How can you distinguish between ‘two’, ‘to’, or ‘too’?

Apart from the context (which is the biggest clue), there is slight, but detectable difference in length:

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What words are dying in the English language?

Fun question. Off the top of my head (I might add to these later):

In the UK:

  • gaol (in favour of jail, or prison)
  • hiccough (in favour of hiccup)
  • society (since Margaret Thatcher)
  • hospital (in favour of trust)

In North America:

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Why do many people from the UK dislike the term ‘British English’ just because they have their own regional dialect or accent?

You’re conflating accent with language.

British English is a legitimate term that refers to the use of English in Britain as opposed to the English used in, say, the U.S. or Australia. But that’s a language issue, not accent.

The term British accent is what causes Brits to roll their eyes, because it usually refers to what is called Received Pronunciation, and there are dozens other British accents.

What Brits really dislike is when software refer to British English as ‘British English’, and American English as ‘English’—as though English had been invented in America, and British English was just a derivative. Case in point:


(Originally written in reply to a question at

Q: What are the major differences between British and American writing styles—in terms of sentence structure, vocabulary, etc.?

OK, are you sitting down? Then let us begin:

In London in the summer of 1982, as I waited for my university studies to begin, I worked at various jobs—including, out of curiosity, a spell selling encyclopaedia sets door-to-door (at that time, of course, encyclopaedias were still only in print form).

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