What I learnt in England last week

I find that every time I go to England I learn something new about my language. This time it was from a conversation with a charming Barbadian-French law student on the plane flying back. Apart from a very interesting conversation on multi-culturalism, what I learnt on the language side was that someone from Barbados is called Barbadian, and not Barbadan, as I originally used. What did she learn? Language-wise probably what a start-up is. She had never heard the expression before.

Conversations like this always remind me of how little I really know about my own language, and how, because English is spoken as a native language by so many people in different parts of the world, there really is no ONE correct English. English speakers grow up with their language being used in different ways by different people all over the world, and, although they may sometimes laugh about the differences, they usually enjoy the diversity.

Anne Wegner

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