The United States of English

Being Australian means I have no great vantage point from which to hurl even small stones, let alone big ones when it comes to speaking the queens English. However, I do understand when something just isn’t quite right and I’m sure the chorus will sing with me when it comes to dissecting the American vernacular.

Let’s just jump straight into the top 5 ‘I don’t understand what language you are speaking’ comments commonly used in the great United States of America.

Number 5 – AXE (actually the word is ASK)

How many times have you axed yourself the question?…. Wait a minute, back the truck up. If you axed yourself you’d more than likely be dead, or at least in need of some urgent medical attention. When did the K advance the S in the work ask? Its clearly supposed to follow the order A-S-K, not A-K-S. Spelling a world in alphabetical order seems like a fun thing to do, but HEY, YOU’RE SAYING IT WRONG! Axe me again and I will give you the same answer.


This is a picture of an ‘axe’, I couldn’t find a picture of an ‘ask’.

Number 4 – Aluminum (Sorry, it’s Alumin-i-um)

This one is just a blatant disregard for the letter ‘i’. We don’t care for two i’s in one word, so we are leaving the second one out. Ah, sorry, you can’t just do that. BTW A-L-U-M-I-N-U-M sounds funny. It’s like you’re trying to say A-L-U-M-I-N-I-U-M but you just can’t quite get there. Practice, you’ll get there and then you can join the rest of the world WHO SAY IT CORRECTLY!


This is a picture of Aluminium Foil, there’s no such thing as Aluminum Foil.

Number 3 – Expresso (Yeah, the word you’re looking for is Espresso)

Where do I even begin with this one? Maybe you’re running late for work and you haven’t got time for a latte so you just whip up a super fast expresso. What the heck is ‘expresso’? Is it microwaved instant coffee? That would make some sort of sense, but oh no, it’s just another quirky Americanism. I know, I know, all you well initiated macchiato drinking Americans will either be cringing or thinking who says that? (insert vision of Harry from Dumb and Dumber) “Hey Lloyd, you still drink normal coffee? haha… LOSER! I’ve moved up the coffee chain, I’m drinking expresso now”.


This is a picture of an espresso, as is clearly stated.

Number 2 – Irregardless (you probably mean regardless, which is an actual word)

I mean, come on. Irregardless? Now this is a home run of a made up word. This is the type of word that draws similar reaction to the idiot child who runs their longer than acceptable finger nails down the blackboard in the classroom. Although the use of the word dates back about as far as classrooms with blackboards, no matter how many times you say it, it’s still not going to be a real word.

No. I’m not putting a picture here, REGARDLESS of how much you want one.

OK, Drum roll…….

Number 1 – Erb (It’s HERB, you’re doing it wrong)

The word that probably irritates the outside world the most is choice to drop the apparently invisible H at the beginning of the word herb. What’s even more baffling is the choice to see it in other H words. I could imagine if this was the practice for all the H words. A husband (or should I say an ‘usband’) would say to his wife “Oney, we seem to ave run out of erbs, ive searched the whole ouse and I’ve looked igh and low.” Gosh, it’s enough to give a person an ‘eadache’.


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