Re: American English
LOL ... this reminds me of an experience I had as a teenager in the Sixties -- I spent a couple of years as the only American in a college des Jesuites in Avignon. As a native speaker of English, I was excused from the language classes that were a part of the program in Humanites, but I went to one class just for a lark.
Originally Posted by miercuri
The teacher was very taken with himself, and demonstrated his fluency by having a conversation with me, in which I used perfectly proper but colloquial American syntax and vocabulary; it took about thirty seconds for the whole class to realize that M. le Professeur had almost NO idea what I was saying, and before long the classroom was all asnicker. He made it clear, through intermediaries, that my presence in that class was thereafter unwelcome.
However, every Saturday morning we had devoirs surveille, sort of halfway between study and examination, which rotated among our various subjects. Again, I was spared this exercise when the English DS rolled around, but once, again just for a lark, I took the test anyway -- and he took enormous pleasure in grading me a 4/14, because my responses were correct standard English but not exactly according to his textbook, which was almost Edwardian in its vocabulary and grammar.
Actually, for me the most challenging linguistic work at College St. Joseph was having to translate Classical Greek to English to French, at least until the total immersion allowed me to think (and incidentally even dream) in French. But that's a whole 'nother story.
"In the end most things -- perhaps all things -- turn out to have been appropriate." -- Anthony Powell, Casanova's Chinese Restaurant