I found myself speaking American today at the supermarket, even without realising it.
Standing at the deli counter, I ordered 'a half pound of toona salad'. And I said "Can I get" instead of "please can I have", in my polite British accent. But, the man understood everything I said, rather than peering at me as if I was an alien and asking me to repeat myself. I realised that I must have been listening in to what the other deli counter customers say, and attuning myself to it over time......
Similarly, when I go to Starbucks now and order a Tall Latte, I pronounce Tall 'Tarl' rather than 'Tawl'. Otherwise no-one will understand me - they all think I want two lattes.
And when people ask me how I am, I often restrain myself from replying 'fine' and answer "I'm good." Which is definitely bad grammar, but doesn't instantly mark me out as a Brit.
But I still find myself using the wrong words. The other day I mentioned to another woman that we have friends in Norway who are 'vets'. She stared at me. "You mean veterans?" Then it dawned on her..."Oh, veterinarians..."
And, more embarrassingly, I complained to a neighbour the other night about the amount of midges around at the moment.
"Midgets?" she spluttered, horrified, no doubt thinking I'd made some horrific un-PC faux pass.
So, you see, I haven't quite yet gone native.