Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Parenthesis may be:
Parenthesis, either of the curved-bracket ( ) punctuation marks that together make a set of parentheses
Parenthesis (rhetoric), parenthetical expression

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This is one of a series of articles about the differences between American English and British English, which, for the purposes of these articles, are defined as follows:
Written forms of American English are fairly well standardized across the United States. An unofficial standard for spoken American English has developed as a result of mass media and of geographic and social mobility. This standard is generally called a General American or Standard Midwestern accent and dialect, and it can typically be heard from network newscasters, although local newscasters tend toward more colourful forms of speech. Despite this unofficial standard, regional variations of American English have not only persisted, but have actually intensified, according to William Labov. Regional dialects in the United States typically reflect the elements of the language of the main immigrant groups in any particular region of the country, especially in terms of pronunciation and vernacular vocabulary. Scholars have mapped at least four major regional variations of spoken American English: Northern (really north-eastern), Southern, Midland, and Western (Labov, Ash, & Boberg, 2006).

American English (AmE) is the form of English used in the United States.
British English (BrE) is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom. Historical background

Main article: American and British English pronunciation differences Pronunciation


In BrE, collective nouns can take either singular (formal agreement) or plural (notional agreement) verb forms, according to whether the emphasis is, respectively, on the body as a whole or on the individual members; compare a committee was appointed ... with the committee were unable to agree ... However, such a sentence would most likely be recast as the team members take their seats.
The difference occurs for all nouns of multitude, both general terms such as team and company and proper nouns (for example, where a place name is used to refer to a sports team). For instance,
BrE: The Clash are a well-known band; AmE: The Clash is a well known band. BrE: Indianapolis are the champions; AmE: Indianapolis is the champion.
Proper nouns which are plural in form take a plural verb in both AmE and BrE; for example, The Beatles are a well-known band; The Colts are the champions.

Formal and notional agreement

Count and mass nouns

See also: List of English irregular verbs

The past tense and past participle of the verbs learn, spoil, spell (only in the word-related sense), burn, dream, smell, spill, leap, and others, can be either irregular (learnt, spoilt, etc.) or regular (learned, spoiled, etc.). BrE allows both irregular and regular forms, but the irregular forms tend to be used more often by the British (especially by speakers using Received Pronunciation), and in some cases (smelt, leapt) there is a strong tendency to use them; in other cases (dreamed, leaned, learned Even in areas where the feature predominates, however, it has not gained widespread acceptance as "standard" usage. Verb morphology
(Recently the American use of just with simple past has made inroads into BrE, most visibly in advertising slogans and headlines such as "Cable broadband just got faster".)

BrE uses the present perfect tense to talk about an event in the recent past and with the words already, just and yet. In American usage, these meanings can be expressed with the present perfect (to express a fact Use of tenses

Shall (as opposed to will) is more commonly used by the British than by Americans. [6][7]. Shan't is seldom used in AmE (almost invariably replaced by won't or am not going to), and very much less so amongst Britons. American grammar also tends to ignore some traditional distinctions between should and would [8]; however, expressions like I should be happy are rather formal even in BrE. Verbal auxiliaries
The following verbs show differences in transitivity between BrE and AmE.

agree: Transitive or intransitive in BrE, usually intransitive in AmE (agree a contract/agree to or on a contract). However, in formal AmE legal writing one often sees constructions like as may be agreed between the parties (rather than as may be agreed to between the parties).
catch up ("to reach and overtake"): Transitive or intransitive in BrE, strictly intransitive in AmE (to catch sb up/to catch up with sb).
cater ("to provide food and service"): Intransitive in BrE, transitive in AmE (to cater for a banquet/to cater a banquet).
claim: Sometimes intransitive in BrE (used with for), strictly transitive in AmE.
meet: AmE uses intransitively meet followed by with to mean "to have a meeting with", as for business purposes (Yesterday we met with the CEO), and reserves transitive meet for the meanings "to be introduced to" (I want you to meet the CEO; she's such a fine lady), "to come together with (someone, somewhere)" (Meet the CEO at the train station), and "to have a casual encounter with". BrE uses transitive meet also to mean "to have a meeting with"; the construction meet with, which actually dates back to Middle English, appears to be coming back into use in Britain, despite some commentators who preferred to avoid confusion with meet with meaning "receive, undergo" (the proposal was met with disapproval). The construction meet up with (as in to meet up with someone), which originated in the U.S., has long been standard in both dialects.
provide: Strictly monotransitive in BrE, monotransitive or ditransitive in AmE (provide sb with sth/provide sb sth).
protest: In sense "oppose", intransitive in BrE, transitive in AmE (The workers protested against the decision/The workers protested the decision). The intransitive protest against in AmE means "to hold or participate in a demonstration against". The older sense "proclaim" is always transitive (protest one's innocence).
write: In BrE, the indirect object of this verb usually requires the preposition to, for example, I'll write to my MP or I'll write to her (although it is not required in some situations, for example when an indirect object pronoun comes before a direct object noun, for example, I'll write her a letter). In AmE, write can be used monotransitively (I'll write my congressman; I'll write him). Transitivity

The verbs prevent and stop can be found in two different constructions: "prevent/stop someone from doing something"; "prevent/stop someone doing something." The latter is well established in BrE, but not in AmE.
Some verbs can take either a to-infinitive construction or a gerund construction (e.g., to start to do something/doing something). For example, the gerund is more common:

