Why is the internet converting to British writing and why isn't it the same?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by science man, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. For the past one or two years now I've started to see a different spelling of certain words than what I learned such as centre or theatre instead of what I learned which is center and theater. I was told that it was the British way to write it like centre and theatre. Another word I've noticed is realise instead of realize. What's the deal? why is this happening? I will never convert to writing those words those ways.
     
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  3. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    While I have not noticed it, my guess if there is such a shift would be that English speaking Indians learn british English, and are likely online in ever increasing numbers.
     
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The spellings "centre" and "theatre" are often used in the U.S. as an affectation, to make the buildings and institutions they represent seem a little more high class. Although my very favorite example of this lunacy is in Los Angeles: The L.A. Theatre Center.

    Considering that there are more speakers of English in India than in America, we are outnumbered, so it's not worth complaining.

    It is actually we Americans who are out of step. Noah Webster was the first American scholar to put together "a dictionary of the American language," and he deliberately altered the spelling of several very common inflections, just to make American writing look different from British writing. A strange manifestation of national pride.

    So for the past century and a half we've had center, inflection, labor, realize and traveler, instead of centre, inflexion, labour, realise and traveller, spellings that had been established for half a millennium, most of them taken directly from the original French words.

    It's no big deal. If you read enough British writing you'll stop noticing it. And nobody's ever going to make you start spelling that way unless you have to emigrate. And if you do, I promise you that spelling will be the very least important thing you miss about America.
     
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  7. oh ok thank you so much.
     
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    If it's that bad you could always use a spell check. Originally American-English Spell checks were the only available spellchecks, which could actually imply that some English people have actually got use to spelling words "wrongly" because of it.
     
  9. firdroirich A friend of The Friends Registered Senior Member

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    I for one welcome it, because it is what I speak. I tend to get a mild irritation when the spell-check tries to tell me that I misspelled something when that is not the case.
     
  10. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I've gone from BritoCanadian spelling to American, myself. I think American grant agencies hate you less if you pretend to be one of them.
     
  11. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    It usually depends on my mood, but I think my favorite is British.
    I don't like to over analyze or criticise, but it does fulfill the purpose of extending an ageing argument. However there's little point in quarreling over this arguement, when at the centre of this judgment we find what is probably a learnt behaviour.
     
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    American English "won" when it came to programming languages and "won" when it came to sulfur...
     
  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    As someone who lives in a country that uses Brit-english, one thing that got me was having to 'relearn' to use 'color' instead of 'colour' for programming in, well, nearly every programming language. It took me way to long to adjust to that, I'd write a program, try and compile it, and it would start throwing errors, or my HTML would break. The first time it happened it took me ages to find the problem.

    Spell checks annoy me as well, for precisely the reasons you mention. It's one of the reasons I don't generally bother with them.
     
  14. John99 Banned Banned

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    ummm....maybe you are just more aware of it
    or perhaps maybe you are using the internet more

    ummm...lets seee, maybe more people are aware of the different spelling and want to be hoity toity.
     
  15. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

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    I am American but I often employ 'odour' rather than 'odor' because then it seems to have a better smell.

    Traveling or travelling is fine, too, as long as I'm going to a good place.
     
  16. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Personally I am sympathetic to what Noah Webster was trying to do. For example: centre vs. center. (My spell check prefers center). The second syllable is pronounced "er", not "re", so his approach seems to make sense. Similarly color vs. colour (spellcheck prefers color) - the second syllable is pronounced "or" not "our".
     
  17. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    When someone tells me I misspelled Armour, I kick them in the balls and ask if they are wearing a cup lol...
     
  18. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Its the Indian invasion. We speaketh the Queenth's English
     
  19. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    concidering that the UK, Australia, NZ, (i THINK) canada, and most other countries that speak english speak PROPER english and i belive that people who learn english in places like china are taught english english (had a few friends who went over to china to tach english and they were Australians) the US is well and truly outnumbed

    Futhermore the operning post reminds me of that texen who tried to tell me Australia must be part of the US because i speak "american". Its called ENGLISH for a reason, because it is the language of ENGLAND
     
  20. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    By that "phonetical" line of reasoning, though, one can simplify English a lot further and be far more accurate with respect to the phonetics than we are at present.

    "Knife" should be, for example, "nife," or even "nif" (or, in IPA, for exact phonetic equivalence, "najf"). And we should complete the substitution of "k" and "s" for "c" (like "defense" not the Brit "defence") eliminate double consonants (like Webster changed "waggon" to "wagon").

    Al speling kood b fonetik. Ideely, weed adopt the Internashunal Fonetik Alfabet and dich the Roman alfabet. Hoo's with mee? (4 simplisitee wee shood at leest bring bak the thorn ("þ") 2 stand 4 "th."

    ...az a plus, þe þorn maks þe "stiking tung owt" emotikon mor akurat: :-þ

    ɪvɛ́ntʃəwəli, rɛ́dɪŋ tɛ́kst ɪn IPA wɪ́l sím ǽz nǽtʃərəl ǽz wɒ́kɪŋ əkrɒ́s ə rúm, ǽnd ðə rómən ǽlfəbɛ̀t sɪ́mpli stúpəd.

    Then again, there is something to be said for sticking with tradition and accepting that certain features of all languages are accidents of history. Still, if we all adopted IPA, then any word you could pronounce you could spell, and any word you read, you could be 99.99% certain that you know how to pronounce.
     
  21. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    I can not read that -_- although I'm, let's say 90% certain that the last part of it is something about doing something in the roman alphabet (is) simply stupid.
     
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm...

    eventually, reading text in IPA will seem as natural as walking across the room and the roman alphabet simply stupid
     
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    how the hell did you read that sam, apart from the IPA its all gibberish to me
     

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