Lv 4
owl asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Should the British adapt American spelling?

English spelling system is inefficient : you need 't-h-o-u-g-h-t' - 7 letters to spell a word with one & half syllables. Think how much time we could save with a shorter spelling.

So why not use the American spelling - even if it's shorter by one letter ( 'favor' for 'favour') ?

Don't be flurried : British & Americans are both good at misspelling words ! I propose to change the spelling whenever it's shorter just because it would save time.


Nathan : I'm NOT an American!

To all who took the example of 't-h-o-u-g-h-t' thoughtlessly - I was simply trying to point out how short words have long spellings. I DON'T propose that we invent a different spelling system for English ( as George B. Shaw suggested once !

To quote his words -" If invention of a shorter spelling system of English for Englishmen should incur a civil war, i would not grudge it".)

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Differences between US and UK spelling are mostly superficial and neither gets to the bottom of a system which is rotten to the core with all kinds of insane inconsistencies and exceptions. As far as I know, Americans still spell beauty, chef, women, mystery, ghost, thorough, might, cupboard and many other words the same way we do. The question of spelling inconsistencies in the English language will not be resolved until a massive reform is undertaken and accepted by all those who use it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Before changing the spelling system, can anyone explain to me why the pronunciations of "to", "do" differ from "go"? Similarly for "but", "cut" from "put"?

    And as for your question- Why do you bother anyways? Both the American and British spellings are widely accepted around the globe. Use whatever spellings you dig more. Who cares? Chances are no one is even going to really notice it (besides if its for dictation tests in school). I use "favor and favour", "color and colour", depending on my preference at that point of time or whatever gets typed / written spontaneously. I mostly prefer using the American version because, yes, it is shorter and easier. However, if I have to write somewhere I know the spellings will matter, I use the British version because schools in India teach British English.

  • 1 decade ago

    I believe that since the English invented the language, they have a right to preserve the original spellings. If anything, America should adapt the British spelling to make everything more uniform, since it is also used in Australia, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, and Canada.

    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It just goes to show what a sea journey can do for the mind that they all forgot how to spell by the time they got there, no I think we should keep it the way it is meant to be as the english language and not the american language.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Most differences between American and British spelling are only 1 letter, so I don't think it is a big deal. Plus, there aren't as many differences as you think (we still spell thought the same in America).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    So how do Americans write thought? Thawt? And bought? Bawt? Thort, bort, cort, cawt, awt, ort. Fink, finking, fink again.

    Nah! I think it's about time you Americans learned to spell.

    edit: oops, sorry but your first few words suggested you were..

    English spelling system is inefficient : you need 't-h-o-u-g-h-t'

    The 'you' indicating the English as opposed to the I or we.

    Or maybe that was an Americanism too?

    Seriously though, aren't you proud of the richness and diversity of the real English language?

  • Of course not. They have every right to spell how they like. They generally spell how they prounance words. Grew up in the USA.

  • 1 decade ago


    in America they speak English, thats the name of the language, not American.... and seeing as English comes from England.... America should adapt our spelling.


  • 1 decade ago

    It seems to disturb you that we thought you were American.... otherwise you wouldn't be shouting the NOT :-)) lol! My opinion: leave English be English and American American. To me, these are too different languages. Don't mess it up, neither the written nor the oral form. It's our language and we love it as English as it is - and as the Scots and the Welsh love theirs! I love all three of them!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think Americans should use the Queens English.

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