I received an ipod last Christmas and have been continuously plugged into it for a year now because I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to hear some of my favorite radio programs from when I lived in Michigan and have found loads of other great 'casts to listen to. I have three observations on the changes in spoken American English that have occurred in the 10 years I've been away.
This first one drives me crazy. People seem to neither give nor receive anything anymore. It's all "gifted". Arrgh! When did "gift" become a verb? According to my trusty old (1993) American Heritage Dictionary, "The verbal use of gift in Modern English is irredeemably tainted (as is its derivative giftable) by its association with the language of advertising and publicity." Here here. This Christmas I gave many handmade gifts that were greatly appreciated by those who received them. At least that's what they told me.
Thing #2: I listen to a variety of podcasts and I'll admit an awful lot of them are about knitting. A lot of them are not, though, and this is a reference I hear on a broad cross-section of all of them: Big Box Stores. What are they? I don't remember ever hearing that term when I lived in The States.
#3: At The End Of The Day I am so tired of this cliche. I think it originated in the UK, but it's use is widespread among the American podcasts I listen to. It's as bad as "wake-up call" which, thankfully, doesn't get much use anymore. Perhaps journalists are tired of all their wake-up calls and are now looking forward to the end of the day.
And with that, I'm done complaining in 2010.
Happy New Year!