Last summer the BBC did a series on "Americanisms," or how American English was "infecting" the Queen's English. Ben Yagoda responds and documents how in fact it's the other way around. He documents "Britishisms" on his blog.
"I accept that sometimes American phrases have a vigour and vivacity. A relative of mine told me recently he went to a business meeting chaired by a Californian woman who wanted everyone to speak frankly. It was 'open kimono'. How's that for a vivid expression?" The BBC explores Americanisms, but they're not the first: The Telegraph, Daily Mail, and the Economist have also weighed in on the debate. (Somewhat previously.)
The "King of English", H.W. Fowler wrote A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. Although "modern linguists are almost by definition incapable of understanding the function of a book like Fowler’s Dictionary", the "half-educated Englishman of literary proclivities" who just wants to know: "Can I say so-&-so?’" may now buy the classic first edition of the Dictionary again. An earlier book, The King's English, is free for anyone seeking advice on Americanisms, Saxon words, the spot plague, archaism or split infinitives.
"What's Your English?" - A Youtube rhyme-off between the British Professor Elemental and the Canadian Baba Brinkman regarding the commonalities and differences between variations on the English language, courtesy of the Macmillan Dictionary. (Previous Brinkman, Previous Elemental)
Ever wonder what a quocker-wodger was? Just what did they mean when they said that you were all kippers and curtains? Worldwidewords.org has the answer. "More than 1600 pages on the origins, history, evolution and idiosyncrasies of the English language worldwide." Word geeks, say goodbye to the rest of your afternoon.
Coffee, our nan? Is this "Would you like some more coffee, Grandmother?" or Kofi Annan? Oh and mathowie - are you sure the Irish Haughey is pronounced Howie? [Check out Charles Haughey for the proper way.] Thank you, Voice of America, for teaching us how to pronounce those pesky foreigners' names. And shame on you, BBC Pronouncing Unit, for not being online! [This last link requires Real Audio but is really worth listening to if you have anything against stuck-up English twits.]