I’ve just finished the new thriller “The Girl on the Train,” written by the Englishwoman Paula Hawkins. I read the American edition and I’m not sure to what extent (if any) British expressions in the original were translated into Americanese. But there were a few that cropped up repeatedly: “buggy” (Americans would say “stroller”), “come round for a visit” (“around”), and one I wasn’t aware of–the transitive verb “quieten,” as in “quieten a baby.” Americans say “quiet.”
When I was almost done with the book, I came upon this (I’m pretty sure there aren’t any spoilers):
The thing that caught my eye was “Weds.” Longtime readers may recall my dislike of this abbreviation for “Wednesday” (my preference is “Wed.”), and my not notably successful attempt to determine if it’s a Britishism.
(If you want to know why it annoys me, here’s why: “Wed.” is a perfectly good, shorter, abbreviation; there is no tradition of skipping over letters in abbreviations [there is “Dr.” and “Mr.” but they go right to the last letter in the word]; and “Weds.”–unlike a decent abbreviation–doesn’t even represent how the first part of the word sounds–that would be “Wends” or “Wens.”)
“The Girl on the Train” would suggest, though it doesn’t prove, that a Britishism “Weds.” is.