It has to do with my English.
You see, if you weren’t already aware, I am an American. But I have a little British background. My wife is British, I lived in the UK from August 2003 to July 2006, and I now travel over a handful of times each year to meet with the various leaders within our network of churches.
So, with all these things in mind, I decided a couple of years ago to make the full switch from American-English to British-English. Just like I thought it was practical to move from Fahrenheit to Celsius and from AM/PM time to 24-hour time (what we, in America, call ‘military time’). I have not switched to a British accent, though. We all know that would be incredibly awkward!
Therefore, with the language change, it means a shift in terms for some things:
- Trash becomes rubbish
- Trash can becomes bin
- Vacuum becomes hoover
- Paper towels becomes kitchen roll
- Bathroom becomes toilet (while bathroom is still used by Brits, but refers to the actual room with the bath/shower)
It also calls for a re-pronunciation of some words:
And it calls for a re-spelling of words here and there:
- Traveling becomes travelling
- Center becomes centre
- Savior becomes Saviour
- Color becomes colour
- Behavior becomes behaviour
- Organize becomes organise
- Recognize becomes recognise
- Aluminum becomes aluminium (that’s why it is pronounced differently)
Even the letter z is now pronounced as zed when saying the alphabet.
Recently, we had dinner with our friends (the wife is Dutch, the husband is British). With 3 cultures sat at the table, we discussed some of the details of both the English and Dutch languages. With English, we noted that not every word in which Americans use the letter z gets transferred to an s in British-English. But, I suppose if I want to be safe with British-English, I will stick to mainly using an s (we did find one example in the dictionary that evening, but my memory fails me).
Still, I found out that my biggest blunder with the language changeover was my use of the words practice and practise. You see, I thought practise was the noun form and practice was the verb form. Yet, come to find out, it is the exact opposite.
So I lament and repent of my 2-year hiatus of using improper British-English. You can snicker at my improper use in my blog articles. I’m just surprised it went on that long without any knowledge of the misuse.