The Blog

Jan 29, 2008

An Interesting UK-to-US Comparison 

by Maxim Porges @ 9:08 PM | Link | Feedback (0)

I came across this article from a link on TUAW. I agree that Apple hired entirely the wrong acting pair for the UK commercial, given the actors's popularity and previous roles. I disagree with just about everything else, although the article is well written and I laughed at many of the witty jabs at Mac users.

Now I'll be a pretentious, British, private-school-educated snob.

Take a look at the comments at the bottom of the article. Notice anything? Compare the writing, grammar, verbiage, number of typos, and even the insults with that of your typical "Mac vs PC" debate on a US web site. Let me know if you see anything interesting.

I'll give you a hint: it took me years of reading emails from my US compadres before I got over the fact that the US just doesn't give a sh** about the correctness of language. I still get embarrassed on their behalf when our senior management sends out company-wide emails with typos and grammatical errors. Don't your admins use spell check, for Christ's sake? It's built in to every word processing program known to man.

I read US ads that have spelling errors in them, see newspaper articles with terrible grammar - things that literally NEVER HAPPEN in England. If they do, it's a huge deal. People are expected to know what the hell they are doing with their words, especially if they work in print.

That being said, I've also spent a lot of time thinking this over (yes, my life is that boring) and come to the conclusion that correctness in the written word really doesn't amount to much; people still know what you're saying regardless of whether or not you conjugated your verbs properly. I don't know why the Brits are so anal about language. And if you were to give English speakers another two hundred years, no doubt we'll have moved on to a new dialect that's sure to have little in common with the English spoken today. Perhaps like the movie Idiocracy we'll have moved on to a mix of redneck, valley girl, and ebonics.

And for the record, I'm no wonder when it comes to writing, so don't take this post as me saying I'm better than everybody. I just found the cultural comparison interesting and thought you might, too.