American and British Spelling - some differences

    From time to time I receive e-mails pointing out "spelling mistakes" that appear in Spelling it Right. These are always where American and British spellings are different.
    Just to make things clear: I am English, was born in England and have lived here for all my 75 years except for a year in Germany. So I have a tendency to use words that are British and spellings that are British.
    However, if you live in the United States this shouldn't be a problem for you as there aren't all that many differences and I try to avoid those words which I know might lead to confusion.
    But there are some that just can't be avoided. Here are the main ones:
    American British Comments
    -ize -ise
    We tend to prefer -ise to -ize. However -ize is becoming more acceptable in Britain so this is the spelling I've tried to use (when I can remember) for words like memorize, recognize etc
    -or -our
    We use -our at the end of colour, humour, favour, and a few others. But words which indicate a person who does something always end with -or, for example actor, survivor, curator

    -er -re We use -re at the end of words such as centre, metre, theatre

    Where Americans use a totally different word (for example American fall is our autumn and your sidewalk is our pavement) I just try to avoid the word altogether.

    I hope this clarifies the situation.
    Roger Smith

Spelling it Right

Roger Smith
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