  • In AmE than BrE, with start Complementation

    Where a statement of intention involves two separate activities, it is acceptable for speakers of AmE to use to go plus bare infinitive. Speakers of BrE would instead use to go and plus bare infinitive: thus where a speaker of AmE might say "I'll go take a bath", BrE speakers would say "I'll go and have a bath". (Both can also use the form to go to instead to suggest that the action may fail, as in "He went to take/have a bath, but the bath was full of children.") Similarly, to come plus bare infinitive is acceptable to speakers of AmE, where speakers of BrE would instead use to come and plus bare infinitive: thus where a speaker of AmE might say "come see what I bought," BrE speakers would say, "come and see what I've bought" (notice the present perfect tense: a common British preference).
    Use of prepositions before days denoted by a single word. Where British people would say "She resigned on Thursday", Americans often say "She resigned Thursday", but both forms are common in American usage. Occasionally, the preposition is also absent when referring to months: "I'll be here December" (although this usage is generally limited to colloquial speech). The first of these two examples of omitting prepositions may be seen as yet another German influence on American English.
    In the UK, from is used with single dates and times more often than in the United States. Where British speakers and writers may say "the new museum will be open from Tuesday," Americans most likely say "the new museum will be open starting Tuesday." (This difference does not apply to phrases of the pattern from A to B, which are used in both BrE and AmE.) A variation or alternative of this is the mostly American "the play opens Tuesday" and the mostly British "the play opens on Tuesday".
    A few 'institutional' nouns take no definite article when a certain role is implied: for example, at sea (as a sailor), in prison (as a convict), and at/in college (for students). Among this group, BrE has in hospital (as a patient) and at university (as a student), where AmE requires in the hospital and at the university. (When the implied roles of patient or student do not apply, the definite article is used in both dialects.) Likewise, BrE has in future and American has in the future.
    In BrE numbered highways usually take the definite article (for example "the M25", "the A14") while in America they usually do not ("I-495", "Route 66"). Southern California is an exception, where "the 5" or "the 405" are the standard. A similar pattern is followed for named roads, but in America there are local variations and older American highways tend to follow the British pattern ("the Boston Post Road").
    AmE distinguishes in back of [behind] from in the back of; the former is unknown in the UK and liable to misinterpretation as the latter. Both, however, distinguish in front of from in the front of.
    The use of the function word out as a preposition to denote an outward movement, as in "out the door" and "out the window", is standard in AmE, but not quite in British writing, where out of is generally the preferred choice, although the "American" usage, usually considered regional or dialectal by British dictionaries, is gaining ground in UK speech.
    American legislators and lawyers always use the preposition of between the name of a legislative act and the year it was passed, while their British equivalents do not. Compare Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
    Dates usually include a definite article in UK spoken English, such as "the 11th of July", or "July the 11th", while American speakers say "July 11th".
    AmE omits, and BrE requires, the definite article in a few standard expressions such as tell (the) time. Prepositions and adverbs

    In the U.S., forms are usually but not invariably filled out, but in Britain they can also be filled in. However, in reference to individual parts of a form, Americans may also use in ("fill in the blanks"). In AmE the direction "fill it all in" (referring to the form as a collection of blanks, perhaps) is as common as "fill it all out."
    Britons facing extortionate prices may have no option but to fork out, whereas Americans are more likely to fork (it) over or sometimes up; both usages are however found in both dialects.
    In both countries, thugs will beat up their victim; AmE also allows beat on (as both would for an inanimate object, such as a drum) or beat up on, which are often considered slang.
    When an outdoor event is postponed or interrupted by rain, it is rained off in the UK and rained out in the U.S. Phrasal verbs

    In AmE, some prescriptionists feel that which should not be used as an antecedent in restrictive relative clauses. According to The Elements of Style (p. 59), "that is the defining, or restrictive pronoun, which the nondefining, or nonrestrictive." This distinction was endorsed by Fowler's Modern English Usage, but the use of which as a restrictive pronoun is common in great literature produced on both sides of the Atlantic[9].
    In names of American rivers, the word river usually comes after the name (for example, Colorado River), whereas for British rivers it comes before (as in River Thames). One exception present in BrE is the Fleet River, which is rarely called the River Fleet by Londoners outside of official documentation. Exceptions in the U.S. are the River Rouge and the River Raisin, both in Michigan and named by the French. This convention is mixed, however, in some Commonwealth nations, where both arrangements are often seen.
    In BrE the word sat is often colloquially used to cover sat, sitting and seated: "I've been sat here waiting for half an hour." "The bride's family will be sat on the right-hand side of the church." This construction is not often heard outside the UK. In the 1960s, its use would mark a speaker as coming from the north of England but by the turn of the 21st century this form had spread to the south. Its use often conveys lighthearted informality, as many speakers intentionally use an ungrammatical construction they would probably not use in formal written English. This colloquial usage is widely understood by British speakers. Similarly stood can be used instead of standing. To an American, these usages are passive, and may imply that the subject had been involuntarily forced to sit or stand, or directed to hold that location.
    In most areas of the United States, the word with is also used as an adverb: "I'll come with" instead of "I'll come along". However, in some British Dialects, 'come with' is used as an abbreviation of 'come with me', as in "I'm going to the office - come with" instead of "I'm going to the office - come with me". This particular variant is also used by speakers in Minnesota and parts of the adjoining states: "Want to come with?" This is another expression possibly arising from German (kommst du mit?) in parts of the United States with high concentrations of German American populations. It is similar to South African English, where the expression comes from Afrikaans, and is also used by Dutch speakers when speaking in English.
    The word also is used at the end of a sentence in AmE (just as as well and too are in both dialects), but not so commonly in BrE, although it is encountered in Northern Ireland. Additionally, sentence-ending as well is more formal in AmE than in BrE.
    In AmE, the last letter of the alphabet is pronounced zee; in BrE, the last letter is pronounced zed. Miscellaneous grammatical differences

    Directional suffix -ward(s): British forwards, towards, rightwards, etc.; American forward, toward, rightward. In both dialects, distribution varies somewhat: afterwards, towards, and backwards are not unusual in America; while in Britain forward is common, and standard in phrasal verbs like look forward to. The forms with -s may be used as adverbs (or preposition towards), but rarely as adjectives: in Britain as in America one says "an upward motion". The Oxford English Dictionary in 1897 suggested a semantic distinction for adverbs, with -wards having a more definite directional sense than -ward; subsequent authorities such as Fowler have disputed this contention.
    AmE freely adds the suffix -s to day, night, evening, weekend, Monday, etc. to form adverbs denoting repeated or customary action: "I used to stay out evenings"; "the library is closed Saturdays". This usage has its roots in Old English, but many of these constructions are now regarded as American (for example, the OED labels nights "now chiefly N.Amer. colloq."; but to work nights is standard in BrE).
    In BrE, the agentive -er suffix is commonly attached to football (also cricket; often netball; occasionally basketball). AmE usually uses football player. Where the sport's name is usable as a verb, the suffixation is standard in both dialects: for example, golfer, bowler (in Ten-pin bowling and in Lawn Bowls), and shooter. AmE appears to sometimes use the BrE form in baller as slang for a basketball player, as in the video game "NBA Ballers." However, this is derived from slang use of "to ball" as a verb meaning to play a basketball.
    English writers everywhere occasionally (and from time immemorial) make new compound words from common phrases; for example, health care is now being replaced by healthcare on both sides of the Atlantic. However, AmE has made certain words in this fashion which are still treated as phrases in BrE.
    In compound nouns of the form <verb><noun>, sometimes AmE favours the bare infinitive where BrE favours the gerund. Examples include (AmE first): jump rope / skipping rope; racecar / racing car; rowboat / rowing boat; sailboat / sailing boat; file cabinet / filing cabinet; dial tone / dialling tone.
    More generally, AmE has a tendency to drop inflectional suffixes, thus favouring clipped forms: compare cookbook / cookery book; Smith, age 40 / Smith, aged 40; skim milk / skimmed milk; dollhouse / doll's house; barbershop / barber's shop.
    Singular attributives in one country may be plural in the other, and vice versa. For example, the UK has a drugs problem while the United States has a drug problem (although the singular usage is also commonly heard in the UK); Americans read the "sports" section of a newspaper, while the British are more likely to read the "sport" section. However, BrE maths is singular, just as AmE math is: both are abbreviations of mathematics. Word derivation and compounds
    Most of the differences in lexis or vocabulary between British and American English are in connection with concepts originating from the nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century, where new words were coined independently. Almost the entire vocabularies of the car/automobile and railway/railroad industries (see Rail terminology) are different between the UK and America, for example. Other sources of difference are slang or vulgar terms, where frequent new coinage occurs, and idiomatic phrases, including phrasal verbs. The differences most likely to create confusion are those where the same word or phrase is used for two different concepts. Regional variations even within the U.S. or the UK can create the same problems.

