British or American? Which language do you write in?

English is a very rich language. It’s also widely read all around the globe. Not always the same English, however. Of course, there are regional accents, that’s part of what a lively language is about, but when it comes to written English, there are mainly two schools. Two variations on the same basic language. British. American.

For an author who wants to be read by all English speakers, a choice has to be made. For me, it’s a perpetual interrogation. I spoke American before speaking British, so I have a tendancy to write “realize” and not “realise”, “neighbor” instead of “neighbour”, although for the latter I admit that I unwillingly caught the “britishism”. I talk about a “bus” instead of a “coach”, I say “truck” and not “lorry”. Unless of course I want to insist on one of my character’s britishness.

Sometimes I wonder if there is such thing as “Common Tongue” English. Is it US or UK English? A bit of both? I suppose it’s up to every author. And that I’ll always hesitate to correct myself one way or the other.

I found this at Bitrebels. Now I just need to find a similar table for Americans 😉

Another fun comparison :



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