SUMMARY: British vs. American spelling

Subject: SUMMARY: British vs. American spelling
From: "M. Dannenberg" <midannen -at- SI -dot- BOSCH -dot- DE>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 16:32:52 +0200

Some weirdo wrote:

> Hi.
> I don't want to get into this discussion, but I have a related
> question.
> Basically for me this is a non-issue of monstrous proportions. As far
> as
> the stuff I write is concerned, it boils down to spelling "colour"
> with
> "ou" and customise with an "s". I can't imagine anybody having a
> comprehension problem because of that. However, our management seems
> to
> think this is somehow very important and they've been pestering me
> about
> it quite a bit.
> The thing is, people from our American subsidiary have been
> complaining
> that the British spellings would actually bother American readers.
> It's
> not that people wouldn't understand it, but rather they'd be reminded
> of
> the colonial oppression they suffered at the hands of the Brits and
> that
> would somehow give rise to negative feelings that would then be
> associated with our products.
> Yes, this sounds like complete bullshit to me too. So here's the
> question I'd like to put to our esteemed American colleagues: If you
> read a text that uses British spellings but is otherwise completely
> neutral,
> a) does it bother you?
> b) does it somehow impede your comprehension?
> I think these questions should be specific enough to avoid any usage
> jihads. Then again, that never prevented anyone, has it?
> Mike

Thanks to everybody who responded, I counted 19 responses altogether,
which is quite impressive. Unfortunately my worst fears were confirmed.
While some people said British spellings don't bother them, most seem to
get an urge to reach under their matress for the Bowie knife and scalp
some redcoats when they see the word "colour".


Actually everybody said it doesn't bother them, and they don't think
other people would be bothered. There were a few "no, but"s though,
something along the lines of that British guy who tried to teach some
foreigners to play Bridge (true story). When they started picking up
their cards before all cards were dealt, he said "I don't mind at all,
but other people might take it as a great insult".

Have a jolly good day,


Mike Dannenberg
midannen -at- si -dot- bosch -dot- de

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