    Lexis (Vocabulary)
    While the use of American expressions in the UK is often noted, movement in the opposite direction is less common. But such words as book (meaning "to reserve") and roundabout (otherwise called a traffic circle or rotary) are clearly current in AmE, although often regarded as British. Some other "Briticisms", such as go missing (as an alternative to disappear), bespoke (for custom-made or made-to-order), or run-up (for "period preceding an event") are increasingly used in AmE, and a few (for instance, early on) are now completely standard.

    General trends
    Though the influence of cross-culture media has done much to familiarize BrE and AmE speakers with each other's regional words and terms, many words are still recognized as part of a single form of English. Though the use of a British word would be acceptable in AmE (and vice versa), most listeners would recognize the word as coming from the other form of English, and treat it much the same as a word borrowed from any other language. For instance: an American using the word "chap" or "mate" to refer to a friend, would be heard in much the same way as an American using the Spanish word "amigo".

    Words mainly used in a single form
    See also: List of British words not widely used in the United States
    Speakers of AmE are likely to be aware of some BrE terms, such as lorry, queue, chap, bloke, loo, and shag although they would not generally use them, or may be confused as to whether one means the American or British meaning of some (such as biscuit). They will be able to guess approximately what is meant by some others, such as driving licence. However, use of many other British words, such as naff (unstylish - though commonly used to mean "not very good"), risks rendering a sentence incomprehensible to most Americans.

    Words mainly used in British English
    See also: List of American words not widely used in the United Kingdom
    Speakers of BrE are likely to be aware of some AmE terms, such as sidewalk, gas (gasoline/petrol), counterclockwise or elevator, although they would not generally use them. They will be able to guess approximately what is meant by some others, such as cotton candy. However, use of some other American words such as semi (articulated lorry), stroller (pram/pushchair) or kitty-corner/catty-corner (diagonally opposite) risks rendering a sentence incomprehensible to most BrE speakers.

    Words mainly used in American English
    See: List of words having different meanings in British and American English
    Words like bill (AmE "paper money", BrE and AmE "invoice") and biscuit (AmE: BrE's "scone", BrE: AmE's "cookie") are used regularly in both AmE and BrE, but mean different things in each form. As chronicled by Winston Churchill, the opposite meanings of the verb to table created a misunderstanding during a meeting of the Allied forces; in BrE to table an item on an agenda means to open it up for discussion, whereas in AmE, it means to remove it from discussion.

    Words with differing meanings

    In the UK, the word whilst may be used as a preposition (as an alternative to while, especially prevalent in some dialects), but while is used as a noun. In AmE only while is used in both contexts. For example, "I will be a while" versus "whilst/while you were out your friend called". To Americans the word whilst, in any context, seems very archaic or pretentious or both. The words amidst (as opposed to amid), and to a lesser extent amongst (as opposed to among), are also rarer in AmE. ("In the midst of" is a standard idiom in both.) In some regions of England, the word "while" is used to mean "until", so "whilst" may be used in spoken English to avoid confusion.
    In the UK, generally the term fall meaning "autumn" is obsolete. Although found often from Elizabethan to Victorian literature, continued understanding of the word is usually ascribed to its continued use in America.
    In the UK, the term period for a full stop is now obsolete. For example, Tony Blair said "Terrorism is wrong, full stop." whereas in AmE, "Terrorism is wrong, period."
    Fitted is used in both conventions as an adjective ("fitted sheets" are the same size as the mattress) and as the past tense of fit ("to suffer epilepsy", for example, "Leavitt fitted" in The Andromeda Strain); however fit and fitting do not denote epileptic seizure in ordinary British use (though that usage is common within medical circles), as the same effect is achieved by to have a fit or to throw a fit.
    Media domination has seen American vocabulary encroaching on British in recent decades, so that (for example) truck is now increasingly heard in the UK instead of lorry, and line is used as well as queue - so that the verb queue up or queue is now sometimes replaced with stand in line. Word choice
    See also: Names of numbers in English
    When saying or writing out numbers, the British will typically insert an "and" before the tens and units, as in "one hundred and sixty-two" and "two thousand and three", whereas Americans will typically drop the "and" as in "two thousand three"; however, "two thousand and three" is also common. The same rule applies when saying numbers in their thousands or millions: "four hundred and thirteen thousand" would be said by a British speaker, "four hundred thirteen thousand" by an American speaker.
    Some American schools teach students to pronounce decimally written fractions (".5") as though they were longhand fractions ("five tenths"), such as "five hundred thirteen and seven tenths" for 513.7 . This formality is often dropped in common speech. It is steadily disappearing in instruction in more advanced mathematics and science work as well as in international American schools. In the UK, 513.7 would generally be read "five hundred and thirteen point seven", although if it were written 513 (even if they are young enough to have been taught otherwise at school); also usage of the "long" billion is standard in some non-English speaking countries. For these reasons, defining the word may be advisable when writing for the general public. See long and short scales for a more detailed discussion of the evolution of these terms in English and other languages.
    When referring to the numeral 0, British people would normally use "nought", "oh", "zero" or "nil" in instances such as sports scores and voting results. Americans use the term "zero" most frequently; "oh" is also often used (though never when the quantity in question is nothing), and occasionally slang terms such as "zilch" or "zip". Phrases such as "the team won two-zip" or "the team leads the series, two-nothing" are heard when reporting sports scores. The digit 0, for example, when reading a phone or account number aloud, is nearly always pronounced "oh" in both language varieties for the sake of convenience.
    When reading numbers in a sequence, such as a telephone or serial number, British people will usually use the terms double or triple/treble. Hence 007 is "double oh seven". Exceptions are the emergency telephone number 999, which is always "nine nine nine" and the apocalyptic "Number of the Beast" which is always "six six six". The directory enquiries prefix 118 is also "one one eight" in Britain. In the U.S., 911 (the U.S. emergency telephone number) is almost always read "nine-one-one", while 9/11 (in reference to the September 11, 2001 attacks) is usually read "nine-eleven".


