American English has become much more pervasive than British English according to a new study. The effect of American English is even felt in England where a large section of the young population prefer to use American vocabulary. These findings were published in a new book titled The Fall of the Empire: The Americanization of English.
In the book, authors studied 15 million digitised books published between 1800 and 2010. In addition to this, more than 30 million geolocated tweets were also analysed, a Guardian report stated. During their research, contributing authors studied people's preference for American and British vocabulary and spelling. For example, authors saw if people prefer to use aubergine instead of eggplant.
The findings stated that people in Paris, Madrid and most other Western European cities use American vocabulary nowadays. However, British English has always been the norm there. In contrast, British English is still prevalent in Commonwealth countries.
According to Indian linguist Braj Kachru, spoken English in countries vary and he outlined that there are three circles of English speakers. First, there are the native speakers of English (England), secondly, those who use it as a second language (India) and finally, people who use it while conducting business in countries like Finland, Russia, Portugal etc.
The Guardian article noted that this shift in vocabulary is due to the pervasiveness of American TV shows and films. Using a Google Books dataset, authors noticed how vocabulary has evolved in the past two centuries and found that a significant shift has taken place within the English language after the fall of the Berlin Wall and during the end of Cold War, "which left America as the world's only superpower."