UK Versus USA Spelling and Grammar


The most common spelling mistakes are those in which the wrong version of English is used. A surprising number of people don’t realise there are often major differences between UK and USA spelling and grammar (other countries have differences too, but I’ll focus on UK and USA, as they’re the most widely used). The differences are because, while the English language keeps evolving, American English still largely follows the early 1800 rules of American lexicographer Noah Webster, as detailed in his An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).

Before Webster’s dictionary, it was acceptable worldwide to spell many words in two ways, as those words were introduced into the English language from Latin and French, and the spellings differed accordingly. Webster, however, wanted American spelling to be distinct from British spelling.

Most countries today follow UK spelling and grammar rules, with Canada and Australia as examples of countries that…

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