Insight article

English v. American Spelling Dilemmas

I’m sure you have the same kind of debates in your office as we have in ours:
“Do I spell the word programme with one or two m’s?’ and ‘what about fulfil – should it have two l’s at the end, or just the one?”
This kind of question certainly has the potential to spark debate here in the UK, especially if you work in a multi-cultural office.
But the other reason for confusion emanates from the fact that most of us are using office software produced in America and, even when we’ve got our spellchecker set to English (UK), we’re constantly told that our way of spelling certain words is incorrect:
“I’m sure ‘emphasize’ didn’t have a ‘z’ in it last time I looked” etc.
An even greater dilemma arises when dealing with American clients. Should we, give in to our computers and spell words in a way that our US cousins will appreciate, or should we stand up for the language we (arguably) originated on this side of the pond and risk looking, to them, like we can’t spell the simplest of words?
With most of the world now using the same US-produced software, might it be that the ‘correct’ English spelling of many words will soon become extinct?
One final thought – Language is, and has always been, a constantly evolving thing – maybe this is just the next stage of evolution for English?

Nailia Tasseel