Is "sympathy" understood differently in American and British English? Does it have the same/ as many meanings/connotations in British English as listed by LEO? (compare the much more limited meaning of German "Sympathie")Siehe Wörterbuch: sympathySiehe Wörterbuch: sympathie
Background of my question: How would British speakers interpret a poll question about whether they feel more or less "sympathy" towards the Prime Minister?
I'm wondering if I can use this poll
for a point I want to make in a scientific paper. According to the poll, British voters have felt more "sympathy" and less "respect" for Gordon Brown after a specific interview. Can I interpret that as "more fondness" or generally a more "positive evaluation" of Brown? To my understanding, in American English I couldn't do that because "sympathy" refers also to compassion, empathy, commiseration, etc. ... so I can't be sure that they'd actually say they'd "like" someone more just because they feel more sympathy. But then again, such an interpretation of the poll would make it pretty meaningless: If you tell a moving story of personal grief, you should obviously get some "compassion" etc. even if people still want nothing to do with you (or maybe not, how knows).
Thanks for any insights into the (British) meaning of "sympathy"!!!!!!!