American English

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American English is a dialect of the original language spoken in Great Britain which is used in the United States. American English itself consists of a number of different dialects. Distinctive dialects of American English include those spoken in the South, New England, and New York City, to name only a few. Even these dialects can be broken down further into distinctive dialects, such as the English spoken in Brooklyn, or that spoken in Boston.

History

The use of English in the United States was inherited as a result of British colonization of the country which at the time was partly a British colony. The first wave of English-speaking settlers arrived in North America in the 17th century. During that time, there were also speakers in North America of Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Finnish, as well as numerous Native American languages. To a certain extent, the American dialect spoken commonly throughout the USA comes from the intertwining of many of these languages and dialects.

In many ways, compared to British English, American English differs in its grammar, phonology and vocabulary. Many of these differences were amplified by separate attempts in both Britain and the United States to standardize English usage. For example, Webster's dictionary was influential in firmly establishing many of the American spellings now in use today. President Teddy Roosevelt endorsed an effort to remove spellings that many Americans perceived to be cumbersome and illogical from the English language as used in America. The Chicago Tribune also embarked on its own effort to simplify spelling and make it more phonetic.

Today, American English is often regarded as a distorted version of British English by native English speakers living outside North America. In fact, many international organizations, especially academic ones, regard British English exclusively as proper English.