Monday, March 27, 2017

British or American English: 8 Common Spelling Mistakes by Lucy Benton

If your job involves a lot of writing, you've probably heard about the differences in UK and US spelling. There are plenty of reasons why Word has different versions of English and recommends you install proofreading tools to help you to avoid mistakes.

Every time you write in a non-default spelling, it reverts the text to the default one, which can create some problems for those who typed it.

To avoid making mistakes in US and UK spelling, you should get up to speed with these most common mistakes.

The centre of London
#1: endings “re” – “er”

Examples:
centre/center
theatre/theater

For some, writing these words exactly how they sound makes more sense. However, British English has different spelling.

#2: endings “yse” – “yze”

Examples:
analyse/analyze
paralyse/paralyze

“yze” is the preferred option for North America while “yse” is common in the UK and Australia. The use of the American spelling is more popular in the literature, as shown in this Google Books ngram.

#3: Double “l”

Examples:
travelling/traveling
modelling/modeling
cancelled/canceled

Many people make mistakes with the doubled consonant. British English uses doubles the “l” while American typically uses one in a number of words. 

#4: “ence” and “ense” 

Examples:
defence/defense
licence/license

To avoid this common mistake, put “ense” in American English and “ence” in British English.

#5: “ogue” or “og”

Examples:
dialogue/dialog
analogue/analog

Although the ending “logue” is also sometimes occurs in the U.S., the “log” spelling is more common. If you're visiting the UK, you should only use “ogue”. 

#6: “ise” or “ize”

Examples:
organise/organize
realise/realize

Much like “yse” and “yze”, “ise” is preferred in the UK while the rest of the world prefers “ize,”.  While confusing, you should go with “ise” if you’re writing for UK readers.

#7: spelling words in form without “e”

Examples:
loveable/lovable
moveable/movable
likeable/likable

Some people commonly confuse the spelling of words that have forms without “e” like in American English. The Brits, however, stay true to using it.

#8: irregular verbs

Examples:
wet/wetted
dived/dove
smelt/smelled
burnt/burned

Some verbs, including wet, fit, and dive, are regular in British version and irregular in American. As a result, many people make mistakes while using them in sentences. For example, “she dived into the lake” would sound weird for Americans because they are used to say “she dove into the lake.” 
If you avoid using these common mistakes between American and British English, your writing will be far more appropriate for local audiences. Good luck!

Lucy Benton is high skilled editor, proofreader at BestEssayTips, who enjoys sharing tips and stories. She studied Creative and Professional Writing at the Maharishi University of Management. If you’re interested in working with Lucy , you can find her on Facebook.