Saturday, 22 July 2017

Off-Topic: English spelling

My readers know that I take the English language very seriously. I make an effort to use correct English spelling and grammar in all my articles. When there are differences between British English and American English spellings I pick the British English version, because I consider the changes made in American spelling to be corruptions of the language. I always write "colour" instead of "color", "learnt" instead of "learned" and "travelling" instead of "traveling". When a film's title uses an American variant spelling, for instance "Labor Day", I use the American spelling, but I feel awkward about it.

There are a few cases where I use the American spelling, not out of ignorance but as a deliberate choice.

I write "meter", "centimeter" and "kilometer" instead of the accepted English spellings "metre", "centimetre" and "kilometre". This isn't because the spellings are used in America. It's because I consider "meter" and its derivatives to be foreign words used in English, so I prefer their original spellings.

For the same reason I write "liter" instead of "litre".

There are many words that are written with hyphens in British English, but without a hyphen in American English. An example of a word I commonly use in this blog is "re-watch" (British English), "rewatch" (American English). In most cases I prefer not to use a hyphen. To my shame I have to admit that I'm not consistent in my spelling.

I would greatly appreciate comments on this post. Even more, I would love my readers to comment if they ever find a spelling mistake in my blog. Sometimes I make mistakes which I don't notice until years later when I refer to an old post that I want to quote. It's so embarrassing.

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