    Monetary amounts in the range of one to two major currency units are often spoken differently. In AmE one may say "a dollar fifty" or "a pound eighty" whereas in BrE these amounts would be expressed "one dollar fifty" and "one pound eighty". For amounts over a dollar, an American will generally either drop denominations or give both dollars and cents, as in "two-twenty" or "two dollars and twenty cents" for $2.20. An American would not say "two dollars twenty." On the other hand, in BrE, "two pounds twenty" would be the most common form. It is more common to hear a British-English speaker say "one thousand, two hundred dollars" than "a thousand, two hundred dollars" although the latter construct is common in AmE. The term "twelve hundred dollars", popular in AmE, is frequently used in BrE but only for exact multiples of 100 up to 1900. Amounts over 1900 expressed in hundreds, for example "twenty-three hundred" are very rarely heard by speakers of BrE.
    The BrE slang term "quid" is roughly equivalent to the AmE "buck" and both are often used in the two respective dialects for round amounts, as in "fifty quid" for £50 and "twenty bucks" for $20. "A hundred and fifty grand" in either dialect could refer to £150,000 or $150,000 depending on context.
    A user of AmE may hand-write the mixed monetary amount $3.24 as $3
    The term 'pound sign' in BrE always refers to the currency symbol "£", whereas in AmE 'pound sign' means the number sign, which the British call the 'hash' symbol, "#" (The British telephone company BT in the 60's to the 90's called this 'gate' on the keypads).
    In BrE, the plural of the word pound is often considered to be "pound" as opposed to "pounds." For example, "three pound forty," and "twenty pound a week" are both legitimate British English. This does not apply to other currencies however, so that the same speaker would most likely say "three dollars forty", "twenty dollars a week", "three euros forty" and "twenty euros a week" in similar contexts.
    In BrE, the use of p instead of pence is common in spoken usage. Each of the following have equal legitimacy: "three pounds, twelve p", "three pounds and twelve p", "three pounds, twelve pence", "three pounds and twelve pence", as well as just "eight p" or "eight pence".
    AmE uses words like nickel, dime, and quarter for small coins. In BrE, the usual usage is 10-pence piece or 10p piece for any coin below £1, with piece sometimes omitted, but pound coin and two-pound coin. BrE did have specific words for a number of coins prior to decimalisation. Monetary amounts
    Normally, BrE speakers tell the time and Americans tell time. Fifteen minutes after the hour is called quarter past in British usage and a quarter after or, less commonly, a quarter past in American usage. Fifteen minutes before the hour is usually called quarter to in British usage and a quarter of, a quarter to or a quarter till in American usage; the form a quarter to is associated with parts of the Northern U.S., while a quarter till is found chiefly in the Appalachian region. Thirty minutes after the hour is commonly called half past in both BrE and AmE. In informal British speech the preposition is sometimes omitted, so that 5:30 may be referred to as half five (by contrast, in the German halb fünf is half-an-hour before five, i.e. 4:30). Half after used to be more common in the U.S. The AmE formations top of the hour and bottom of the hour are not commonly used in BrE. Forms like eleven forty are common in both dialects. See below for variation in written forms.


    Selected lexical differences
    There are also variations in floor numbering between the U.S. and UK. In most countries, including the UK, the "first floor" is one above the entrance level while the entrance level is the "ground floor." Normal American usage labels the entrance level as the "first floor" or the "ground floor." In American English, the floor immediately above that, is the "second floor."

    Levels of buildings
    Both BrE and AmE use the expression "I couldn't care less" to mean the speaker does not care at all. In AmE, the phrase "I could care less" (without the "n't") is synonymous with this in casual usage, despite technically meaning the opposite. Intonation no longer reflects the originally sarcastic nature of this variant, which is not idiomatic in BrE and might be interpreted as anything from nonsense (or sloppiness) to an indication that the speaker does care.
    In both areas, saying "I don't mind" often means "I'm not annoyed" (for example, by someone's smoking), while "I don't care" often means "the matter is trivial or boring". However, in answering a question like "Tea or coffee?", if either alternative is equally acceptable, an American may answer "I don't care", while a British person may answer "I don't mind". Either sounds odd to the other.
    In BrE, the phrase "I can't be arsed [to do something]" is a vulgar equivalent to the British or American "I can't be bothered [to do something]". This can be extremely confusing to Americans, as the Southern British pronunciation of the former sounds similar to "I can't be asked...", which sounds either defiantly rude or nonsensical.
    Older BrE often uses the exclamation "No fear!" where current AmE has "No way!" An example from Dorothy L. Sayers:
    Q.: Wilt thou be baptized in this faith?American and British English differences A.: No fear!
    — from A Catechism for Pre- and Post-Christian Anglicans
    This usage may confuse users of AmE, who are likely to interpret and even use "No fear!" as enthusiastic willingness to move forward.

    Figures of speech
    A number of English idioms that have essentially the same meaning show lexical differences between the British and the American version; for instance:
    In some cases the "American" variant is also used in BrE, or vice versa.

