Should the US adopt British spelling?
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June 05, 2023, 04:14:13 AM
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  Should the US adopt British spelling?
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Author Topic: Should the US adopt British spelling?  (Read 730 times)
emailking
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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2023, 07:45:32 PM »

And you should learn to drive on the left side of the road as well.

That's right, in Aus you guys don't drive on the right side of the road.
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« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2023, 07:46:55 PM »

Anyway, to OP's question, NO. The United States should not adopt British spelling.

I'm biased but American spelling is generally more phonetic so I feel that it's better. Also, American spelling just removes a lot of unnecessary letters from words.

It would be funny though if we did adopt some British spelling (like Canada), it would be even one less difference between the US and Canada.
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Fuzzy Bear
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« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2023, 10:23:46 PM »


This.  The "British" spelling you point out is actually French spelling.  The French influence ons why it's "pork" and not "pig".
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #28 on: May 26, 2023, 07:41:56 AM »

This.  The "British" spelling you point out is actually French spelling.  The French influence ons why it's "pork" and not "pig".

This isn't correct: the Old English word for both was 'swine'; 'pig' is Middle English though does appear to have an Old English root. Besides, do you use a different word in the United States? Swinemeat, perhaps?
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #29 on: May 26, 2023, 07:57:26 AM »

I'm biased but American spelling is generally more phonetic so I feel that it's better. Also, American spelling just removes a lot of unnecessary letters from words.

The amusing part is that this is not the case elsewhere: e.g. the sounded vowel in 'colour' is not an 'o'. Anyway, having a spelling system that operates according to a particular set of formalized rules is one of the things that makes 'American English' a genuine distinct form of English (i.e. 'American English' is a real phenomenon, whereas there is no 'Canadian English', simply English as spoken by Canadians) and that fact in itself is now an important part of American culture.
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GeorgiaModerate
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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2023, 08:40:58 AM »

I'm biased but American spelling is generally more phonetic so I feel that it's better. Also, American spelling just removes a lot of unnecessary letters from words.

The amusing part is that this is not the case elsewhere: e.g. the sounded vowel in 'colour' is not an 'o'. Anyway, having a spelling system that operates according to a particular set of formalized rules is one of the things that makes 'American English' a genuine distinct form of English (i.e. 'American English' is a real phenomenon, whereas there is no 'Canadian English', simply English as spoken by Canadians) and that fact in itself is now an important part of American culture.

A former colleague of mine in England was an avid student of the language and its dialects.  He once told me there was more English language variation in a single English county than in the entire U.S., and more variation in a single U.S. state than in all of Australia.  I don't know if that's really true or a bit of exaggeration.
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« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2023, 08:46:22 AM »

The amusing part is that this is not the case elsewhere: e.g. the sounded vowel in 'colour' is not an 'o'. Anyway, having a spelling system that operates according to a particular set of formalized rules is one of the things that makes 'American English' a genuine distinct form of English (i.e. 'American English' is a real phenomenon, whereas there is no 'Canadian English', simply English as spoken by Canadians) and that fact in itself is now an important part of American culture.
Well, yes and no. Technically, Canadian English can be considered it's own thing and many Canadians will argue that.

However, many linguists don't think that Canadian English is distinct enough from American English, so they will be categorized together as "North American English". Much to the dismay of Canucks lol.
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dead0man
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« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2023, 08:47:48 AM »

There are more Americans among the native English speakers of the world than there are Britons, so if anything they should be the ones adopting our spelling.
Yeah but due to British colonization, British spelling is used more frequently around the world.
the internet will "fix" that problem
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« Reply #33 on: May 26, 2023, 08:50:44 AM »

A former colleague of mine in England was an avid student of the language and its dialects.  He once told me there was more English language variation in a single English county than in the entire U.S., and more variation in a single U.S. state than in all of Australia.  I don't know if that's really true or a bit of exaggeration.
That is fairly accurate.

the internet will "fix" that problem
Hopefully.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #34 on: May 26, 2023, 12:10:31 PM »

A former colleague of mine in England was an avid student of the language and its dialects.  He once told me there was more English language variation in a single English county than in the entire U.S., and more variation in a single U.S. state than in all of Australia.  I don't know if that's really true or a bit of exaggeration.

So long as the English county isn't Rutland it's true enough. And Australia doesn't have regional dialects at all: there are accents based on things like class, social status and ethnicity and there's also a Tasmanian accent (though not one for the other states!) but nothing that you could call a dialect.
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emailking
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« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2023, 12:58:07 PM »

How does a country so big avoid having dialects form? I thought it was just natural.
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Not Me, Us
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« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2023, 03:14:52 PM »

How does a country so big avoid having dialects form? I thought it was just natural.

