I just phoned a hospital in England and was told by a recorded voice that the extension I was trying to reach was "busy" which surprised me because I thought the usual BrE term was "engaged."

The voice had a pleasant classless, regionless BrE accent. As far as I could tell, it was not computer-generated, but belonged to real person, so I don't think this was a case of a British version of American software.
Was this an unusual usage or has the BrE phone terminology changed? Is it changing? Does anyone care?
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I just phoned a hospital in England and was told by a recorded voice that the extension I was trying ... American software. Was this an unusual usage or has the BrE phone terminology changed? Is it changing? Does anyone care?

Technology often uses terms from US English. "busy" is perfectly well understood. I wouldn't be surprised if the formal term for the beep-beep which used to be called the "engaged tone" is now the "busy signal".

David
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Was this an unusual usage or has the BrE phone terminology changed? Is it changing? Does anyone care?

Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.
Robert
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Was this an unusual usage or has the BrE phone terminology changed? Is it changing? Does anyone care?

Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

The twist of the knife is that all phones will eventually be answered in India, and they will speak AmE because of the larger market.
Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

The twist of the knife is that all phones will eventually be answered in India, and they will speak AmE because of the larger market.

I'm hoping they'll speak Indian English, and we'll all switch to that.

("I am pleased to be telling you in response to your doubt that the correct number you wish to dial is..")

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)
Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

The twist of the knife is that all phones will eventually be answered in India, and they will speak AmE because of the larger market.

What miffs me is the number of texts I see produced in English in EU countries for EU consumption yet with American spelling.

Ross Howard
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
The twist of the knife is that all phones will eventually be answered in India, and they will speak AmE because of the larger market.

What miffs me is the number of texts I see produced in English in EU countries for EU consumption yet with American spelling.

I guess that could be because the EU wants to trade with the rest of the world and not just with itself...
What miffs me is the number of texts I see produced in English in EU countries for EU consumption yet with American spelling.

I guess that could be because the EU wants to trade with the rest of the world and not just with itself...

Read the words between "countries" and "yet" again. I'm talking about reams of reports addressed to Eurocrats that talk about "business centers" and "inner-city neighborhoods".

Ross Howard
I guess that could be because the EU wants to trade with the rest of the world and not just with itself...

Read the words between "countries" and "yet" again. I'm talking about reams of reports addressed to Eurocrats that talk about "business centers" and "inner-city neighborhoods".

Yeah, well. Anyone who offers English education in a foreign country has to decide whether to offer British style, American style, or some combination. You are miffed because there are a lot of countries that have taught American English, even though you happen to be in a loose political federation with some of them. The nerve of those folks, huh? They should have known you'd be upset and instituted British English simply to make you happy?
You're not mixing up the EU with the British Empire, are you?

Heck, I have edited proposals and reports that were submitted to the EU and I followed American standards because surprise that's what I know the best.
I can't even think of an analogy to your complaint. Something like people in Detroit being annoyed that anyone in the US has the nerve to buy German and Japanese cars. But that one at least has some rational economic justification, besides just wounded pride.

I wonder what the EU itself has said about British vs. American styles, somewhere in its billions of sheets of paper.

Best Donna Richoux
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