You don't know your ass from your elbow

Continued Reg abuse of English provokes invective

Well-reasoned debate is the lifeblood of the Vulture Central Mailbag, as our regular correspondants will be aware. The matter of UK versus US English continues to provoke erudite and informed opinion. Long may it continue:

Sirs,

I notice in the story titled German chancellor's wife gets Victorian on your ass that you employ the word 'ass'. Need I remind you gentlemen, that an ass is a donkey. I believe the term your writer was searching for was 'arse'. Arse is a good English word, please use it. Substituting the word 'ass' is a habit employed by our American cousins and should not be encouraged here in any form. Perhaps your writer has become confused after reading through too many press releases written by semi-literate American PR people, or perhaps he is foreign himself.

Yours Faithfully,

Mr. C M Lloyd

FYI, the author of this piece, Kieren McCarthy, is as English as jellied eels, pie and mash. However, he did once spend an extended period in Paris and has, from time to time, been seen cycling around West London sporting a stripy jumper and string of onions. That might explain it.

Of course, were we to religiously adhere to UK English in all its linguistic perfection, our US readership readership might feel alientated. Mike O'Rourke states the case for the colonies:

What the hell does "Boffins" mean? You people seem to be obsessed with the word. Is it British slang for baboon? Try using something else for a change. This is the Internet, and if you want world readers, you really should use American English. Your little Island does not have any influence anymore... no one knows your slang. But the world knows our slang. Or ... you could grow up ... and not use slang on a news site at all!

From the country that perfected English ... like everything else!

Indeed - including the Cockney accent. Gawd bless yer, Mary Poppins.

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