I have always been a major proponent of ‘the English way of spelling is the correct way because it’s older and it came first’ and plus I was brainwashed over a prolonged period of time to believe that the English way is the correct way by my British English teachers. I have never even contemplated spelling any other way. It would be near-blasphemous!
In the last four to five years, however, my interest in the inner workings of the internet, e.g. basic code such as html, use of social networking and so forth has grown. My observation is this: all the major websites and the programming languages use American spelling. I mean, you don’t even need to look that far – Facebook will red underline any spellings that are not in the American format such as realised vs. realized, although my language settings say English (UK). My websites which I create myself using drag and drop functionality do the same – so what is one to do? If you can’t beat 'em join 'em and this girl’s had it – she’s going Stateside with her spelling.
So for all those wondering why I’m spelling funny or even mixing the two formats when I don’t know better (or I’ve forgotten) – this is why.
I am not 100% sure whether I will go the whole hog but for things like replacing ‘s’ with ‘z’ as in specialized, or ‘ou’ with ‘o’ as in ‘labor’, that is easy to do. For grammar, I will stick mostly to the English standard, it’s what I know, however, I am realizing that many books commonly used in finance (my industry) originated in the States so we use their spelling and their grammar. My core books in university – Mankiw and Varian – American; there’s nowhere to hide, it was just a matter of time. Check out this interesting article by an English political blogger who thinks that “as far as spelling is concerned the Americans are usually not only more logical and more phonetic, they are usually more correct.”
Out of interest, have any of you gone from English spelling to American? What was your reason?
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I'm always thinking, debating, considering and revising my views - some of those deliberations will be shared right here.