Meet With

A problem in writing about the differences between American and British English is that it can be hard to notice the Americanisms if you're an American. As long as people understand you, you go along happily saying American things until the time that someone doesn't understand them and a metalinguistic conversation ensues. One of the first times this happened to me was when I made a brilliant Scrabble move that involved hooking an s on the front of nit. I couldn't believe it when my opponent challenged snit, and could believe it less when it wasn't in the official word list. (This was back in the days before British Scrabblers used the international word list.) A snit is a little fit of bad temper, and I got in a snit when I had to take the word off the board. (But not as much of a snit as when I played drywalls for 230 points and it was disallowed. It is now allowed in the international word list. BrE for drywall is plasterboard, which at 12 letters is much more difficult to play in Scrabble.)

My sometime inability to recogni{s/z}e my own dialectal differences came up when Foundational Friend (whom you met last time) listed some of the Americanisms that she's found herself using recently. These included meet with to mean 'have a meeting with'. (The 'experience' sense of meet with, as in meet with disaster or meet with an opportunity, is common to both dialects.)

The OED (2004 draft revision) lists the 'have a meeting' sense of meet with as Now chiefly N. Amer., meaning that it has been used in BrE in the past, but isn't so much now. Their quotations include meet withs from Caxton, Defoe and Walter Scott, but the two 20th-century quotations are American.

However, considering the frequency of meet with in UK newspapers and government documents, I think I can be forgiven for not noticing that meet with is "chiefly N. Amer.", and I wonder whether that geographical label will be suitable for much longer.
Rice Meets With Top Israeli Officials --Headline, The Guardian, 30 July 2006
Sheikh Qaradawi meets with Ken Livingstone during his 2004 visit --photo caption, The Telegraph, 14 September 2005
'Dead baby' mum to meet with hospital chiefs --headline, The Scotsman, 10 August 2006While the first of these may have come from an American wire service, the following two definitely originated in the UK. Google reported over two million hits for meet with on sites, and while some of these involve other senses of meet with, 48 of the first 50 hits used the 'have a meeting with' sense, and none of those should be due to American wire services.

Still, transitive meet is used in 'have a meeting with' contexts in BrE. For instance, the Scotsman article whose headline is quoted above goes on to use meet rather than meet with, which is curious considering that headlines are typically more sparing with their words than full articles.
THE mother who underwent an operation to remove her "dead" unborn baby only to find she was still pregnant weeks later is to meet hospital bosses. --The Scotsman, ibid.
The Royal Mail will this week meet hundreds of senior managers and their union representatives as the state-controlled postal giant seeks to prevent a walkout over pay. --The Independent, 25 June 2006It's probably a signal of the relative strength of meet with in AmE that I want to put withs in these contexts. Without the with, meet so-and-so is ambiguous in three ways. As well as meaning 'have a meeting with', it can mean 'make the acquaintance of' or 'happen to encounter' (as in I met Grover on the way here). In my American way of thinking, if the woman in The Scotsman hadn't made the acquaintance of the hospital bosses, then saying meet is fine, but if it's not their first meeting, I'd want to say meet with in order to avoid the other possible interpretations.

Thus, British English speakers often let the context do the work toward disambiguating meet, while Americans spell it out. You could use that fact to try to form or reinforce some broad cultural stereotypes, but I wouldn't recommend it.