Language: The Differences Between American and British English Spellings Explained

Here’s a lovely breakdown of the differences between American and British English spellings and why they’re different. Very interesting. Originally from




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  1. avatarRyan Carterét says

    I know I shouldn’t be bothered that it called the British tendency to leave in the ‘u’ in words “British Extras”, but I am. If I recall correctly, a certain Noah Webster decided to omit them, much to my chagrin…

    I know it was made in the US, but I just had to vent. I’m from the United States, but judging by my Anglophilic ways and non-existent patriotism (toward the country I currently hold a passport to), you would likely mistake me for a Canadian (much to my delight). Though my body reluctantly resides in the US at the moment, my heart is in Britain, and someday the rest of me will be there too (with a passport that has a unicorn on it!). ;D

  2. avatarretnavybrat says

    Despite the fact that it has nothing to do with spelling, this reminded me of something that happened to me in school when I was 15. I had an English assignment in which I mentioned the Queen Mother. My teacher “corrected” my writing by crossing “the Queen Mother” out and replacing it with “the queen’s mother”. I, a 15 year old child, actually had to correct a supposedly more educated person than me, that “Queen Mother” was the woman’s title.

  3. avatarBoston Karen says

    Hurrah for Noah Webster! He Americanized the spelling of English words so that they are more sensible. No one needs that extra “u.” I live in Boston, and it bugs me that “Centre Street” is misspelled. Re: traveller — the rule for both English and American English USED to be to double the end consonant before adding a suffix. Bill Gates and Microsoft changed that, by showing the correct spelling as incorrect. Now the Dictionarys have given up. Who can fight Bill Gates:

  4. avatar says

    Manoeuvre vs. Maneuver is one that always occurs to me, I don’t find the former too complex, because I know French, but I can see the point that it’s a pretty confusing spelling.

  5. avatarhector Lopez says

    I learnt the British grammar and I’m comfortable with it. American English is poor version from the variety of the language spoken on the British islands.

  6. avatarhector Lopez says

    It does not make sense to me why Daniel Webster had to declare the linguistic independence of the United States. No American Spanish speaing country did it. What did the United States make so special for that?

  7. avatarJerry says

    Hector Lopez: It is not about grammar, grammar is something else. This is orthography.

    The British pronunciation is artificial, the original British dialects pronounced R as in American English. Just some lords wanted to be be cool, like French, so they started to omit R and later other people did it too to be like lords.

    You also know nothing about differences in Spanish, e.g. in Argentina or Mexico, in comparison to Spain…

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