What's With The Spelling On This Site?

I’m British and grew up being taught British English. Things like programme rather than program, colour instead of color, catalogue and not catalog.

You know the type of thing.

If you look at old books on www.gutenberg.org (a fantastic resource for old out-of-copyright free-to-download books) you might spot that often a book by a British author uses American spelling, even though it might be a century old or more.

Well yes, of course!

If a book was published in the US, why wouldn’t the publisher translate it to the language of the market they were providing for?

These days color still jars so I tend to write colour, but programme looks archaic, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a reference to a computer programme. So if I’m typing the word it’s program that flows from my fingers.

Now, if I were writing for a US audience I’d do my best to stick to American English. And if I were writing for a UK audience I’d do my best to use modern British English practice.

But I’m writing for both. And really, virtually nobody will misunderstand something simply because of an American or British English spelling or term being used, though there are notable exceptions (which I won’t note here).

So I’m not getting too excited about it and will spell catalogue as catalog without compunction.

Or maybe I’ll mix it up a little to be even-handed and enjoy winding up the English Language police on both sides of the Atlantic at the same time.

And if I use a term or spelling that throws you, remember Google Is Your Friend. If you look it up you may find you’ve learnt how it’s spelt in ye olde worlde. (See what I did there? 🙂 )