There is a lot of information everywhere about how American English vocabulary and pronunciation differs from British one, and from Australian one, etc etc etc.

OK, I understand:
He said the elevator, he must be American.
He pronounced “water” more like “wader”, he must be American.

So it is easy to tell by listening. What about reading?

Would this happen? Situation: A British person is reading an article online and thinks, “Hmm, the author must be American because he used the grammar we don’t use here in Britain”. (of course I mean when there is no obvious American vocabulary in the text)

closed as off-topic by David, J. Taylor, Rory Alsop, 9fyj'j55-8ujfr5yhjky-'tt6yhkjj, Scott Apr 21 '18 at 1:35

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    It's not that clear-cut. Many Americans often use Briticisms (deliberately or obliviously), just as many Brits adopt AmE usages without necessarily being aware of their provenance. Plus of course there are all those native Anglophones who're neither American nor British. – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '18 at 15:11
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    @FumbleFingers Are you American? :-) ’Cause you wrote “I just watched” instead of “I’ve just watched”. – Pablo Descamisado Apr 18 '18 at 15:16
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    I've been told Britain has more accents within any given hundred square miles (or perhaps "hundred miles square", I dunno) than there are in the whole of the USA. And it's always interesting to try to guess where today's newsreader comes from, so we here in Britain get a lot of practice at "spot the accent". But personally I would never read anything into the fact of someone using “I just watched” instead of “I’ve just watched”. To me, by far the most significant fact about your orthography is that you used paired quotes (with the period after closing quote, as per BrE! :) – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '18 at 15:28
  • @FumbleFingers this wasn’t on purpose. I just forgot all the details of how to punctuate direct speech in English. First thing in the morning. Funny you should mention quotes, I’ve just seen the post with examples of handwritten pages or the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But the dialogues there are all with paired quotes. Do you think this original is fake? – Pablo Descamisado Apr 18 '18 at 15:39
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    The typewriter was invented in America 1868 (a few years after Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), and so far as I'm aware quote marks (single or double) would always have been "paired" in all text (handwritten or typeset) before that. I'm not sure how widespread the "AmE convention" of period before closing quote is - but we don't often see that on my side of the pond. So whatever the exact context, I think it always looks a bit "odd." – FumbleFingers Apr 18 '18 at 16:30

The most common obvious differences I've noticed: 1. Brits omitting "the" ("going to university" vs. "going to the university"). 2. Americans rarely using "shall" (becoming archaic?) 3. Some Brits using "I were" instead of "I was" for past tense (informally, at least).

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