Is American English More Period than British English?

Linguists have reconstructed how Elizabethan English sounded, and it is closer to some American pronunciations than current British ones. The modern British accent developed relatively recently -- late 1700s and early 1800s.

"Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets, and two-thirds of them have rhymes that don’t work in today’s English...," says David English in a booklet that accompanies a new CD, "Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation", produced by the British Library and distributed by the University of Chicago Press. Learn more about some of the changes in sound in the July 23 Grammarphobia entry, "Did the Bard speak American?"