• Joy Sephton

Same words, different meanings? (UK and US English)

A number of bloggers write screeds about their pasts and their presents, their parents and their children, their pets and their dinners. Don't get me wrong, if that works for you then I'm all for it. So, dear reader, in that vein, here is a piece of me for you to read about, or ignore; whichever grabs you.

A while ago I discovered there's a term for people like me. Word nerd. And while I thought I was a completely unique individual, it turns out I'm one of millions, if not zillions, who can be categorized as word nerds.

Being a word nerd may explain why bad editing causes me physical pain. It may explain why I went through a phase of reading our family dictionary when I was in primary school. It may also explain why I suddenly feel so bereft after migrating to the super-efficient online Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). You see, I can't sit in the bath and read the actual, physical book anymore—unless I regress to the 16th edition. Maybe it's why a friend and I invented our own complicated, grammatically and etymologically sound language in my last year of high school—although she's a lawyer now, which could also explain that one.

So now that you know how strange I am—along with the other zillions exactly like me—maybe the existence of the table that's linked to this post will make more sense to you.

There are other, more interactive lists of words, with hyperlinks leading to comprehensive definitions, declensions, and exceptions. But, because I edit in both US and UK English, I like the simplicity of this version. If I read through it while my current project is still an unmarked document, it seems to get my brain into the right space.

And there you have it.

And here's the link.



© 2020 by Joy Sephton