It might not seem like a big deal, but the word candy showed up 1,879 times in a collection of essays British children submitted to a creative writing competition held by BBC Radio 2 called 500 Words. Why is the use of the word “candy” so notable? Because that’s apparently the American word for the stuff, versus the word British folks usually use, “sweets.” This was just one of the many American words that have invaded the English vernacular along with the growing use of…
“Cupcake” instead of “Fairy cake”
“Flashlight” instead of “Torch”
“Trash can” instead of “Dustbin”
And “Sneakers” over “Trainers.”
These, among with many others, were what Oxford University Press found when analyzing more than 74,000 entries that came in from all over the United Kingdom from kids ages 7 to 13.
Samantha Armstrong, the senior project editor for Oxford University Press Children’s Dictionaries, said Oxford University Press “uses powerful technology to track and analyze children’s language and the message we are getting from the BBC ’500 Words’ stories is a powerful one language is evolving and children are real language innovators. Perhaps we are catching a glimpse of the language of the future.”
And it looks like the future of the English’s English will be more American.