Okay, so most people know there’s different spelling for the U.S.A and the U.K. But I still get a lot of reviews correcting my spelling because some people still don’t know the difference. So here are a few basics:
Color = U.S / Colour = U.K
Rumor = U.S / Rumour = U.K
So why the extra U? Because many of these sorts of words have their origins in Old French and us Brits still have the original spellings. Is either of them wrong? No! It depends which you prefer to use.
Center = U.S / Centre = U.K
Organize = U.S Organize or Organise = U.K
AM/AMME (I remember getting corrected by my English teacher for writing this one the American Way)
Program = U.S / Programme = U.K
Check = U.S / Cheque = U.K
Again the reason for this is that it’s the Old French.
These are just a few examples of the differences. In general, it tends to be the case that the U.K words have more of the silent letters and keeps some of the more traditional versions of the word. However, being that the English language is ever evolving, I think it’s alright to use whichever you prefer to use.
One thing that a lot of Americans don’t seem to realize about British spelling, is that many British people cannot spell themselves or actually don’t know which is the English version and which is the American version. There is, currently, a lot of people complaining about the lack of basic reading skills within our British youth. Many people here don’t bother with spelling at all because most of their communication is in slang, text message or on internet chat. Currently, with both slang and writing the British are becoming more and more Americanized, most of the current generation having grown up watching American films, listening to American music and reading American books.
As for me personally, I like some of the American versions but I just can’t bring myself to omit the extra U’s without hearing my English teacher correcting me for not writing it the British way.
So next time you’re reviewing one of your Brit or American writers, remember that their spellings are different and not necessarily wrong.
For a fuller list go to: