Sunday, February 25, 2018

PCG's Ron Fraser on American English

PCG's Ron Fraser (1941-2013) originated from Australia and ended up becoming one of the main leaders of PCG. Even though he rose to the upper echelon of PCG and prospered thanks to the predominantly American organization which he had decided to align himself with, he thought American English "was quite below par compared" with the English spoken elsewhere in the English speaking world.
My earliest critics when I began to take a higher profile in speaking and writing were Americans. A number claimed that I used words they did not know the meaning of. Yet all I was doing was using the vocabulary that was part of a good education in my home country and most of the rest of the British Commonwealth! It soon became obvious that the quality of language generally in use in the U.S. was quite below par compared to the rest of the English-speaking world. (Ron Fraser, Out of the Abundance of the Heart …, August 13, 2012.)
Just imagine. Gerald Flurry and the upper echelon of PCG's leadership let this man who looked down on American Emglish have so much power and authority within the organization and do so much to get their recruitment magazine up and running.


  1. Henry Higgins in Pygmalion lamented the "verbal class distinction" he observed. And I still remember a pamphlet from the State Dept that came with my first passport (some 50 years ago) that said as visitors to foreign countries we are Ambassadors and mustn't criticize the government or culture of host nations.
    As an occasional ESL/EFL teacher in English and non-English speaking and Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth countries, one of my favorite routines in class is to pretend to park a car and step out on the sidewalk (US), pavement (UK) or footpath (Australia). In Australia, I remember getting a list of some 100 "Aussie words" that have different meanings in the US and UK. And there was John Halford (UK) who made fun of the minister Randy Dick (Randy meaning horny is Australia). In India, where English speakers claim to speak Oxford English, the USIS issued visitors a list of "Indian words" which had different meanings the in the UK.
    And we can't forget the PT writers, who, when they used the word "diaper" would include "nappies, for British readers".

  2. I really am sorry if you have been offended, Redfox. But sadly, when we Britishers (and I am including those of us from the Commonwealth) rub shoulders with Americans we do find that their educational standards are below what we would consider to be par. Americans are very insular. Your national policy used to be Isolationist, after all. Americans, as a whole, seem to have a limited understanding of other cultures. Remember the term "The Ugly American". That was coined because they seemed to be ignorant oafs when we met them o/seas.