Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 January 2010
British and American use of adjectives shows little systematic variation between the two varieties. Most of the differences are associated with particular lexical forms.
The adjectival use of other parts of speech, with or without derivational affixes, is common in English. Some particular examples, however, are indicative of Britishness.
From nouns + -ed
British and American differ in their use of the suffix -ed to form adjectival modifiers from nominals. British uses certain forms that American does not, such as booted. But differences between British and American use of individual items are less significant than the apparent over-all more frequent British use of the pattern. There are, to be sure, exceptions such as teenage(d). In CIC, 1 percent of the British tokens are teenaged and 99 percent are teenage, whereas 4 percent of the American tokens are teenaged and 96 percent are teenage. It would be difficult to ascertain the frequency of all denominal -ed forms in the two varieties, but on the whole it seems to be greater in British.
aged number For this construction, American might have simply the number, e.g., 20, or such expansions of it as 20 years old or 20 years of age or even age 20, depending on the syntactic use of the construction. 1. As an appositive: Number (years old, years of age), age number < … the would-be robber hit Mr Paul Harry, aged 23, over the head with his gun and made off.> 1989 July 28 Times 2/2. 2.
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