The Internet - Another US Imperial Tool?

"You say yes, I say no, you say stop, I say go go go....!" says McCartney of the "British Invaders" - the Fab Four. Okay, The Beatles! 

But it's not so much that type of opposites in Paul's song that is linked to this post, rather it's something along the lines of : "You say "petrol", I say "gas[oline]", you say "lolly", I say "candy"...you say "aluminium", I say "aluminum". Even more relevant is this one: you spell "colour" I spell "color"; you spell "cheque" I spell "check"; you spell with "s", I spell with "z" and so on and so forth.

Ever since the Pilgrims, Puritans and other early prospectors crossed the Atlantic to meet their new nomadic neighbours - later neighbors - and founded a new nation named after an Italian, their imported lingua franca started changing too. It was not necessarily a conscious effort to promote the eventual secession or counted as seditious sentiments. Rather it's part of a linguistic phenomenon. The environment - natural and otherwise - contributed to the overall change and transformation in the English language. Throughout the years the transformation has generally stayed home in Yankee land evolving regionally except when Hollywood exports the popular yet inferior "Americanism" in movies - at least in accent and pronunciation.

But overall, English - in spelling and other intuitive aspects - has started to yield to American patterns. The language of Business has already adopted the American standards. The leading role of America in Business has helped, but the advent of the Internet is certainly catapulting the changes and conventions. Considering therefore the global reach and pervasiveness of business and commerce, the American English elements in other areas have followed suit and are making their inroads. Again the Internet is the main and ubiquitous agent of transformation. In some countries, especially in British spheres of influence, a dilemma or transition is obvious. Here's an example from a government newspaper in a British-influenced country. The excerpts are from the same editorial. Notice especially the underlined/highlighted words.

Soon to be replaced with a gold-colored coin, the $2 [dollar] note will be taken out of circulation later this year.
The notes will remain unchanged, except for the $2 [dollar] polymer note which is to be replaced by a gold coloured coin.
The most drastic of changes will be the eventual demonetization of the 1, 2 and 5 [cent] coins.
I doubt this has to do with a possible American background of the writer, rather it's more a reflection on American influence advanced by the Internet. And though the change and "dilemma" seem more apparent in the British spheres of influence, I doubt the mother country is any less vulnerable.

When I arrived at my American university, equipped with all the British/New Zealand English influences, I was adamant about my "mother country" spelling, even if it meant taking on an outcast repute or being a misfit among my fellow students and professors. During my sophomore year, I went in to see one of my English professors about a possible term paper topic. During the conference, I asked him about my British spelling which I was not ready to relinquish. He simply said, you can use the British spelling, but you have to be consistent throughout the paper. And that was it. By my senior year, I had already parted with my British spelling and other King's English proclivities.

In America recently, however, there has been a counter trend in the area of television entertainment. The appeal of the British elements, in accent and speech patterns, had a marked and conspicuous impact. The success of Simon Cowell on American Idol has led other American TV shows to embed their own British-accented hosts and presenters like Cat Deeley in "You Think You Can Dance" (Fox), Piers Morgan in "America's Got Talent" (NBC), and now has his own show on CNN.

But like all media and entertainment craze, the trend seems faddish, hence temporary, within the bigger and more comprehensive American media and Internet invasion, which is slowly spreading to distant shores like most other things American.

Therefore, today, it's likely that when you greet Paul McCartney by saying, "Hello Paul", chances are that he's going to use this Americanism: "What's up?" ... or perhaps the more popular version: "Wussssup?" ....LOL!

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