Americanisms That Cross the Line

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I've obviously been in the US too long. My American wife draws my attention to this list from the BBC of Americanisms that have entered British usage and annoy fastidious Brits. Fastidious Yanks would probably feel the same way about most of them. To my surprise I find only a few of the items really infuriating. It's worrisome. I think I'm more annoyed by the fact that Brits find these terms annoying than I am by the terms themselves.

I'll make just three exceptions. "My bad [spoken by an adult]." This is in the same category as a grown man on a skateboard. How old are you, you child? "It is what it is." I hear this constantly and it never fails to make me grind my teeth. Worst of all, "I could care less" instead of "I couldn't care less". I think we can all agree that that is despicable. (I recall David Letterman once attacking Michael J. Fox for using it on his show. Funny what sticks in the mind.)

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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