Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    39
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default British vs American spellings

    Hi,

    With regards to words that are spelt differently in the US and the UK, for example - apologize/apologise, which form of spelling is more often used while writing. Would it make a difference if you used the UK spelling while in the US and vice versa?

    Regards,

    Benjamin

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,574
    Post Thanks / Like

    Smile Re: British vs American spellings

    Quote Originally Posted by kkookk2003 View Post
    Hi,

    With regards to words that are spelt differently in the US and the UK, for example - apologize/apologise, which form of spelling is more often used while writing. Would it make a difference if you used the UK spelling while in the US and vice versa?

    Regards,

    Benjamin
    (I'm sorry, but you touched a raw nerve.)

    There'se nothing unBritish about the spelling 'apologize'. It has been the house style of The Times for well over a hundred years, and is used by many large and influential publishers (Oxford University Press, for example). I'm tired of being accused of flirting with modernity and excessive American influence, just because I use a spelling that millions of British people use (so long as they haven't been got at by generations of school-teachers peddling misinformation).

    In some cases (very few) '-ise' needs to be used instead of '-ize' in Br Eng spelling; and (invariably, I think) '-yse' instead of '-yze'. AmE ironed out these exceptions; so Z spellings are characteristic of AmE. But they're not exclusively American. (I can explain the exceptions if you want, but I think people's eyes would start to glaze over.)

    Meanwhile, back at the question...

    b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    In British English, "-ize" has traditionally been restricted to verbs that imply some kind of transformation -- so "apologise" because it simply means "say sorry", but "regularize" because it means "make regular", which is a kind of transformation. But, as BobK says, such distinctions have always been very loosely applied and the trend is to use "-ize" in more or less all cases.

    But a few words are spelled "-ise" in both English and American English. On a different board, I was attacked by an American who objected to my spelling of "advertize", implying I was both illiterate and dimwitted. And indeed, "advertise" is the most common form on both sides of the Atlantic (Google has 1.5 billion hits for "advertise", but less than 1.2 million for "advertize").

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,463
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    Quote Originally Posted by kkookk2003 View Post
    Hi,

    With regards to words that are spelt differently in the US and the UK, for example - apologize/apologise, which form of spelling is more often used while writing. Would it make a difference if you used the UK spelling while in the US and vice versa?

    Regards,

    Benjamin
    I hate to say this, but I think, as a rule, the British are more accommodating to American spellings than vice versa. That said, most Americans who have traveled or who pay attention will understand and accept the most common differences.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,087
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    I don't think it would make much or any difference in the UK in most places. I think it would only look weird if a British person started writing 'color'.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    39
    Post Thanks / Like

    Red face Re: British vs American spellings

    Truly sorry about the raw nerve. It's just that a lot of spellcheckers bring about or highlight that distinction.

    Yours sheepishly,

    Benjamin

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,087
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    It annoys me that there is no 'both British and American English' option in spellcheckers, as the second I start quoting American authors, Word starts tryiong to correct me.

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,574
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    Quote Originally Posted by kkookk2003 View Post
    Truly sorry about the raw nerve. It's just that a lot of spellcheckers bring about or highlight that distinction.
    Yours sheepishly,
    Benjamin
    Not to worry - thanks for being so understanding of my sensitivity.

    I agree with Tdol about spellcheckers. I use one (whichever - American, I think) and click Add all the time to stop Word complaining about 'misspellings'. After a while, the frequency of the need for clicking tails off.

    b

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,087
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    A good idea, but I just wish that someone else would do the work for me; that's the whole point of IT, isn't it?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: British vs American spellings

    Well, I don't know what version of Word you're all using, but my version has the following variants available for English:

    Australia, Belize, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Caribbean, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, USA, and Zimbabwe.

    I don't use spell checkers, though. They're worse than useless because they lull you into a false sense of security; they can only tell you if a word is listed in their dictionary, but not if it's the correct word.

    Wee cull them "Spell chequers" inn the tirade four this eggs act raisin.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. can you please correct my essay
    By hmong04 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 25-May-2010, 15:16
  2. Czech, British and American mentality
    By Lenka in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-Jun-2006, 18:33
  3. Is it right?
    By Genrikh in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-Dec-2005, 15:59
  4. British and American accents in music
    By Friendy in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 15-Nov-2003, 01:24

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •