You Say 'Hoover,' I Say 'Vacuum': A Linguist's Journey Across The Trans-Atlantic English Divide

America and Britain share a common language. But you'd never know it after reading linguist Lynne Murphy's new book.
"The Prodigal Tongue," by Lynne Murphy. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Linguist Lynne Murphy explores the differences between British and American English in her new book “The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English.”

Those differences — and the love-hate relationship they’ve helped form — have been fodder for comedians, especially on television.


Murphy (@lynneguist) joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to talk about the book.

Book Excerpt: ‘The Prodigal Tongue’

by Lynne Murphy

In 2012 a British learning-disability charity quizzed over two thousand adults on their spelling and found that about a third could not spell . The headlines that followed proclaimed that the population had become too dependent on spell-checkers, which had ruined our ability to spell. Those headlines with one . Technology can teach.

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