UK vs US English – I miss U, Noah Webster.

One of the most noticeable differences between American and British English is the spelling of certain words, particularly the dropping of the letter U.

Noah Webster 1758-1843

According to history, the man responsible for this was American Lexicographer, Noah Webster, who in an attempt to take control of the language from the British ruling classes, wrote three books on grammar, reading and spelling. The Elementary Spelling Book became the standard textbook for the next century. He later went on the write the American Dictionary of the English Language.

British spellings of…

  • Armour
  • Flavour
  • Favour
  • Candour
  • Behaviour
  • Colour
  • Demeanour
  • Glamour
  • Harbour

became in American English

  • Armor
  • Flavor
  • Favor
  • Candor
  • Behavior
  • Color
  • Demeanor
  • Glamor
  • Harbor

Other words were also changed. Defence became defense, Theatre became Theater, Centre became center.

Although it doesn’t matter which version you use, always be consistent when writing a document and if you use a spell checker, ensure you set it to your desired dictionary.

 

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