American English and British English aren’t different languages. But they’re not the same either, even if they’re getting closer. There are all those different words for things: diaper/nappy, faucet/tap and so on. More challenging are common words used in subtly different ways: sure, reckon, middle class. Who better to ask about these and other terms than UK-based American linguist Lynne Murphy and her British husband and daughter? Spoiler alert: They don’t always agree.

Lynne Murphy is the author of The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English. Music in this episode by Josef Falkensk├Âld, Stationary Sign, Rebecca Mardal and Luella Gren. Photo courtesy of Wellcome Images/Creative Commons. Read a transcript of this episode here. {listen}