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British and American English

Date: May 27 2007


Author: evenstar


  • Words ending in OUR have been changed to OR in America (see COLOUR)

  • Words ending in IOUR have been changed to IOR in America (see BEHAVIOUR )

  • Many words ending in YSE or ISE have been changed to YZE or IZE in America (see ANALYSE, CATEGORISE, STANDARDISE) Exceptions:  ARISE, DEVISE  (This American spelling is also acceptable in the UK)

  • Many words ending in YSED or I SED have been changed to YZED or IZED in America (see CATEGORISED, STANDARDISED) (This American spelling is also acceptable in the UK)

  • Many words ending in  ISATION have been changed to IZATION in America (see CATEGORISATION, STANDARDISATION)   (This American spelling is also acceptable in the UK)

  • Words ending in RE have been changed to ER in America (see CENTRE, METRE)

  • Words containing the silent letters OUGH have been changed to in America so they are spelt phonetically (see DOUGHNUT, HICCOUGH)

  • Words containing a double consonant before ING and ED have been changed to one consonant (see TRAVELLING)    (This American spelling is becoming acceptable in the UK)

  • Words which vary in spelling according to whether they are nouns or verbs have been standardised  in some cases.   eg: verbs: PRACTISE, LICENSE   (NOTE:  the word standardised follows the ISED rule above)

  • Words containing ae together (originating from Latin and often joined /æ/) as in Caesar, haemorrhoids

  • North American spellings are simplified for words containing letters which can be removed without changing the pronunciation. eg:ALUMINIUM, SMOULDERING

  • North American spellings are changed to simplify the spellings of some words eg: AEROPLANE, GAOL thereby making the spellings more phonetic

  • Where there are two spellings for one word, only one version is adopted in North America eg: EARNT, EARNED

  • Compound words are often either hyphenated, or written as two words eg: AEROPLANE

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