British Vs. American English

George Bernard Shaw famously said that the British and the Americans were “two nations separated by a common language”.

Below are some examples of different usage in British and American English. You may already be aware of some of these differences, others may surprise you.

Bank holiday / Legal holiday
Fortnight / Two weeks
Ordinary/extraordinary general meeting (of the shareholders) / Regular/special shareholders’ meeting
(Memorandum and) articles of association / (Articles of incorporation and) bylaws
Profit and loss account / Income statement
Chairman / President/Chairman
Managing director / Chief Executive Officer
Estate agent / Realtor
Bureau de change / Currency exchange
Property / Real estate
Post code / Zip code
Prison / Penitentiary
Stand (for office) / Run (for office)
Unit trust / Mutual fund
Cheque / Check
Current account / Checking account

These are just a few examples. It is often worthwhile establishing whether your audience/the recipients of your document would prefer British or American terminology, as although many US terms may be understood by a British person and vice versa others may cause confusion and a need for time to be spent on further explanations/clarifications.

As well as the differences in vocabulary we just looked at, it is also possible to spot differences in grammar and country-specific structures in ‘British’ and ‘American’ documents. Often there are no hard and fast rules, it is simply a question of usage and a result of how the language has developed in each country.

Dates are one well-known example:

29 September 2003 / September 29, 2003
29/9/2003 / 9/29/2003

Helpful Hint: It may be worth writing a date out in full, to avoid confusion:
3/9/2003 – 3 September 2003 or March 9, 2003 ?

The use of the comma in a list is also different. Note the extra comma in the US version of the following sentence:

The company has not issued any shares, bonds, stock options or securities this year.

The company has not issued any shares, bonds, stock options, or securities this year.

The next table shows some grammatical differences:

I will write to him next week / I will write him next week
It was nice to talk to you / It was nice to talk with you
I am meeting the union representatives tomorrow / I am meeting with the union representatives tomorrow
I live in Main Street / I live on Main Street
Let’s go and see a film / Let’s go see a movie
Different from/different to / Different than/different from
I have already eaten / I already ate
Look out of the window / Look out the window
River Thames / Hudson River

Another interesting example is the third person singular form ‘one’:
“one does what one is told to do”.

This is still in use in the UK in formal language, but is very rarely heard in the US .

Familiar speech forms can also differ greatly. Whereas Americans might say “I sure could use a drink”, the British would say “I really need a drink” or even “I’m dying for a drink”.

You are much more likely to hear an American say “sure can” or “will do” when asked to do something, while a British person might say “yes, of course” or “leave it with me”.

Although such usage may be specific to one country, in most cases it is readily understood in the other. Indeed, with today’s increasingly ‘global’ culture, many British people are now using ‘Americanisms’, although the opposite is rarely true!

Lastly, words are often spelt differently in American and British English. For instance:

-s organise / -z organize
-our favour, behaviour / -or favor, behavior

Mistakes can easily be avoided by selecting the appropriate language (British or American English) in your word processing software and running a spell-check. It sounds obvious, but is easy to forget!

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American Express Credit Card Offers: Three To Consider

Founded in 1850, American Express has a long history of working with customers. Today, the company offers a wide range of credit cards to those living all over the globe. If you’re thinking of applying for a new credit card, you may find what you need at American Express. Here are three options to consider as you search.

Blue From American Express®

Blue is a solid choice if you have an established credit history already and want a reward program included in the card. For those that qualify, the card comes with a low interest rate, as well as an introductory offer of 0% APR for up to 15 months. A 4.99% introductory rate is available on balance transfers. There is no annual fee.

The rewards program included with this card does not have an annual limit. You can redeem points when you want to, as they do not expire. The points can be used for a variety of products. Blue also comes with a built-in smart chip. This feature gives you extra security when you make purchases online.

Blue Cash® From American Express®

This is another option for those with good or excellent credit. It comes with a cash back program, and was named the “best cash-rebate card” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. If you sign up for Blue Cash, you’ll receive money back as you make purchases. For general purchases, you can earn up to 1.5% in cash back. For transactions that fall into the “Everyday Purchases” category, you can receive up to 5% in rebates. These purchases include those made at gas stations and grocery stores.

The card has no annual fee, as well as a low interest rate for those who qualify. It also comes with a 0% introductory rate. In addition to the cash rewards, this American Express card has other benefits, including a year-end financial statement and travel accident insurance.

Clear From American Express®

Clear is designed for people with a good credit rating who want a simple reward program and no fees. The reward program is set up to give a cash rebate of 1% on all eligible purchases. The rebates come automatically as an American Express shopping card. A $25 card is sent out every time a total of $2,500 has been spent.

