The Tales of a Contemporary Romance Writer

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Talkin' Tuesday with Jasmine Ahern

Today I have my English friend, Jasmine Ahern. She's a wonderful author and apparently an intense debater on the 'English' language. LOL So, sit back and read up on two languages that are essentially the same but vastly different. 

America vs England 

This week, I had my lovely friend Annie Laurie come to stay. Annie is from America and we became sort of writer penpals, editing and critiquing each other's work and then becoming friends off the back of that. This is her third visit and now, we know each other well enough to start comparing and making fun of each other's languages – American English and British English. In fact, we enjoy doing this in public and today, on a trip to Bath, in south England, we amused many shop keepers and checkout employees.

Language is particularly interesting for me as a writer, in addition to the fact that my books are set in America and I am English, I am currently studying a master's degree in Novel & Poetry writing, much of which is based around language.

I'd like to share with you some examples of the words Annie and I have been quarelling over these past few days.
American                       British 
      Scallions                  Spring onions
              Good and Plenty      Liquorice (specific brand)
Lifesavers                       Polos
   Scones                        Flapjack
    Flapjack                       Pancakes
Elevator                           Lift
Toilet paper                       Loo roll
   Truck                              Lorry
    Gasoline                          Petrol 
         Freeway                         Motorway
      Two weeks                     Fortnight 

They don't even seem to have squash - or even clotted cream. But that's okay, because there's no scones (British scones that is) to go with it!

Another bone of contention was, of course, pronounciation. Tomato and tomato, WarWICK and WARRICK, aluminum and aluminium....

There are also idioms that are very different – where Americans would say “a drop in the bucket,” we say “a drop in the ocean.” Where Americans would say “knock on wood,” we would say, “touch wood.”

I could go on and on. Instead I think I'll just share a photo of Annie and I arguing it out over a stove with culinary instruments...

If you'd like to read about a British woman in the US, why not pick up my first novel, Stranded?

After getting dumped by a man she thought she loved and being robbed at the airport, Rachel becomes stranded without a passport in New York. 

Enter Will, a handsome carpenter she meets by chance, who wants to make her unintentional layover permanent....

Stranded is published by Pink Petal Books and is available at all good ebook retailers.

It's also out in paperback at Amazon and Barnes and Noble:
I'm rated five stars on Barnes & Noble!

Now that I've fitted my shameless plug in, I'd like to thank Rebecca for having me here for Talkin' Tuesday. Thanks for reading, everyone!

 Thanks for coming to visit me, Jasmine! It sounds as if you and Annie are soul writers. I have one myself. Her name is Lorettajo Kapinos--she's a YA writer. Love arguing with her!
And, just for the record, it's you that pronounces things wrong. :)

Everyone, Have a Sparkling Day!
Rebecca Rose


  1. Interesting! By the way, Americans say pancakes too.

    I've got a few words to add of my own. My parents are from the former British island of St. Kitts. Growing up, here are some of the words I had to contend with before they learned to speak American English:

    blacklead instead of pencil
    bladder instead of balloon
    bonnet instead of hood (of car)
    zed instead of the letter z
    full stop instead of period

  2. LOL, this reminds me of trying to explain biscuits and gravy to someone who lived in England, and couldn't figure out why Americans would do that.

    For the record England biscuits are what we call cookies in the US. American biscuits are unsweetened small bread rolls, eaten at breakfast and sometimes dinner. I guess a scone would be very close to an American biscuit.

    And yeah, gravy over cookies would be awful.