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I heard someone say that in Canada people extend the use of in-law to the uncles, aunties, nephews, nieces and grandparents of one's spouse. Is that so? If so, is it true elsewhere, too? Further, can we say that there is more than one English? Can we say, for example, that there is a Canadian English and an American English? What is the correct term for distinguishing the Englishes spoken in different countries? Languages? Dialects? Variations? Thanks!
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Hi,

I heard someone say that in Canada people extend the use of in-law to the uncles, aunties, nephews, nieces and grandparents of one's spouse. Is that so? I live in Canada. I've heard the term 'nephew-in-law' used, but none of the others.

.... can we say that there is more than one English? Can we say, for example, that there is a Canadian English and an American English? Yes. Most often on this forum, people speak of British English and American English.

What is the correct term for distinguishing the Englishes spoken in different countries? Languages? Dialects? Variations? In my experience, they are spoken of as different 'forms' of English.

Best wishes, Clive
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Thanks.

So, Australian and New Zealand English may be considered variants of British English?

Can you give me a reason why "dialect" might be inappropriate?
Hi again,

So, Australian and New Zealand English may be considered variants of British English? Seems reasonable to me. I'm not sure how much difference there is between the two.

Can you give me a reason why "dialect" might be inappropriate? A dialect refers more to regional speech that is a subset of the standard language. A dialect would involve different vocabulary, pronunciation, grammatical features. Often, over time, one dialect becomes so predominant that it is considered standard, and therefore others are non-standard compared to it. I believe London English and Parisian French are considered examples of this. There are not always dialects; Australian English is an example.

I think this can be a touchy subject in some cases, to suggest to someone that their English is a dialect.

Best wishes, Clive
Thanks, Clive. You said: I think this can be a touchy subject in some cases, to suggest to someone that their English is a dialect.

Yes. I think dialect is an almost improper word now. Look at map on the following site and it seems to merely reflect the past:

http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/1906/dialects.html

Usually, when someone says all variations of a language including his/her own are dialects, they secretly believe that theirs is the dominant dialect and that the others to be, at best, tolerated. ^^

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