A surprising addition to this card is that it has no fees. There are no late fees, no annual fees, no over-the-limit fees, no balance transfer fees, and no cash advance fees. While the no-fee system is very appealing, you still need to make payments on time. If a minimum payment is missed two times during a year, a high APR kicks in for at least twelve billing periods.

Whenever you look for a new card, be sure to check the terms and conditions. Read through the various details listed, and make sure that the card meets your needs. Once you have a solid understanding of the features, you’ll be ready to apply. The process only takes a few minutes.

American Express credit cards are accepted in many places today, especially in the United States and Europe. In addition, they have a variety of different options available for customers. If you’re considering getting another credit card, an American Express option may be the right one for you.

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Can Money Make You Happy? Not Necessarily, But It Can Help You Avoid A Lot Of Unhappiness.

I am sure at one time or other you have heard a statement that money doesn\’t equal happiness. In this article we explore how important should money be in our lives and how not to make the above statement true in your own life.rnrnMoney can\’t buy happiness, but it can avoid a lot of unhappiness. Keeping a sense of proportion is what\’s important in assuring long-term happiness.rnrnMoney isn\’t everything. Everyone knows that compared to your family, your friends and your health, money is nothing.rnrnBut here\’s the problem: If you want to give your kids the education they need to compete in today\’s world, supervising their homework is not enough. It also costs a lot of money.rnrnAnd if you\’re ill, and you want to jump the queue and go to a private hospital and the doctor of your choice, health costs money too.rnrnAnd if you want to enrich your life by exploring fascinating foreign cultures, travel isn\’t cheap either.rnrnAnd what about the fact we all have to face sooner or later: In this age of self-funded retirement, you need enough to pay for two decades or more of non-working life to have a comfortable and worry-free old age.rnrnSo although it may be true that money can\’t buy happiness, it can make happiness easier to come by or prevent unhappiness, and it certainly can relieve the stress of desperately wondering how to find the money to pay those education, mortgage, household and health bills.rnrnWe even have some proof that this is so. An American survey conducted by the Pew Research Center last year shows that just 34 percent of people considered themselves very happy. However, when you analyse the happiest replies by income group, you find that 49% of people with an income above $100,000 are happy, compared to only 24% of those with incomes below $30,000.rnrnSo how important should money be in our lives? The key factor is to keep a sense of proportion. If money is all that matters to you, you run the risk of ending up an unhappy person who has sacrificed much of the quality of your life to accumulating money, denying yourself pleasure or surrounding yourself with material status symbols that may arouse the envy of your acquaintances, without increasing your happiness quotient.rnrnThe objective should be to have enough money to do, buy or plan what is important to you. Knowing yourself, and what you value, is the first step towards escaping the vicious cycle of working, spending and worrying about money.rnrnFamous American investment guru Warren Buffet tells the story of a large corporation that offered all its senior executives a free haircut from the barber in the lobby once a week. Eventually, tough times called for cost-cutting and they axed the free haircut. Guess what? Most of these well-paid executives found they could get along with a hair cut every 3-4 weeks rather than cough up a few dollars a week out of their own pockets. What is your personal bottom line?rnrnDo you have to have a new car every two to three years? Do the kids have to have a new computer? Is it essential to have 10 business suits hanging in your wardrobe? Do you really need to replace your wide screen TV with a home theatre? Every single thing we buy puts more pressure on our credit cards, stretches our budget even thinner, and leaves less money available for the really big things in life.rnrnFor example, if you could save just $250 a month at 8.5% compound return from the day your child was born, you would have an education fund of $123,332 when your child turns 18 – if that were important to you.rnrnThat\’s why a financial adviser acting as your personal coach could help you turn your life around. A financial adviser has the two things every successful personal trainer needs: expertise and impartiality. So the first thing your planner will do is sit down with you and help you work out what\’s important to you and what your personal financial goals could be.rnrnThis is the key to everything. Because once you have a goal, you can work out a plan to get there. And once you have a plan, it\’s a lot easier to avoid meaningless spending and concentrate on things that really make a difference to your life.rnrnThe other thing is that although it\’s never too late to talk to a financial adviser about finding real financial happiness, the earlier you do so the better.rnrnMost of us only get the wakeup call in our 40s and 50s, when we realise that the compulsory super levy is not enough to buy us the comfortable old age we\’d like. And by then it\’s too late to have second thoughts about home entertainment units, lavish 40th birthday parties, off-road motorcycles and other discretionary spending that might have been discretely directed to a higher priority objective.rnrnBut it doesn\’t matter how old you are, or how much you earn, or what you\’re worth. An initial consultation with a financial adviser is usually free and could make a big difference to your life. So although money can\’t buy happiness, half an hour with a financial adviser could make you very happy in the long run.rnrnrnCopyright (c) 2008 Frank Paul

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