The Changing English Language by Brian Foster (auth.)

By Brian Foster (auth.)

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This somewhat metaphorical use is rather surprising at such an early date. By 1960 commute showed signs of being used for driving a car to and from work every day, an idea which cuts adrift from the original 'commuted fare ticket', which in any case was never known to most British speakers. e. to have no connection with the normal sense of 'commute'. At the back of the British mind there is also the THE IMP ACT OF AMERICA 59 consciousness of the legal sense 'of commuting' a death sentence to one of life imprisonment, and it may seem almost improper to use the word in any other way.

C. announcer Alvar Lidell denounces 'the tendency not to be so resistant to Americanisms. I am very much aware of them and dislike them' (Time and Tide, 28 May 1960). Sir Compton Mackenzie describes the British way oj life as 'that ridiculous phrase' (Spectator, 7 Nov I954) and a contributor to the Daily Mail voiced the opinion of many when he wrote that 'our daughter is what is hideously termed a teen-ager' (25 Mar 1954). Sometimes repugnance is mingled with grudging admiration as when in 1951 a member of Parliament said in the House, 'I hate some of these American expressions, but in this case manufacturing 'know-how' explains best what I mean'.

1 (Nor did Shaw himself mind slipping an occasional American expression into a British context, though in fact he was not to visit the United States until 1933. D. from the works of the American short-story writer, O. ) Salesmanship and advertising are activities in which Americans excel, so it is not surprising that other countries often copy their styles and techniques. e. 'advertise or publish the merits of, cause something to be desired' {hence the startling phrase I Gollancz. 37 attributed to the late Dr Buchman, 'I sell Christ').

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