A Conversation for English Usage in the Edited Guide

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 21


How about Ice? How do they pronounce ice?

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 22


Thanks Em smiley - rose . This h2g2 site has some nice and interesting researchers. I look forward to what people have to say here. Before I came here all I did was read a net newspaper, check out a TV news website, check all the comeics I enjoy reading, and check my mail for the ton of Spam that is usually there.

Mo smiley - sheep

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 23


Dear Em,Emi or Emily,

I notice that there have been no less than 20 responses to your original posting - and no-one has mentioned the facility of language selection provided by MS Word. Try this:-
Open your document
Click TOOLS - LANGUAGE - scroll down - select SET LANGUAGE -
In the language box, scroll down to English UK - select - check box Detect Language Automatically - Click DEFAULT - YES - OK. close.

Go back to your document, make sure your cursor is at the very beginning- click TOOLS - select SPELLING AND GRAMMAR - Box will highlight in colour (or color) a word not in the Enlish UK dictionary, such as 'labor', at that point, click CHANGE - word will automatically become 'labour' etc.
You can click - IGNORE ONCE (the program will pick up lots of typos, nicknames, foreign words, some of which you may want to leave) and this will take you to the next relevant word. If you proceed thus to the end of your piece, you will have the entire breastfeeding article duly cast in UK English. Next time, of course, you select the language before you start.
There are many additional guides in this program. It will pick up (and recommend changes) in grammar, style, long sentences or inappropriate
apostrophes or number. There is an EXPLAIN button that brings up an assistant and a balloon amplifying the recommendation. If under OPTIONS
you check the READABILITY box, once the check is complete the readability box will give you very useful counts, averages, level (this should always be about 60%) and the Flesch-Kincaid grade that tells you the education standard to which your piece is intelligible.
I hope you find this helpful.
N B Don'f forget to go back to English US as your default!
You can choose one of many languages - even the one you used that spells prejudice with two ds!

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 24


As an American, when I finally write something for submission to the guide, I'll just use the English spellchecker and then allow it to take the blame for any errors.

This all makes me wonder what kind of English is spoken in the rest of the world. I can figure out on my own that Australians use UK English, and so do some Canadians (although they also use American English and French), but what kind of English is used in Japan or Russia, for example?

Until someone figures out which version of English is the most widely used, I don't think that we should make any hasty 'generalisations.' Let the spellchecker take all the blame!

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 25


Beware - I have found "errors" in spellchecker - don't forget it has been devised by an American company smiley - laugh

smiley - dog

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 26


Well, that's about as brilliant as George Bush allowing an Arab company to run our American ports!

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 27


What!!! Well, I never knew that.

I do know we have the French running our water companies smiley - sadface

Sometimes, I think there is a bit too much "unite the world" in certain respects.

smiley - dog living in England

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 28


I concur, but I'd also like to apologize (apologise?) about my entry. Upon further thought, it might seem like a slur against another culture, and it wasn't meant to be. Many apologies to anyone who might have been offended. Maybe I should have stopped after saying 'that's about as brilliant as George Bush,' and let it go at that.

As far as British English vs. American English goes, I am all for merging and standardizing the two. We could leave in all the u's (as in color vs. colour), but I can't wrap my mind around 'aluminium!'

(And I have to wonder if I'm using single quotations correctly. Single quotations are hard to get used to when you're used to double!)

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 29


I am sure no-one will be offended by our comments, afterall all countries have utilities, etc., run by some other country. It is just such a shock to the system to those of us that thought we were running our own countries!

I concur with stating here that no offence is intended to any person, culture, country, etc.

I agree that it would be good to standardise the two, however, as you probably know English is such a complicated language, i.e. it has rules, but all those rules are broken somewhere in the dictionary!

Ah, quotation marks! There I have a problem too - I always considered that the double quotation marks were standard, but the single mark is an apostrophe only. Is the difference to do with today's lack of understanding of punctuation?

smiley - dog

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 30


Would you be surprised to find out that a British company is currently running our ports?! I'm okay with that, since we're such long-time allies.

As for the quotation marks, I simply don't understand why there are such differences. That's something we didn't cover in the History and Development of the English Language. Oh sure, we covered the Great Vowel Shift, but not the differences in the two versions of English. Makes me feel like I've missed something somewhere.....

....but I'm trying really hard!

English versus American English Spelling and Predjudice

Post 31





If you look through these 3 sites you will see why we are confused - they all seem to have conflicting ideas smiley - laugh All perfectly reasonable though.

I looked in some of my really old books & the double quotation marks are used, but in a more modern book (supposedly about English aimed at younger people) they advocate single marks

I'll tell you about the takeover of an old English publisher, that I worked for, by a big American conglomerate in one of our other threads! smiley - winkeye

smiley - dog

apologize or apologise and other mutterings

Post 32


'Apologize' is correct in English. The dictionary gives 'aplogise' as an alternative or variant spelling, not the main one. Despite the folklore (urban myth?) about these being an imported Americanism, most words correctly use a 'z' in English (like 'organize' as a simple example). Unfortunately (and ironically), the English spellchecker provided by Microsoft has played a major role in reinforcing and cementing a drift towards '-ise' in the last decade or so.

Many years ago I read the explanation for differentiating. IIRC, it was something to do with Greek and Latin roots. Possibly, also, some words will have come through European languages (mostly French which has had a great influence on English - e.g. 'labour' for labor') and that will have dictated the form.

I would suggest that the notion of 'merging and standardizing the two' variants is not practical or even meaningful. (BTW, 'standaerdizing' is another correct spelling in English!) Historically, attempts to control language form and standards have failed miserably. Then, what about Jamaican English? Australian English? Scottish English? Indian English? There are some 35 million people in India for whom English is a birth language. This list just scratches the surface. In terms of the spoken language, it is clear that the ubiquity of American (US) television programs ('programme' was a French incursion into English) and films is having a major impact through most of the world.

It remains to be seen how much the variations will converge in the future. It seems probable at the moment that some movement will take place, because we are adjusting to the communications revolutions of the 20th century. Attempts to control the process are, I suspect, doomed to ignominous failure.

I'm new here. I hope this is not too boring.


apologize or apologise and other mutterings

Post 33

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

I've often wondered why the MSWord spell checker doesn't accept -ize when it's set to UK English. The Oxford University Press prefers the -ize forms, and they're the closest thing to a language acadamy that English has.

We tend to accept /program/ in computing contexts, but not elsewhere. On the radio and television, we have programmes. And I think that that French spelling is also used in the States for theatre programmes, but I might be wrong.

TRiG.smiley - smiley

Webster's dic

Post 34


I understand that the authour of Webster's dictionary was an American responsible for altering the spellings of words such as colour -> color and honour -> honor and centre -> center etc. Incidentlally on the London Tube it's Honor Oak Park. smiley - erm

Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more