    In the UK, a student is said to study, or, at Oxford and Cambridge, to read a subject (read is now more commonly being used in reference to other universities). In the U.S., a student studies or majors in a subject (although "concentration" or "emphasis" is also used in some U.S. colleges or universities to refer to the major subject of study). To major in something refers to the student's principal course of study, while to study may refer to any class being taken.
    At the tertiary or university level in BrE, a module is taught by a lecturer, while in AmE, a class is generally taught by a professor (at some institutions, "professor" is reserved for tenure-track faculty with other members of the faculty referred to as "lecturers" or "instructors"). At the primary and secondary levels the term "teacher" is used instead in both BrE and AmE. The term "lecturer," in an educational context, would be perceived in AmE as denoting anyone, professor or special guest, giving an actual lecture before a class.
    "She studied history at Bristol."
    "She read history at Oxford."
    "She majored in history at Yale."
    "He majored in Elementary Education at the University of Minnesota."
    The word course in American use typically refers to the study of a restricted topic (for example, "a course in Early Medieval England", "a course in Integral Calculus") over a limited period of time (such as a semester or term) and is equivalent to a module at a British University. In the UK, a "course of study" is likely to refer to a whole program of study, which may extend over several years, and made up of any number of "modules."
    In the UK, a student is said to sit or take an exam, while in the U.S., a student takes an exam. The expression he sits for an exam also arises in BrE, but only rarely in AmE; American lawyers-to-be sit for their bar exams, and American master's and doctoral students may sit for their comprehensive exams, but in nearly all other instances, Americans take their exams. When preparing for an exam, students revise (BrE)/review (AmE) what they have studied; the BrE idiom to revise for an exam has no exact equivalent in the U.S.
    Examinations are supervised by invigilators in the UK and proctors (or (exam) supervisors) in the U.S. In the UK, a teacher sets an exam, while in the U.S., a teacher writes or gives an exam.
    "I sat my Spanish exam yesterday."
    "I plan to set a difficult exam for my students, but I haven't got it ready yet."
    "I took my exams at Yale."
    "I spent the entire day yesterday writing the exam. I'm almost ready to give it to my students."
    Another source of confusion is the different usage of the word college. (See a full international discussion of the various meanings at college.) In the U.S., this refers to a post-high school institution that grants bachelor's degrees, while in the UK it refers primarily to an institution between secondary school and university (normally referred to as a Sixth Form College after the old name in secondary education for Years 12 and 13, the 6th form) where intermediary courses such as A Levels or NVQs can be taken and GCSE courses can be retaken. College may sometimes be used in the UK or in Commonwealth countries as part of the name of a secondary or high school (for example, Dubai College. It should be noted, however, that in the case of Oxford, Cambridge, London and Durham universities, all members are also members of a college, for example, one is a member of St. Peter's College, Oxford and hence the University.
    In both the U.S. and UK, college can refer to some division within a university such as the "college of business and economics". Institutions in the U.S. that offer two to four years of post-high school education often have the word college as part of their name, while those offering more advanced degrees are called a university. (There are exceptions, of course: Boston College, Dartmouth College and The College of William and Mary are examples of colleges that offer advanced degrees.) (An obvious sign that an educational institution aspires to a better station in life may be seen when it drops "college" from its name and substitutes "university.") American students who pursue a bachelor's degree (four years of higher education) or an associate degree (two years of higher education) are college students regardless of whether they attend a college or a university and refer to their educational institutions informally as colleges. A student who pursues a master's degree or a doctorate degree in the arts and sciences is in AmE a graduate student; in BrE a post-graduate student although graduate student also sometimes used. Students of advanced professional programmes are known by their field (business student, law student, medical student, the last of which is frequently shortened to med student). Some universities also have a residential college system, the details of which may vary from school to school but generally involve common living and dining spaces as well as college-organized activities.
    "Professor" has different meanings in BrE and AmE. In BrE it is the highest academic rank, followed by Reader, Senior Lecturer and Lecturer. In AmE "Professor" refers to academic staff of all ranks, with (Full) Professor (largely equivalent to the UK meaning) followed by Associate Professor and Assistant Professor.
    There is additionally a difference between American and British usage in the word school. In British usage "school" by itself refers only to primary (elementary) and secondary (high) schools, and to sixth forms attached to secondary schools — if one "goes to school", this type of institution is implied. By contrast, an American student at a university may talk of "going to school" or "being in school". U.S. law students and med students almost universally speak in terms of going to "law school" and "med school," respectively. However, the word is used in BrE in the context of higher education; to describe a division grouping together several related subjects in a university, for example a "School of European Languages" containing departments for each language, and also in the term "art school".
    Among high school and college students in the United States, the words freshman (or the gender-neutral term frosh or first year), sophomore, junior and senior refer to the first, second, third, and fourth years, respectively. It is important that the context of either high school or college first be established, or else it must be stated directly (that is, "She is a high school freshman." "He is a college junior."). Many institutions in both countries also use the term first-year as a gender-neutral replacement for freshman, although in the U.S. this is recent usage, formerly referring only to those in the first year as a graduate student. One exception is the University of Virginia; since its founding in 1819, the terms "first-year", "second-year", "third-year", and "fourth-year" have been used to describe undergraduate university students. At the United States military academies, at least those operated directly by the federal government, a different terminology is used, namely "fourth class", "third class", "second class", and "first class" (note that the order of numbering is the reverse of the number of years in attendance). In the UK, first year university students are often called freshers, especially early in the academic year; however, there are no specific names for those in other years, nor for school pupils. Graduate and professional students in the United States are known by their year of study (a "second-year medical student" or a "fifth-year doctoral candidate"; law students are generally not referred to as "nth-year law students", but rather "1L", "2L", or "3L").
    While anyone in the U.S. who finishes studying at any educational institution by passing relevant examinations is said to graduate and to be a graduate, in the UK only degree and above level students can graduate. Student itself has a wider meaning in AmE, meaning any person of any age studying at any educational institution, whereas in BrE it tends to be used for people studying at a post-secondary educational institution.
    In the UK, the U.S. equivalent of a high school is often referred to as a secondary school regardless of whether it is state funded or private. Secondary education in the United States also includes middle school or junior high school, a two or three year transitional school between elementary school and high school.
    A public school has opposite meanings in the two countries. In the U.S. this is a government-owned institution supported by taxpayers. In England and Wales, the term strictly refers to a select group of prestigious private independent schools funded by students' fees, although it is often more loosely used to refer to any independent school. Independent schools are also known as private schools, and the latter is the correct term in Scotland and Northern Ireland for all such fee-funded schools. Strictly, the term public school is not used in Scotland and Northern Ireland in the same sense as in England, but nevertheless, Gordonstoun, the Scottish private school which Charles, Prince of Wales attended, is sometimes confusingly referred to as a public school. Government-funded schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland are properly referred to as state schools — but are sometimes confusingly referred to as public schools (with the same meaning as in the U.S.); whereas in the U.S., where most public schools are administered by local governments, a state school is typically a college or university run by one of the states.
    Speakers in both the United States and the United Kingdom use several additional terms for specific types of secondary schools. A prep school or preparatory school is an independent school funded by tuition fees; the same term is used in the UK for a private school for pupils under thirteen, designed to prepare them for fee-paying public schools. An American parochial school covers costs through tuition and has affiliation with a religious institution. In the UK, the state-funded education system grew from parish schools organised by the local established church, the Church of England (C.of E., or C.E.), and many schools, especially primary schools (up to age 11) retain a church connection and are known as church schools, C.E. Schools or C.E. (Aided) Schools. There are also faith schools associated with the Roman Catholic church and other major faiths, with a mixture of funding arrangements.
    In the U.S., a magnet school receives government funding and has special admission requirements: students gain admission through superior performance on admission tests. The UK has city academies, which are independent privately sponsored schools run with public funding, and which can select up to 10% of pupils by aptitude.


