English to English

Welcome to English to English

Right, then. Prince Harry’s visit to the USA is as good a time as any to point out that the mutual curiosity shared between British and American cultures is as intense as ever. It’s also a good time to launch this Tumblr. 

When Winston Churchill coined the phrase “special relationship” to describe the connection between the two nations in 1946, he was describing two countries whose commitments to similar ideals – for better or worse – have historically meant a keen interest in each other. “Special”, sometimes, doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Along the way to present day, we’ve swapped an insane amount of political and pop culture phenoms. There’s the Reagan/Thatcher partnership. There’s David Beckham’s right foot (and David Beckham’s left foot). There’s Hugh Grant. There are several celebrity chefs and their shared love of bacon. The Oscars. Apple products. Technology has assured us that our interest in each other stays at the forefront of our minds in the news cycle and in pop culture. And social media has made it easier than ever for us to discuss our key differences and often ironic similarities on a daily basis, albeit sometimes five hours apart.

This project, English to English, is our global newsroom’s attempt to chronicle and catologue our cultural similarities and differences, to highlight our special relationship – one that sometimes borders on awkward – and to build a living glossary of news, slang and pop culture terms while we’re at it.

Get involved

Tell us which topics we should address and which slang definitions we can have some fun with in our daily posts. And, just for fun, we’ve added a competitive element to the blog that we’d like to see from you, too: assign a cultural advantage to either the US or UK. For instance, we think the UK is a clear winner in the manners department, the US is winning The Great Gatsby commenting war and neither culture wins when Everybody Loves Raymond appears as a UK remake.

There are two ways to contribute: use the hashtag #eng2eng to share your suggestions on Twitter, or suggest a topic of cross cultural discussion here.

(And if you’re curious about whether or not the UK-US relationship is the only one we’ll be examining, don’t worry. The world is big, and we’ve got more on our radar.)