Our Un-Common Language

From Visua.ly:


UK vs US spelling: Separated by a Common Language
by grammar.net.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Christinesine

    I have found this difference in language one of the most frustrating aspects of living in the U.S as an Australian – not sure half the time if I have lost my ability to spell. The use of z or s is particularly confusing.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I’m South African born and raised, now living in Canada (which seems to jump from the British to the American spelling ad hoc) – so yes, I understand what you’re going through!

    And English is not my mother tongue either, just to make things a tad worse…

  • Jason

    I’m a born and raised Canadian and have struggled with the proper spelling of some words my whole life because of the inconsistency up here! Not only do writers swap back and forth, but products made in the USA or for the USA/CANADA often have alternate spelling. The worst is that we share the same software and spelling correction programs which normally try to correct away from our ‘English” spelling to the US version.

  • John Orr

    And then there’s ‘alternate’ and ‘alternative’. 😉

  • RJS4DQ

    The intro to this info graphic seems to sensationalize … Simple changes that affect the meaning, pronunciation, and use of words?

    None of the changes listed – while annoying if one has to switch as Christinesine notes – cause serious comprehension problems (once one has facility with English).

    The spelling difference I found most confusing was gaol … It took me a while to realize what this was when I started reading British mystery stories in my teens/early twenties.

  • attytjj466

    I was really not exposed to UK spelling until I went to college. Was confused at first because I did not really know what the spelling differences were all about. For years I thought Theatre was where plays and musicals were performed and theaters was where movies were shown.

  • Susan_G1

    I’ve read that in the (not too) distant future (according to linguists and drift), we will have difficulty speaking with other English speaking countries. With the Internet, I don’t see it, though. I do think gaol to be fascinating as well.

    Are there any English speaking countries trying to keep the language regulated, as the French (and to a degree, Quebecois) are doing?

  • KentonS

    My favorite difference: aluminum vs. aluminium. That one extra “i” completely changes the pronunciation and makes it sound like an alien metal.