August 1 was a big day here — the 12th anniversary of my move to the UK and the 2nd anniversary of this blog.
Of the 115 pieces I’ve posted, the mostly widely read by far was Tea at Fortnum & Mason. That one got 1313 hits just on the first day it was up, because Roger Ebert (blessings upon him!) tweeted it.
The posts that generated the most comments, though, were about language–especially pronunciation. Top of the list is Houston, the BBC has a Problem — a problem pronouncing Houston, that is — followed by Horseback Writing, about some difficulty I had in being understood on the phone, and mentioning the intrusive R, that is, the habit of some British people who save up the Rs at the ends of the words, which they don’t pronounce, so they can pronounce them in the middles of other words, which are spelled without any Rs at all. And the fourth-most-commented-upon post was Put the accent on the right syl-LA-ble, which is self-explanatory or, as the British say, does what it says on the tin.
I realized I’ve skipped the third most popular (as judged by the number of comments); that was Taking Sides, about the British condemnation of what the media here saw as American nationalism during the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s the only political, really the only serious piece I’ve posted. There’s a more thoroughly fleshed-out article on the British media’s quite remarkable reaction to Obama’s slip in calling BP by the outdated name British Petroleum, which I wrote for another blog: Does the Tar-Spangled Banner Wave Over a Nation That Hates Britain? But I’d much rather write about things that are amusing, and so far I’ve been lucky in that readers seem to be amused as well.
Many thanks, then, to those who’ve read and who’ve commented on posts over the past two years. If you’d like to suggest topics, please do, though there’s no dearth of ideas on the stack already.
And as of this second anniversary, I’ve begun tweeting. If you’re interested, you can follow me on Twitter at @wordboffin (somebody already took @mefoley, alas, and my business is The Word Boffin).
In any case, I hope you can stick with me here at the Anglo-American Experience, and we’ll see what happens next!