"Why can't they use British English which we all understand, instead of American slang which in my view spoils otherwise interesting articles?"
This is getting routine. Yet another article on those dang Americanisms! This time in The Guardian, not known for its defense (defence?) of America on any issue, yet now oddly mounting a tepid defense of so-called Americanisms it's allowed to creep into its copy.
I've been here six years, and I've never had a Brit insult me to my face. Yet every few weeks I read another insulting tirade against my language. Faceless Americanisms are a favorite target of letter-to-editor writers, most of whom I imagine as slightly creepy old men ranting about "kids these days" (except they'd never use the word kid unless talking about a young goat). "Mojo" seems particularly offensive, ironically. Likewise "brownstone", a term used almost exclusively in New York City. Someone from the American South would never live in a brownstone, but they'd happily "duke it out" over their right to use the term. As for "lickety split", well, I don't think I've heard that one used since I was a wee lass.
Oops. Pardon that Scottishism.
I'm convinced these rants against our version of English is simply a socially acceptable, non-confrontational way to express one's dislike of the United States and its inhabitants in general. I don't hear rants about Germanisms, only the word "kindergarten," which they attribute to our side. I don't hear rants about Frenchisms, indeed, I'm forced to order courgette and aubergine rather than zucchini (an Italianism) and eggplant.
And don't even get me started on idiotic Britishisms (I'm surprised they haven't changed the expression "hoover the floor" into "dyson the floor"). Yet, my countrymen back in America have no problem with their media's embrace of Britishisms. I've never read a letter complaining about cute British expressions like "arsehole" or "gobsmacked". And "snogging" seems to be pretty popular on both continents.
No, Americans aren't threatened by encroachment to their language. Only to their borders—but then that's another topic. (I'm really tempted to suggest that those Brits offended by "ugly and unnecessary Americanisms" ought to be subjected to a TSA screening.) We weren't once the world's greatest military power, with colonies spread on four different continents, now reduced to losing at the World Cup (the sport Americans, by the way, refuse to refer to as football). But perhaps that's just schadenfreude.
I find all this defense of British English—an amalgam of Anglo-Saxon and Norman French—tiresome, and when I'm feeling particularly prickly, downright insulting. Read the comments in this article, and then dare to reply "Natch!" instead of "Naturally!" One reader wants to "open up on your ass" for speaking such slang (I think he meant "pop a cap on your ass"). Really? Our American slang makes you feel murderous? Hmmm...I can't say I've ever felt the same emotion reading the word "nappy" in reference to diapers, but then I don't typically feel road rage toward lorries, either.
Maybe it's because the Scots and the Irish and even the Welsh are finally taking back their languages from the English and their Anglo-Saxonisms. That leaves little territory for proper British English these days. Do the math...err, maths.
Apparently British English has lost its mojo. It's high time they woke up and smelled the dark roast Americano. Or maybe they should just step up to the plate. Whatever!
Meanwhile, I'll defend to the death my right to "vacuum" my floors instead of "hoover" them. And I might have to: Britain, remember, has no right to free speech. A man has been prosecuted for something he dashed off on Twitter—will the use of Americanisms one day become a capital offense? That would really suck...err, I meant to say, I wouldn't be too keen on that.
Oh, and have a nice day!