    Main article: Car terminology Transport/Transportation

    Main article: Holiday Greetings Greetings
    Due to the history and origins of mobile phones/cellphones, there are some small differences in the terminology. Firstly, the word mobile phone (often shortened to simply mobile) is used to describe all portable phones from the car phones to the most modern 3G handsets in the UK, while in America, it only describes the early car phones, with later portable devices being called cellphones after the cells that they use.
    Other terms include describing the person's operator as either a network or an operator in the UK, while an American would say their carrier. An operator would talk about their tariffs such as "Unlimited text messages on all tariffs" in the UK, while in the America they would talk about their plan as in "Unlimited texts on all plans". Someone who uses a top-up service for their phone, both the UK and America would use prepaid, however many Brits use the term pay-as-you-go. The proliferation of text messages has made the word txt a common word for a text message in the UK, while in America it is unheard of.

    Mobile phone/cellphone terminology

    Main article: American and British English spelling differences
    In the early 18th century, English spelling was not standardised. Different standards became noticeable after the publishing of influential dictionaries. Current BrE spellings follow, for the most part, those of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Many of the now characteristic AmE spellings were introduced, although often not created, by Noah Webster in his An American Dictionary of the English Language of 1828.
    Webster was a strong proponent of spelling reform for reasons both philological and nationalistic. Many other spelling changes proposed in the U.S. by Webster himself, and, in the early 20th century, by the Simplified Spelling Board never caught on. Among the advocates of spelling reform in England, the influences of those who preferred the Norman (or Anglo-French) spellings of certain words proved decisive. Subsequent spelling adjustments in the UK had little effect on present-day U.S. spelling, and vice versa. While in many cases AmE deviated in the 19th century from mainstream British spelling, on the other hand it has also often retained older forms.

    The American style was established for typographical reasons, an historical holdover from the days of the handset printing press. It also eliminates the need to decide whether a period or comma belongs to the quotation., and it would be regarded as a highly formal usage by most Americans. American and British English differences Punctuation
    Use of capitalisation varies.
    Sometimes, the words in titles of publications, newspaper headlines, as well as chapter and section headings are capitalised in the same manner as in normal sentences (sentence case). That is, only the first letter of the first word is capitalised, along with proper nouns, etc.
    However, publishers sometimes require additional words in titles and headlines to have the initial capital, for added emphasis, as it is often perceived as appearing more professional. In AmE, this is common in titles, but less so in newspaper headlines. The exact rules differ between publishers and are often ambiguous; a typical approach is to capitalise all words other than short articles, prepositions, and conjunctions. This should probably be regarded as a common stylistic difference, rather than a linguistic difference, as neither form would be considered incorrect or unusual in either the UK or the U.S. Many British tabloid newspapers (such as The Sun, The Daily Sport, News of the World) use fully capitalised headlines for impact, as opposed to readability (for example, BERLIN WALL FALLS or BIRD FLU PANIC). On the other hand, the broadsheets (such as The Guardian, The Times, and The Independent) usually follow the sentence style of having only the first letter of the first word capitalised.

    Titles and headlines
    Dates are usually written differently in the short (numerical) form. Christmas Day 2000, for example, is 25/12/00 or 25.12.00 (dashes are occasionally used) in the UK and 12/25/00 in the U.S., although the formats 25/12/2000, 25.12.2000, and 12/25/2000 now have more currency than they had prior to the Year 2000 problem. Occasionally other formats are encountered, such as the ISO 8601 2000-12-25, popular among programmers, scientists, and others seeking to avoid ambiguity. The difference in short-form date order can lead to misunderstanding. For example, 06/04/05 could mean either June 4, 2005 (if read as U.S. format), 6 April 2005 (if seen as in UK format), or even 5 April 2006 if taken to be an older ISO 8601-style format where 2-digit years were allowed.
    A consequence of the different short-form of dates is that in the UK many people would be reluctant to refer to "9/11", although its meaning would be instantly understood. On the BBC, "September the 11th" is generally used in preference to 9/11, although 9/11 is commonplace in the British press. 11/9 is occasionally used deliberately to emphasise the distinction.
    When writing long-form dates, the format "December 25, 2000" is the form generally used in the U.S., and it is sometimes encountered in the UK as well. In the UK and elsewhere, it is more common to use the format "25 December 2000" or "25th December 2000". This format is, however, acceptable in the U.S., and the American grammarians Strunk and White, among others, recommend it. Similarly, in American speech, "December twenty-fifth" is the most likely form, though "the twenty-fifth of December" is also not uncommon. Note, though, that Americans normally refer to Independence Day as the "Fourth of July". In the UK the day-first style is more likely, and when the month is presented first the definite article is usually inserted in speech, thus "December the twenty-fifth". American military usage follows the British model: "25 December 2000" and "25/12/00".
    Phrases such as the following are common in Britain and Ireland but are unknown in the U.S: "A week today", "a week tomorrow", "a week on Tuesday", "a week Tuesday", "Tuesday week", "Friday fortnight", "a fortnight on Friday" and "a fortnight Friday" (these latter referring to two weeks after "next Friday"). In the US, the standard construction is "a week from today", "a week from tomorrow" etc. BrE speakers may also say "Friday last" or "Friday gone" instead of "last Friday".

