Americanisms Are Cool in a US-hostile World

In today’s Financial Times there’s a funny and telling article (subscribers only) about how Americanisms are overtaking British English and even infesting countries full of anti-US sentiment.

The prompt for the article stemmed from outrage from the British Potato Council which said the derogatory phrase “couch potato” should be dropped because, in reality, the vegetable was bursting with goodness and nutrition. Excerpt:

In Britain people now say “hi” and “take care” instead of “hello” and “goodbye.” They call you instead of giving you a ring, swing by instead of paying you a visit, stand in line instead of forming a queue and go to the movies instead of watching a film…People pepper their speech with phrases such as “Don’t go there,” “Gedoudahere,” “Go figure,” and “Gimme a break.”…..China is more popular than the US right now, so why are we not all saying ‘ni hao’ instead of ‘hello’? The answer is that other countries may hate US foreign policy but they love American pop culture.

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