English Spelling Conventions
originally titled: Excuse Me, Your Americanism is Showing
As a preface, this is not going to be a rant against Americans, but it may be a rant against people who don’t realize there are other countries and conventions other than their own.
I recently came across a discussion about an author who received a bad review based on numerous misspellings in her book. Which is not unusual, but the misspellings turned out to be not true errors, but the British spellings of certain words. Now the bad review just seems rude and ignorant.
In a world that gets smaller by the day, where a book can be bought internationally by speakers of multiple languages, I find it sad that some people are oblivious to the fact that there are two common English spelling conventions: British and American. Neither is wrong.
Growing up in Canada, I learned British spelling in school, but was familiar with American spelling too. It’s prevalent in books and other written documents around here. I rarely notice which convention is used when reading books, because it just doesn’t matter to me.
But once you move south of the border, it seems that some Americans are oblivious to the fact that two spelling conventions exist. This ignorance extents beyond this small point to include most anything about the world outside the US borders, but since this is a book blog, let’s stick to that. I want to say that I am not trying to pick on Americans, but it seems that most stories of this nature are Amercians downtalking British spelling. Rarely does it ever happen the other way around.
The point being that there are two spelling conventions, and neither is wrong. To say otherwise, or to treat one as inferior to the other is just plain rude. Not just to the author, but to everyone who uses that convention on a day-to-day basis.
Stepping off my soapbox now. So, do you notice what spelling convention a book uses while you are reading it?