A lot of people have grammar anxiety so we’ll skip right over the part that explains how British English has twelve tenses and a subjunctive while US English has only three (simple past, simple present, simple future), hence common US phrases such as, “I didn’t do that yet.”
We’ll also skip over lexical richness so we won’t dwell on the fact that while educated US citizens employ an active vocabulary of around 500 words day in and day out, even an uneducated British person’s typical active vocabulary is 3,700 words.
What we will focus on is explaining common words and how they may not mean to foreigners what they mean to US citizens.
Because, c’mon, it’s fun.
So without further ado here’s a brief and very incomplete glossary of terms:
Unique = only 50,000,000 just like it
Secret = something everyone knows and that we’re going to tell you once again just in case you’ve forgotten
Miracle = a quotidian and very ordinary event or item such as shampoo
Must-Have = something you don’t need and won’t even remember after you’ve bought one
Astonishing = boring and obvious (see also Mind Bending)
Fake News = true fact-based statements
Alternative Facts = lies
Trump = something unbelievably stupid and also so unbelievably repellent that his wife has to take anti-emetics before agreeing to have her image photoshopped into the same picture as him
Safe Space = a place unsafe for facts and reasoning
Politically Correct = lazy feel-good posturing
Republican = stupid, willfully ignorant, amoral, and venal
Democrat = hopelessly confused
Proven = I just made this up
Scientific = I just made this up
All-New = been sitting on the shelf for ages, now in a slightly new wrapper
Improved = now in a slightly new wrapper
Guaranteed = not guaranteed in any way
Limited Availability = we’ve got so many cluttering up the warehouse we’ve lost count
This is of course a very incomplete list, so I’m going to call it Allan’s Complete List of Secret American Word Meanings.
Guaranteed, scientific, and totally mind bending!
Limited availability, so read now while stocks last.