Writing - part 2

The differences between American English and British English when writing

When you begin writing , you will need to decide what style of English to use. The most commonly used dialects are American English, British English and Australian English. Although these dialects follow many of the same rules, they also have some important differences – especially in relation to spelling.

So why are there differences?

The differences all started with Noah Webster.

With the Declaration of Independence in 1776 Americans wanted to proclaim their differences from Britain and one way was to reform spelling. Noah Webster led the way.

But his radical proposals had little support and in the end the spelling reforms were moderate in comparison to what he wanted.

The spelling reforms weren’t strongly supported by academics and linguists, maybe because with a lot of English spelling you see the etymology (the history) in the word which they didn't want destroyed.

He managed to simplify quite a few words though.

British to American

-our  to -or  - colour to color

-re to -er - centre to center -

-ise to -ize  - realise to realize

-yse to -yze  - analyse to analyse

-ogue to -og or -ogue   - dialogue to dialogue or dialog

-enc to -ense - -defence to defense

No doubling of the final l – travelling to traveling

Basic spelling differences

The following “cheat sheet” outlines the preferred spelling of some words that are commonly used in academic writing.

Verbs
USUKAustralia
analyzeanalyseanalyse
apologizeapologiseapologise
capitalizecapitalisecapitalise
categorizecategorisecategorise
characterizecharacterisecharacterise
colonizecolonisecolonise
endeavorendeavourendeavour
enrollenrolenroll
fulfillfulfilfulfil
globalizeglobaliseglobalise
honorhonourhonour
hypothesizehypothesisehypothesise
inquireenquireenquire
installinstalinstall
legalizelegaliselegalise
maneuvermanoeuvremanoeuvre
maximizemaximisemaximise
minimizeminimiseminimise
moldmouldmould
neutralizeneutraliseneutralise
optimizeoptimiseoptimise
paralyzeparalyseparalyse
plowploughplough
privatizeprivatiseprivatise
randomizerandomiserandomise
realizerealiserealise
recognizerecogniserecognise
Past-tense verbs
USUKAustralia
canceledcancelledcancelled
channeledchannelledchannelled
labeledlabelledlabelled
modeledmodelledmodelled
traveledtravelledtravelled
Nouns
USUKAustralia
acknowledgmentacknowledgement(either)
aluminumaluminiumaluminium
artifactartefactartefact
behaviorbehaviourbehaviour
calibercalibrecalibre
centercentrecentre
colorcolourcolour
cooperationco-operation(either)
councilorcouncillorcouncilor
counselorcounsellorcounselor
defensedefencedefence
estrogenoestrogenoestrogen
fetusfoetusfoetus
fiberfibrefibre
flavorflavourflavour
humorhumourhumour
judgmentjudgementjudgement
laborlabourlabour
leukemialeukaemialeukaemia
licenselicencelicence
literlitrelitre
metermetremetre
neighborneighbourneighbour
organizationorganisationorganisation
paleontologypalaeontologypalaeontology
programprogramme (but program if computer-related)program
sulfursulphursulphur
theatertheatretheatre
tiretyretyre
vaporvapourvapour
Adjectives
USUKAustralia
agingageingageing
favoritefavouritefavourite
graygreygrey
livableliveablelivable
movablemoveablemoveable
orthopedicorthopaedicorthopaedic
salablesaleablesaleable
skepticalscepticalsceptical
sombersombresombre
Spelling (Prev Lesson)
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