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.

US UK Australia
analyze analyse analyse
apologize apologise apologise
capitalize capitalise capitalise
categorize categorise categorise
characterize characterise characterise
colonize colonise colonise
endeavor endeavour endeavour
enroll enrol enroll
fulfill fulfil fulfil
globalize globalise globalise
honor honour honour
hypothesize hypothesise hypothesise
inquire enquire enquire
install instal install
legalize legalise legalise
maneuver manoeuvre manoeuvre
maximize maximise maximise
minimize minimise minimise
mold mould mould
neutralize neutralise neutralise
optimize optimise optimise
paralyze paralyse paralyse
plow plough plough
privatize privatise privatise
randomize randomise randomise
realize realise realise
recognize recognise recognise
Past-tense verbs
US UK Australia
canceled cancelled cancelled
channeled channelled channelled
labeled labelled labelled
modeled modelled modelled
traveled travelled travelled
US UK Australia
acknowledgment acknowledgement (either)
aluminum aluminium aluminium
artifact artefact artefact
behavior behaviour behaviour
caliber calibre calibre
center centre centre
color colour colour
cooperation co-operation (either)
councilor councillor councilor
counselor counsellor counselor
defense defence defence
estrogen oestrogen oestrogen
fetus foetus foetus
fiber fibre fibre
flavor flavour flavour
humor humour humour
judgment judgement judgement
labor labour labour
leukemia leukaemia leukaemia
license licence licence
liter litre litre
meter metre metre
neighbor neighbour neighbour
organization organisation organisation
paleontology palaeontology palaeontology
program programme (but program if computer-related) program
sulfur sulphur sulphur
theater theatre theatre
tire tyre tyre
vapor vapour vapour
US UK Australia
aging ageing ageing
favorite favourite favourite
gray grey grey
livable liveable livable
movable moveable moveable
orthopedic orthopaedic orthopaedic
salable saleable saleable
skeptical sceptical sceptical
somber sombre sombre
Spelling (Prev Lesson)
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