Which is it? Math? Or Maths?
The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language. – George Bernard Shaw
We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language. – Oscar Wilde
The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. – James D. Nicoll
Having spent time living in English speaking countries other than the United States, I’m fascinated by not only the different pronunciation of English words from country to country, but also by the unique usage and spellings of words. Aluminum vs Aluminium is one of my favorites. (For an interesting read on the naming of Element 13 check out this explanation by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D..)
Another common difference between U.S. English and the rest of the entire English speaking world is Math vs Maths. Which is correct? Is one any more correct than the other? For an answer, lets hear what Dr Lynne Murphy, an American linguist living in Britain, has to say.
So which is it for you? Math? Or Maths? And did Dr Murphy’s explanation change your opinion in any way? For me, as an American, I would find it awkward, and more than a bit pretentious, to say Maths. Though I will admit some small delight in saying Aluminium. ;)
And for a somewhat more eloquent illustration of American English vs British English, lets turn to the British, and absolutely brilliant comedian, Eddie Izzard, from his 1998 performance of Dress To Kill, in San Fransisco, CA.
Of course, this doesn’t explain that whole ‘ello vs hello thing….