It's really just a product of time. English has been spoken in England for centuries, which has resulted in a lot of regional divergence. The US has been settled by English speakers for almost 200 years longer than Australia. Given enough time, Australia will develop regional accents and dialect variation, it's just too young for that to have really happened yet.
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politicallefty
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« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2023, 08:17:42 PM »

Only partially. I prefer -our and -re spellings. The latter are pretty common in the US already. Theatre and centre are very common in the US. Oxford-style spelling is probably the best overall though. Noah Webster seriously bastardized the English language. We should be fortunate that not all of his proposals were adopted.
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« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2023, 09:16:50 PM »

Only partially. I prefer -our and -re spellings. The latter are pretty common in the US already. Theatre and centre are very common in the US. Oxford-style spelling is probably the best overall though. Noah Webster seriously bastardized the English language. We should be fortunate that not all of his proposals were adopted.
Theatre, I will give you, but not centre (though "theater" is still the dominant spelling in America). The spelling "Centre" is extremely rare in the United States. For example, there's Centre Street here in NYC, Centre County in Pennsylvania, and Centre College in Kentucky. However, those places got their names before there was standardized spelling in the United States.

Just looking at Google Trends will show you that "Center" is clearly king over "Centre" in the United States (https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=centre,center). Americans would almost never write or type "centre" unless it was a mistake or they were trying to be British, Canadian, Australian, and so on.

The "-our" word spellings are unnecessary. The extra u is not needed. Most of the "-or" word spellings are how those words were originally written in Latin. In Spanish, "color" is "color" and in Italian "color" is spelled "colore". The French added the unnecessary u (and this spread to the British through the Norman invasion, who in turn spread the "-our" when they colonized the world).
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Mr. Smith
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« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2023, 09:31:47 PM »

Grey > Gray.
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politicallefty
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« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2023, 09:52:35 PM »

Theatre, I will give you, but not centre (though "theater" is still the dominant spelling in America). The spelling "Centre" is extremely rare in the United States. For example, there's Centre Street here in NYC, Centre County in Pennsylvania, and Centre College in Kentucky. However, those places got their names before there was standardized spelling in the United States.

Just looking at Google Trends will show you that "Center" is clearly king over "Centre" in the United States (https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&geo=US&q=centre,center). Americans would almost never write or type "centre" unless it was a mistake or they were trying to be British, Canadian, Australian, and so on.

The "-our" word spellings are unnecessary. The extra u is not needed. Most of the "-or" word spellings are how those words were originally written in Latin. In Spanish, "color" is "color" and in Italian "color" is spelled "colore". The French added the unnecessary u (and this spread to the British through the Norman invasion, who in turn spread the "-our" when they colonized the world).

If you're going to bring the French into this, what about some of the pronunciations? What about "fillet"?

Theatre is still prevalent overall. The Oscars have been presented at either the Kodak Theatre or the Dolby Theatre. We also have large theatre companies such as AMC Theatres. Centre is less common than theatre, but I've seen it in many places. It's usually around plazas or shopping centres. If we pull in the Constitution, we should using -our and -ce spellings. The Constitution uses "behaviour" and "offence" and "defence".

As far as what's needed, English will look quite different if that's all that mattered.


^This.
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« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2023, 10:19:03 PM »

If you're going to bring the French into this, what about some of the pronunciations? What about "fillet"?
Um, this thread is about spelling NOT pronunciation.

Theatre is still prevalent overall. The Oscars have been presented at either the Kodak Theatre or the Dolby Theatre. We also have large theatre companies such as AMC Theatres.
I literally said that I will give you "theatre". However, "theater" is still the dominant spelling. Did you just not read my post at all?

Centre is less common than theatre, but I've seen it in many places. It's usually around plazas or shopping centres. If we pull in the Constitution, we should using -our and -ce spellings. The Constitution uses "behaviour" and "offence" and "defence".
How is any of that relevant? The Constitution was written BEFORE American English had standardized spelling.

Also, the spelling "centre" is extremely rare in the United States. The fact that you have "seen it in many places" is shocking.
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« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2023, 10:34:32 PM »

Britain should adopt correct spelling
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the artist formerly known as catmusic
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« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2023, 10:53:47 PM »

I really love spelling -ise and adding a u to things like flavour. it looks so lovely to me. but nah, English spelling is borked enough as is, we don't need to add more problems by trying to change our system
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GeorgiaModerate
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« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2023, 01:59:17 PM »

Centre is less common than theatre, but I've seen it in many places. It's usually around plazas or shopping centres. If we pull in the Constitution, we should using -our and -ce spellings. The Constitution uses "behaviour" and "offence" and "defence".
How is any of that relevant? The Constitution was written BEFORE American English had standardized spelling.

Also, the spelling "centre" is extremely rare in the United States. The fact that you have "seen it in many places" is shocking.

Or standardised, even. Smiley

In the U.S., I usually see "centre" in places like subdivisions or strip malls that are trying to be cute with their names, similar to "olde" and "towne".  (There's one in my area with the trifecta; it's actually called "Olde Towne Centre".)
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Frodo
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« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2023, 12:09:21 PM »

No, there is nothing wrong with American English. 
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BlahTheCanuckTory
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« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2023, 01:34:28 PM »

The whole world should adopt Canadian spelling  Mock
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Lief 🐋
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« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2023, 03:43:48 PM »

So that our economy can be burdened with hundreds of billions of dollars per year in superfluous us? No thank you.
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