    Americans always write digital times with a colon, thus 6:00, whereas Britons often use a point, 6.00, although it is becoming increasingly popular to use a colon. Also, the 24-hour clock (18:00 or 1800), which in the UK would be considered normal in many applications (for example, air/rail/bus timetables) is largely unused in the U.S. outside of military or medical applications. Often in the UK 18:00 will be written as 1800h, or 06:00 as 0600h - representing the military speak "oh-six-hundred-hours", even if people would almost always read it aloud as "six o'clock". This has become popular in text messaging since it is easier to type an "h" than a colon.

    See: British and American keyboards

    See also

    Algeo, John (2006). British or American English?. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37993-8.
    Hargraves, Orin (2003). Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-515704-4
    McArthur, Tom (2002). The Oxford Guide to World English. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866248-3.
    Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-62181-X.
    Trudgill, Peter and Jean Hannah. (2002). International English: A Guide to the Varieties of Standard English, 4th ed. London: Arnold. ISBN 0-340-80834-9.

Monday, October 29, 2007

For information about The Sketch Show TV programme, see The Sketch Show.
Sketch comedy consists of a series of short comedy scenes, or 'sketches', commonly between one and ten minutes long. Such sketches are performed by a group of comedic actors, either on stage or through an audio or/and visual medium such as broadcasting. Often sketches are first improvised by the actors and written down based on the outcome of these improv sessions, however improvisation is not necessarily involved in all sketch comedy.

Sketch comedy Festivals
Besides such more professional, properly theatrical performers, there is also a tradition of amateur fun. As the whole concept of sketch comedy is meant to be silly anyway it is an ideal form of theater, like pantomime, for simply ridiculous attempts (often involving cross-dressing). There are many purposes: to entertain crowds or troops when no professional entertainment is available, sometimes with a mild hope of fund-raising. It is not uncommon as a task for pledges during hazing (in which case there often is divesting and/or homo-erotic or other sexual elements or suggestion).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning. The words may be spelled the same, such as rose (flower) and rose (past tense of "rise"), or differently, such as carat, caret, and carrot, or your and you're. A homophone is a specific type of homonym. The term may also be used to apply to units shorter than words, such as letters or group of letters which are pronounced the same as another letter or group of letters.
Homophones are often used to create puns and to deceive the reader (as in crossword puzzles) or to suggest multiple meanings. The last usage is common in poetry and creative literature. An example of this is seen in Dylan Thomas' radio play Under Milk Wood: "The shops in mourning" where mourning can be heard as mourning or morning. Another vivid example is Thomas Hood's poem "Faithless Sally Brown":
His death, which happen'd in his berth,
At forty-odd befell:
They went and told the sexton, and
The sexton toll'd the bell.
Homophones in the context of word games are also known as "oronyms". This term was coined by Gyles Brandreth and first published in his book The Joy of Lex (1980), and it was used in the BBC programme Never Mind the Full Stops, which also featured Brandreth as a guest.
Examples of "oronyms" (which may only be true homophones in certain dialects of English) include
'mint spy' vs 'mince pie';
'ice cream' vs. 'I scream'
'stuffy nose' vs. 'stuff he knows';
'euthanasia' vs. 'youth in Asia';
'situation' vs. 'sit, you Asian';
'i.c.q.' vs. 'I seek you'.
'depend' vs. 'deep end'
Two oronyms appear in "Ana's Song (Open Fire)" by Silverchair. While they initially sound like mondegreens, reading the lyrics will reveal that this is not the case. The first line of the song, "Please die Ana, for as long as you're here we're not", also sounds very much like "Please Diana, ...", which confuses people into believing that "Ana" is a person, when really it is just a nickname for anorexia. The next verse is "And Ana wrecks your life, like an anorexia life", which is another oronym that proves ana's real meaning.
American comedian Jeff Foxworthy frequently uses oronyms in his Appalachian routine. Notable examples include, "Initiate: My wife ate two sandwiches, initiate (and then she ate) a bag o' tater chips." and "Mayonnaise: Mayonnaise (Man, there is) a lot of people here tonight."
Mad Gab is a team oronym solving game.

Homophones Pseudo-Homophones
Pseudo-homophones are non-words that are phonetically identical to a word. Pseudo-homophone pairs are pairs of phonetically identical letter strings where one string is a word and the other is a non-word. For example, groan/grone and crane/crain are pseudo-homophone pairs, whereas plane/plain is a homophone pair since both letter strings are recognised words, both types of pairs are used in lexical decision tasks to investigate word recognition.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Free climbing
Free climbing is the most common style of rock climbing, in which the climber uses no artificial aids to make upwards progress. In this way, the climber will use only hands, feet and other parts of the body. Ropes and protective equipment are used only for protection against the consequences of a fall. The term is used in contrast to aid climbing, a much less prevalent practice in which equipment is used directly (i.e. pulled or stood on) in order to make progress.
Styles of free climbing include traditional climbing, sport climbing, free soloing and bouldering.
The term free climbing is commonly confused with free soloing by non-climbers. This is a type of free climbing where no rope or protective equipment is used for protection, and a fall would clearly be disastrous. In contrast, the vast majority of free climbers will make use of such equipment as a safeguard when climbing at height.
Free climbing "guidelines" from a U.S. perspective (Stonemaster's, et al.): the adventure of exploring the unknown, living on the cutting edge of the possible and the impossible, and striving to go one better. In light of those ideals, the climbing community espoused a goal of avoiding behavior that sullies (makes less challenging in any way beyond personal improvement) a climbing route.

