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'Alien' English: The Anglo-American Linguistic Divide

Old joke: England and America are two nations divided by a common language. Anyone who’s been to both places can vouch for the truth of that guidebook staple. Purists on both sides of the pond lament the dialectical divide. Others rejoice in endless verbal treasures.

Have you encountered “alien” English—startlingly unfamiliar words used by Americans, Australians, Britons, Canadians, New Zealanders, or other English speakers?

What’s the weirdest, most wonderful English word you’ve ever heard? Where?

ESSAY: Writer Peter Winkler recounts the linguistic hazards of being an American in England.

• FORUM: Readers share examples of English encounters.

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