Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm Not Stupid. I'm Canadian.

I planned to do a post about my love for the Amelia Peabody mystery series and why I think everyone should read it, but I'm really, really sick and pharmaceuticals aren't cutting it. So, I'm copping out and re-posting something from my personal blog.


Since the global HQ for the Clark Kent job is in the United States, I deal with a lot of Americans. I like the guys I work with except when (1) they call my hometown “Little Houston” and (2) tell me I can’t spell.

Yes, I can spell. I just don’t always use American spelling. And, yes, there is a difference between spelling for Canadian English (which is very similar to British English) and American English. What are the differences? Well…

  • the extra a: anaesthesia
  • c instead of k: disc
  • c instead of s: defence, licence
  • e instead of a: grey
  • the extra o: oesophagus
  • ph instead of f: sulphur
  • que instead of ck: cheque
  • re instead of er: centre, theatre
  • s instead of z: analyse, cosy, realise
  • the extra u: colour, labour, neighbour

Please, next time you see centre instead of center, don’t assume the writer is stupid or can’t use the Spell Checker. She might be Canadian.


13 comments:

Tam said...

Some of my American friends love to mock me by putting random u's in words when posting to me. LOL I am very schizophrenic though. I've looked at reviews I've written where I spell the same word sometimes with a u and sometimes not, or I'll spell it humour but in the same post use color. I tend to use American spelling if I'm talking to American's and Canadian if I'm talking to Brits/Aussies but most of the time it's a god awful hodge podge.

Toni Anderson said...

Or British, or even worse, BOTH!!!
Writing for American publishers means my PC is set up for AMerican English, but my brain is stuck in the UK :)
Sorry you're sick, Anne :(

Wynter Daniels said...

Hope you feel better soon. I'd never think anyone stupid for such spellings. I find it more sophisticated, actually.

Marcelle Dubé said...

And then you add in French and you get completely confused! The spelling difference that always jolts me is check (American) vs cheque (Canadian).

Shirley Wells said...

Or British.

When I first submitted to Carina, I had a horrid nightmare in which they made me change my British English into American English. Luckily, it was just that - a nightmare. I wouldn't have coped. :)

Hope you feel better soon, Ann!

Josh Lanyon said...

No comment on the spellings, as I switch randomly from Brit to American as the mood takes me. (That's the problem with having had British publishers at an early age.)

I do love the Amelia Peabody series, though, and I'll look forward to your eventual post.

J.L. Campbell said...

...Or the writer might be Jamaican. We write and spell using British English. When I write novels which are going to be targetted at American publishers, I use American spelling. It makes things easier.

Elise Warner said...

I'm a born and bred New Yorker but I always confuse disc and disk and grey and gray. Hope you feel better soon--I believe I have the same crud and the cough medicine is none too swift.

MaureenAMiller said...

I sometimes spell with a Southern inflection. :) It's not pretty. Or is that 'purdy'?

Julie Moffett said...

Feel better soon, Anne! No worries on the spelling. I actually enjoy the different spellings of words depending on dialect, region, etc. :)

Cozy in Texas said...

Great post. I'm bi-lingual (born in England live in the USA) I have trouble with gray and grey and in a manuscript did a global search and replace to gray, but then realized I'd spelled Earl Grey tea incorrectly. All very confusing.
Ann

Alexa said...

I was born and raised in the States, and my mom was born and raised in England. We are very close to her English relatives and I often use British spellings in EVERYTHING! I do tend to change it before I send whatever it is (email, manuscript, etc) depending on the person receiving it.

Clare London said...

Oh my, yes, the extra "u"! I spend my life protecting it LOL.

I've given up Americanising myself now (note the "s" not "z" LOL), and I'm afraid if my publishers won't allow UK spelling, they'll have to correct it from their end.

I like the mixture in my reading, though! :)