See also

Friday, October 26, 2007

Humphrey Carpenter
Humphrey William Bouverie Carpenter (April 29, 1946January 4, 2005) was an English biographer, author and radio broadcaster. He was born, died, and lived practically all of his life, in the city of Oxford. As a child he lived in the Warden's Lodgings at Keble College, Oxford, where his father, Harry James Carpenter, was Warden until his appointment as Bishop of Oxford. On leaving the Dragon School in Oxford, Humphrey was educated at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, but returned to study English at Keble.
His large output of books includes biographies of J. R. R. Tolkien (1977) (also editor of The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien), W. H. Auden (1981), Ezra Pound (1988), Evelyn Waugh (1989), Benjamin Britten (1992), Robert Runcie (1997), and Spike Milligan (2004).
He also wrote histories of BBC Radio 3 (on which he was a regular broadcaster), the British satire boom of the 1960s, Angry Young Men: A Literary Comedy of the 1950s (2002) and a centennial history of the Oxford University Dramatic Society in 1985. His Mr Majeika series of children's books enjoyed considerable popularity and were successfully adapted for television. His encyclopedic work The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (1984), written jointly with his wife Mari Prichard, has become a standard reference source.
A distinguished broadcaster, he began his career at BBC Radio Oxford as a presenter and producer before moving to national radio. He played a vital role in launching Radio 3's ongoing arts discussion programme Night Waves and was a regular presenter of other programmes on the network including Radio 3's afternoon drivetime programme In Tune and, until it was discontinued, its Sunday request programme Listeners' Choice. Until he died he was the presenter of the BBC Radio 4 biography series Great Lives recorded in Bristol. The last edition recorded before his death featured an interview with the singer Eddi Reader about her selected life, Robert Burns. The programme was transmitted on New Year's Eve 2004.
In 1983, he formed a 1930s style jazz band, Vile Bodies, which for many years enjoyed a residency at the Ritz Hotel in London.
He also founded the Mushy Pea Theatre Group, a children's drama group based in Oxford, which premiered his Mr Majeika: The Musical in 1991 and Babes, a musical about Hollywood child stars.
Carpenter was a talented amateur jazz musician and an accomplished player of the piano, the saxophone and the double-bass, playing the last instrument professionally in a dance band in the 1970s.
His early death was the result of heart failure, compounded by the Parkinson's disease from which he had suffered for several years.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, The bacteria then multiply in the blood stream of the infected person and are absorbed into the digestive tract and eliminated with the waste.

Typhoid Symptoms
Diagnosis is made by blood, bone marrow or stool cultures and with the Widal test (demonstration of salmonella antibodies against antigens O-somatic and H-flagellar). In epidemics and less wealthy countries, after excluding malaria, dysentery or pneumonia, a therapeutic trial time with chloramphenicol is generally undertaken while awaiting the results of Widal test and blood cultures.

Typhoid fever in most cases is not fatal. Antibiotics, such as ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin, have been commonly used to treat typhoid fever in developed countries. Prompt treatment of the disease with antibiotics reduces the case-fatality rate to approximately 1%.
When untreated, typhoid fever persists for three weeks to a month. Death occurs in between 10% and 30% of untreated cases. Vaccines for typhoid fever are available and are advised for persons traveling in regions where the disease is common (especially Asia, Africa and Latin America). Typhim Vi is an intramuscular killed-bacteria vaccination and Vivotif is an oral live bacteria vaccination, both of which protect against typhoid fever. Neither vaccine is 100% effective against typhoid fever and neither protects against unrelated typhus.

Resistance to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and streptomycin is now common, and these agents have not been used as first line treatment now for almost 20 years. Typhoid that is resistant to these agents is known as multidrug-resistant typhoid (MDR typhoid).
Ciprofloxacin resistance is an increasing problem, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Many centres are therefore moving away from using ciprofloxacin as first line for treating suspected typhoid originating in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand or Vietnam. For these patients, the recommended first line treatment is ceftriaxone.
There is a separate problem with laboratory testing for reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin: current recommendations are that isolates should be tested simultaneously against ciprofloxacin (CIP) and against nalidixic acid (NAL), and that isolates that are sensitive to both CIP and NAL should be reported as "sensitive to ciprofloxacin", but that isolates testing sensitive to CIP but not to NAL should be reported as "reduced sensitivity to ciprofloxacin". However, an analysis of 271 isolates showed that around 18% of isolates with a reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin (MIC 0.125–1.0 mg/l) would not be picked up by this method. It not certain how this problem can be solved, because most laboratories around the world (including the West) are dependent disc testing and cannot test for MICs.

Flying insects feeding on feces may occasionally transfer the bacteria through poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions. Public education campaigns encouraging people to wash their hands after toileting and before handling food are an important component in controlling spread of the disease. According to statistics from the United States Center for Disease Control, the chlorination of drinking water has led to dramatic decreases in the transmission of typhoid fever in the U.S..
A person may become an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, suffering no symptoms, but capable of infecting others. According to the Centers for Disease Control approximately 5% of people who contract typhoid continue to carry the disease after they recover.

It is thought that cystic fibrosis may have risen to its present levels (1 in 1600 in UK) due to the heterozygous advantage that it confers against typhoid fever. The CFTR protein is present in both the lungs and the intestinal epithelium, and the mutant cystic fibrosis form of the CFTR protein prevents entry of the typhoid bacterium into the body through the intestinal epithelium.

Heterozygous advantage
Around 430–426 B.C., a devastating plague, which some believe to have been typhoid fever, killed one third of the population of Athens, including their leader Pericles. The balance of power shifted from Athens to Sparta, ending the Golden Age of Pericles that had marked Athenian dominance in the ancient world. Ancient historian Thucydides also contracted the disease, but he survived to write about the plague. His writings are the primary source on this outbreak. The cause of the plague has long been disputed, with modern academics and medical scientists considering epidemic typhus the most likely cause. However, a 2006 study detected DNA sequences similar to those of the bacterium responsible for typhoid fever. Public health authorities told Mary to give up working as a cook or have her gall bladder removed. Mary quit her job but returned later under a false name. She was detained and quarantined after another typhoid outbreak. She died of pneumonia after 26 years in quarantine.
In 1897, Almroth Edward Wright developed an effective vaccine.
Most developed countries saw declining rates of typhoid fever throughout first half of 20th century due to vaccinations and advances in public sanitation and hygiene. Antibiotics were introduced in clinical practice in 1942, greatly reducing mortality. At the present time, incidence of typhoid fever in developed countries is around 0.5 cases per 100,000 people per year.

Famous people who have succumbed to the disease include:

Abigail Adams, U.S. President John Adams's wife
Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, British prince consort, Queen Victoria's husband
John Buford
Stephen A. Douglas
Alexander Alexandrovich Friedman
Mark Hanna
K.B. Hedgewar, founder of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh
Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria
Mary Henrietta Kingsley
Joseph Lucas
Leland Stanford, Jr.
Henry Frederick Stuart, Prince of Wales, original heir to the throne of James I of England
Evangelista Torricelli
Charles Trenet
Godfrey Weitzel, major general in the Union army during the American Civil War
Wilbur Wright
Ignacio Zaragoza
Belle Boyd the female confederate spy

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An infidel (literally "one without faith") is an offensive English word meaning "one who doubts or rejects central tenets of a religion or has no religious beliefs", especially in reference to Christianity or Islam.

Definition of "infidel" by the Merriam-Webster dictionary
Definition of "unbeliever" by the Merriam-Webster dictionary
Definition of "kafir" by the Merriam-Webster dictionary