Linguistic Identity Crisis: A country girl divided by a common language.
May 5, 2010 11:27 AM Subscribe
I'm moving to the UK for the next three years and have some questions about my identity and language use.
posted by iamkimiam to human relations (41 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've already started running into this problem...I'm not sure when, how and if I should switch over to UK conventions for language use in speech and writing when communicating with UK people. I am in academia and will be pursuing a PhD in sociolinguistics in England, so these subtleties are something that I am hyper aware of. I do realize that to an extent I'm overthinking this, but it's also something I can't help noticing. Alas, ignorance would be linguistic bliss.
When talking/writing with advisors/staff at my new university, or with UK people in general, should I be using the British writing conventions yet...maths, favourite, programme, etc.? How about in speech? Should I wait till I get there and do the big switchover, like a watch?
Some of the new dialect features are natural to use when I'm talking/writing to people, others feel like I'm trying too hard. Being somewhere in between just seems careless and confused to me (since I'm aware of the differences). I figure that features like the accent will come naturally. I'm pondering the stuff that I have conscious knowledge of, like when spellcheck highlights things that I should change. Or not?
How do people navigate this minefield of minutiae? What has worked, and allowed you to get along with the least amount of social awkwardness?