U.N. English

Bernard   Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:17 am GMT
I noticed that the U.N. seems to be using British spelling.
On the "UN News Centre" website, I read the following:
# Check your spelling. Use standard British variant: for example, spell "labour", "centre" instead of "labor", "center".

On http://www.un.org/search/user_help.html#spell, it says:
The UN standard is UK English. British spelling is used (i.e. colour, labour, programme). A single spelling suggestion is returned with the results for queries where the spell checker has detected a possible spelling mistake.

Do you know why British English is used, even though the UN headquarters are based in New York?
Is American English "too American", and British English more "international"?
Guest   Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:35 am GMT
I don't know but I think they waste enough resources to worry about (let alone us questioning) such trivial matters.

Just my 2 bob's worth.
Daniel   Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:41 am GMT
It's a very old convention to use British English spelling in international organizations. This is due to the fact that international organizations represent countries, not citizens. The majority of the native English-speaking population is from the US, but the majority of English-speaking countries uses British spelling.
Daniel   Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:50 am GMT
I found the following on Wikipedia:
"The English texts of treaties that are signed by both the United Kingdom and the United States use British English usage and spelling out of respect for the seniority of the United Kingdom as the mother country of the English language."
Uriel   Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:05 pm GMT
And I have some beachfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell you ....
Guest   Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:07 pm GMT
I don't understand the meaning of Uriel's comment.
euro all the way   Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:55 pm GMT
<<Do you know why British English is used, even though the UN headquarters are based in New York?>>

Daniel gave you an excellent and correct explanation Bernard.
Rick Johnson   Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:11 pm GMT
The US pays little attention to the UN anyway, so I don't suppose it could particularly care less!
Rick Johnson   Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:13 pm GMT
<<And I have some beachfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell you ....>>

Must be quite a hike to the sea!
Kirk   Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:49 pm GMT
<<Must be quite a hike to the sea!>>

More like a 6-hour drive to San Diego (where the closest beaches to Arizona are) on Interstate 8. I lived in San Diego for four years and near beaches there you'll often see a disproportionate number of license plates from Arizona, especially in the summer when Arizonans are trying to escape the scorching Sonora Desert summer temperatures. The *average* daily high temperature in Phoenix for July is 105 F/ 41 C, and on the hottest days in the year it's not unheard of the weather reaching 115+ F/ 46+ C. Compare this to coastal San Diego, whose July average daily high temperature is a comfy 75 F/ 24 C.
Uriel   Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:36 pm GMT
"I have some beachfront property in Arizona I'd like to sell you" is an old expression meaning, "if you believed THAT, you'll believe ANYTHING" -- i.e., you're very gullible.

Because, obviously, Arizona is an inland state. Or, to put it mildly, you'd be getting a whole lotta beach, but.....
Guest   Sat Aug 19, 2006 6:19 am GMT
<Regardless, I've always considered the U.N. to be a worthless, utopian-inspired organization much like the League of Nations before it, and I think it will ultimately fail too.>

Typical comment from a self centred American. What do they want? A USA defence department running a better alternative to the UN? Yeah I see how 'great' they doing in Iraq.
Uriel   Sat Aug 19, 2006 12:39 pm GMT
Nah, Brennus is right. You don't even have to be particularly self-centered to be exasperated at how pie-in-the-sky and ineffectual the UN is. It's not just a US vs the UN thing. You don't have to be a big fan of current US foreign policy to have no patience with the UN -- you can be like me, and roll your eyes at both.
Uriel   Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:28 am GMT
Those aren't the things that bother me -- I expect them of any political organization. I just think the UN is a nice idea that doesn't work in real life. So let's stop beating that dead horse.
Guest   Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:39 am GMT
But comeon!! The UN got to earn some credit for preventing and assisting in the world's trouble spots. Of course like you said - all political organisations have policies that don't either fully or don't work at all. But hey.. the world isn't perfecto.