British spelling in the USA

Damian in Edinburgh   Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:28 pm GMT
On a bitterly cold winter's night with thick freezing fogue swirling around outside there is no more welcoming sight as soon as you enter your local pub than the roaring logue fire in the lounge bar. Some pubs actually let you take your dogue in there - but not very many,'s not bogue standard practice......there is food and drink around for public consumprion. Be careful though not to hogue the fireside as you sup your pint otherwise you may well upset other people in the pub who wish to see the glow of the embers as they chat over their bacardi and cokes and Tennants....bad grace could bring a frogue to your throat if you are told you're being selfish as you clogue up the fireside with your presence.

On that basis "dialog" makes more sense than "dialogue" does it not? The same could be said for "program" v "programme"....the first one is fave. None of us uses "grammes" do we? It's always "grams". When you think of it, American spellings can be said to be more logical - and shorter. But not always - some just look...well......weird. But not always......just sometimes. It depends......
furrykef   Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:14 pm GMT
More logical, perhaps, but when you're used to illogical spellings, then the logical spellings start to look wrong. That's one big reason why we haven't been able to reform English spelling, even though we've been trying it for who knows how long. :)
Travis   Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:20 pm GMT
I however tend to favor completely remaking English orthography from the ground up rather than doing it one word at a time...

Ai hauever tend tu feever kumplytli rymeking ingglisj oarthograffi from dhe graund up radher dhen duing it wun wurd at e taim...
Guest   Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:39 pm GMT
nuff sed
Sarcastic Northwesterner   Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:11 pm GMT
>> I usually see "theatre" in reference to plays, and "theater" in reference to movies. The Shakespearean tradition probably has something to do with that. <<

Nah. It seems to me that in the US, theater and theatre are almost interchangeable. I would say that about 60% use -er and 40% use -re. Although on more official documents, "theater" is more commonly used. Many theaters have the word Theater/Theatre in them. Even movie Theatres. Spelling it Theatre gives it a more distinguished look. I would say that "theatre" is probably the most common British spelling in the US. In the US, there are also many places that have names that are spelt the British way, such as, you'll see several Centres and Harbours, although not as many as you'll see Theatres.
Uriel   Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:00 am GMT
Who says these are "British" spellings? The Microsoft spellchecker? Since when did Bill Gates become an authority? ;)

No -- usually, Americans have their pick of two spellings. I always write "cancelled", "traveller", "dialogue" -- but I still prefer "catalog" -- "worshipped", "theater" and "glamour". But I don't have any bones to pick with those who prefer one L, or drop the UE from dialog.

(I do still kind of consider "theatre" and "centre" pretentious -- but go on with your bad selves, if you want!)
Damian in Edinburgh   Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:01 am GMT
Dialog - catalog - prolog - epilog - all look pretty sensible to me, but to many Brits such spellings immediately yell out "Americanisms! Ugh - nasty!" Not nice I know, but sadly true. In many facets of life prejudice will always be with us.
Guest   Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:41 am GMT
I am American and "prolog" and "epilog" look very funny to me. I don't think I've ever seen those spellings before.
Kess   Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:30 am GMT
AMOEBA instead of AMEBA is very funny ;)

Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

amoeba, ameba (n.)

has two acceptable spellings: the general public regularly prefers the spelling with the ligature œ or the digraph oe, as in amoeba; biology and medicine now often use ameba in their journals.
furrykef   Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:58 am GMT
Amœba with the ligature is rare in American English, as is the œ ligature itself. I usually see "amoeba", and rarely "ameba". I think I only ever see amœba in British texts.
Sarcastic Northwesterner   Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:35 pm GMT
>> Amœba with the ligature is rare in American English, as is the œ ligature itself. I usually see "amoeba", and rarely "ameba". I think I only ever see amœba in British texts. <<

Yes, I agree. I do think "ameba" looks very peculiar though.
Uriel   Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:26 am GMT
I've never liked ameba. The O stays.
Kess   Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:42 pm GMT
amoeba, foetus, oedema, diarrhoea and so on...
You should be consistent w/your usage.
Travis   Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:51 pm GMT
>>amoeba, foetus, oedema, diarrhoea and so on...
You should be consistent w/your usage.<<

Of all those spellings, though, the only one that is common in the US is "amoeba".
Josh Lalonde   Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:03 pm GMT
In some of those words, the 'oe' isn't even historic: it was added later on to make it look smarter. I would follow the US with this one: amoeba, but fetus, edema, etc.