What you get
An Excel spreadsheet comparing US, Canadian, and UK English in terms of pronunciation, word choice, and date-time conventions. The spreadsheet contains over 6,400 meaningful entries with no repetition. Scroll down for a free sample.
Sources: Dr Jonathan has accumulated this spreadsheet over the years, as he has encountered non-US English.
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|no "aa-ae split:" ae sound when 'a' is followed by f, th, n[consonant], or s: advanced ("aed-vaensd" or "aed-vaenst"), after[noon] ("aef-ter-noon"), etc.; ex: words including "ample" have an ae sound ("saem-pal;" ample, example, sample, trample, etc.)||'aa-ae split': aa sound when 'a' is followed by f, th, n[consonant], or s sounds: advanced ('aed-vaanced'), after[noon], alas, Alexander ('Ae-leks-aan-da'), answer, ask, a[u]nt, banana ('ba-naa-na'), bask[et], bath, blast, branch, brass, calf, can't, cask[et], cast(e), castle, chaff, chance, class, command[er], contrast, craft, daft, dance, disaster, draft/draught, falcon, fast, France, giraffe, glance, glass, graft, grant, half, last, lather, laugh, mask, mast[er], pass, past, path, photograph, plant, plaza, raft, rascal, rather, shaft, staff, task, telegraph, transactions ('traans-aek-shans'), transfer, vast, wrath, etc.; exceptions with a pattern: words including 'sample' have an aa sound but words with just 'ample' have an ae sound ('saam-pal': example, sample, etc.; 'aem-pal': ample, trample, etc.); aa sound in words with a fancy -sh sounding ending (moustache), but ae sound in words ending in -sh (cash, flash, stash); words beginning with 'fan' are 'faen-' (fantastic, fantasy); unusual exceptions: as ('aez'), cancel ('kaen-sal'), cancer ('kaen-sa'), hand ('haend'), harass ('hae-ras' or 'ha-raes'), pants ('paents'), tomato ('tO-maa-tO'), [under]stand ('[an-da-]staend')||US||2018-09-07|
|aa sound for the o in a lot ("a-laat"), cot ("kaat"), God ("Gaad")||aw sound for the o in a lot ('a-lawt'), cot ('kawt', same as 'caught'), God ('Gawd')||2018-07-25|
|ai and au/ou are not raised, starting low in the mouth/throat (the 'ou' in "around" and "about" are the same); ex: people in the US states near Canada (e.g., Michigan) sometimes do it the Canadian way||ai and au/ou are raised before voiceless consonants, starting higher in the mouth/throat ('around' is like the US; 'about' is a little raised, almost like 'a boot'; other raised words: bike, out, house)||2018-07-25|
Word choice & spelling: Those following a pattern
|bare infinitive, often as a compound word (driver's license, jump rope, racecar, real-time, rowboat, sailboat, scrub brush, spark plug)||gerund (driving licence, skipping rope, racing car, real time, rowing/sailing boat, scrubbing brush, spark[ing] plug)||2018-07-28|
|usually -se (defense), exceptions: practice for both nouns and verbs||-ce for nouns (a doctor's practice; defence), -se for verbs (to practise medicine)||UK||2018-05-01|
|the American public usually standardizes on 'z' (capitalize, Elizabeth); some words having 'ise' in the ancient Greek or Latin root use 's': advertise, advise, apprise, arise, chastise, circumcise, compromise, comprise, despise, devise, enterprise, exercise, expertise, franchise, improvise, incise, merchandise, revise, sunrise, supervise, televise||the British public usually standardises on 's' (capitalise, Elisabeth); 'Oxford spelling' follows whatever the word's ancient Greek or Latin root did, which is complex (some Greek words had 'ize' endings and some had 'ise', but Latin usually had 'ise')||usually US; some people do s if from Latin, z if from Greek (though Greek also sometimes uses s)||2018-08-20|
Word choice & spelling: Those not following a pattern
|ATM (automated teller machine), cash machine; "a hole in the wall" means a very small shop or restaurant/cafe in large building, shopping mall, or street full of larger shops||cash point/machine, a hole in the wall||ABM (automated banking machine)||2018-08-13|
|men's tight underwear||briefs, underwear, jockey shorts, tighty-whiteys; men's loose underwear is called boxers; pants means full-length outerwear trousers||[under]pants, Y-fronts, smalls||ginch, gonch, gitch, gotch||2018-07-30|
|can for food or drink (e.g., canned fish)||can for drinks, can/tin for food/paint/etc. (eg tinned fish)||UK||2018-07-17|
Dates & times
[minutes] before/of/'til/to/after/past [hour] (e.g., 5 'til 2 means five minutes until two o'clock. 10 past 4 means ten minutes after four o'clock. 6:30 is half past 6. 5:45 is quarter to/of 6. 2:15 is quarter after 2.)
|[minutes] down [hour] o'clock, [minutes] to [hour], half [hour], quarter past/to [hour] (eg 5 down 2 o'clock means five minutes after two o'clock. It's five to ten. 6.30 is half 6. 5.45 is quarter to 6. 2.15 is quarter past 2.)||2018-07-30|
|long time (e.g., That was a long time ago.)||ages (common; eg That was ages ago.); donkey's years, yonks (informal; eg I haven't seen you for donkey's years!)||2018-08-08|
|times are written like this: 2:30, usually AM/PM; 24-hour time is mostly used by the military, airplane pilots, NASA, etc. in this format: 1430 hours||times are written like this: 2.30am/pm or 14:30 hours||2018-08-13|