Sunday, October 19, 2014

US and Australian spellings

This will be republished as time goes on and more spelling differences are noted. If you add something in comments about a different spelling, I will add it to this post. We will start with the most obvious and the easiest.

Colour is the Australian spelling. Color is American. The spelling color is generally not used by Australians.

Labour in Oz. Labor in the US. The exception is the extraordinary decision by one of our two major political parties to change its spelling and call itself the Labor Party. Labour is generally used in Australia.

Satellite here, satelite in the US. This one did my head in because spell checker kept telling me it was satelite, but it just looked wrong. Speaking of double lls, labelling/labeling, towells towels. Hmm, towels, I am not sure about that. This is the problem of modern communication.

As I said, I will add to this list, but you could surprise me with one I don't know.

Aluminium/aluminum

The ise/ize word ending

Ageing/aging

Travelling/traveling

Offence/offense

Cheque/check

Gaol/jail. I am not sure about this one. How is it generally spelt in the Britain? While I spell it gaol, most people and media spell it jail.

Programme/program. As above. I spell it programme but mostly it is is not. 

Grey/gray.

Judgement/judgment

Cancelled/canceled

Sulphur/sulfur

Zip/zipper

Mould/mold

Turnstyle/turnstile

33 comments:

  1. Wow, your spelling is the same as British one.

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    1. Quite close Gosia. Among younger people, maybe it is a bit more American.

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  2. Aluminium and Aluminum.

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    1. Good one Victor. I had never noticed.

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  3. Do you know Andrew it was Mr Noah Webster of Websters Dictionary who dropped the 'u' from 'our' word endings to distinguish his dictionary from the traditional dictionaries in so ding establishing the American variations to English spelling?

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    1. Victor, I do recall hearing that. We had a huge Webster dictionary at school that must have been 50 years old then.

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  4. I'm such a bad speller and always have been, I ignore the little red line most of the time.
    Merle...........

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    1. Consistency is to admired Merle, haha.

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  5. Australian-ise. American-ize.

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    1. Panther

      *nod* I loathe the use of a z to make a word into a verb. I told my students to spell properly before I have to read any of their work. Otherwise I will be reading their work with a very negative attitude.

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    2. Panther, I don't think we normally use any ize endings? Well, size of course. Yes, ise/ize is a good one.

      Hels, lucky you don't teach secondary school now. There would be some very low marks.

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  6. Aussies are ageing whilst the Yanks are aging.

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    1. Allan, one I have only recently noticed, courtesy spell checker.

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  7. I find traveller and travelling get underlined as wrong, so I drop one of the 'Ls' even though I prefer the English spelling. I agree with Hels that s is preferable to z when verbalising a word. And I don't like the American al-oo-min-um, I prefer our al-you-mini-um. There are others that I can't think of right now.

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    1. River, that is one I really dislike, no offence. Ah, another offence/offense. I recall hearing the other pronunciation of aluminium when I was quite young. It was spoken by our maths teacher, who also used to say math and not maths.

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  8. Spelling can be a hitch when typing...another is Cheque AU, Check US.

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  9. It's very easy ! Australians have the British spelling and the Americans simplify ! More difficult are the words. Booth = trunk, garden = yard, lorry = truck, etc.

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    1. Boot for trunk, Gattina. Maybe the post would have been more interesting and challenging to find out words that we do spell with American spelling.

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  10. I'm helping a Spanish friend improve her English, especially written skills. I try to remember the difference between British and American spellings, so she can learn the British/Australian way. So, thanks for your contributions.

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    1. Mitchell, I am sure there are many around you to help with English English, although the chap with the heavy accent, maybe not so useful. But yes, a list is good.

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  11. If I ever spell in the American way I would hope and want someone, anyone to give me an oi :)

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    1. Trust me Grace, I will.

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  12. tomayto-tomahto, which is odd seeing as we both say potayto, no one says potahto
    Offence with a C is a noun while offense with an S is a verb and there are specific grammatical uses for both, just like defence and defense, practice and practise. But mostly these grammatical specifics have been forgotten so people don't know when to use a C or an S. The Americans just use the S for everything unless it is an 'ize' word.

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    1. Yeah River, they do say potahto, in that song.

      I am not good at grammar. I just can't think how offense can be a verb. Even at a police confession, wouldn't the guilty say he or she had committed and offence. I know a little of practice/practise, but I have never found the need to use practise.

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    2. The song doesn't count, potahto isn't used in everyday speech.

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    3. the offense line in an American football game is a verb. Committing an offence is a crime and a noun. Practise is when you practise your piano or violin, practice is the doctor's practice in the town etc.The Doctor practises medicine and hopes to one day own his own practice. Clearer?

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    4. Cleared those up, thanks. There is nothing complicated about practice and practise at all then.

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  13. Jail is how I spell it.
    Judgement AU. Judgment US.
    Cancelled AU. Canceled US.

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  14. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone dumbed down for USA as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as if they couldn't search with that G machine for the meaning.

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    1. Jah Teh, the two words aren't exactly synonyms, are they.

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