The Case of the Misplaced Britishisms

I’m a big fan of the British author Anthony Horowitz’s mysteries. They’re old-fashioned, in the Agatha Christie vein, but also very clever and also frequently with the self-conscious meta aspect I’m partial to. Like in The Word Is Murder, there’s a character named “Anthony Horowitz” who’s a mystery writer. And a key part of Magpie … Continue reading The Case of the Misplaced Britishisms