American and British English Vocabulary Differences - Part III

Posted by Manjusha. Filed in English Writing

British and American English spelling differ in several aspects. This is probably because British English has more or less preserved the spelling of words it adopted from other languages. American English, on the other hand, has adapted the spelling to reflect the way that these words sound when they are spoken.

If you are writing for British readers, you should use British spellings. In the same way, if you are writing for American readers, you should use American spellings.

That said, most American and British readers can understand British and American spellings. While writing, you must use just one form of English consistently.

The -ize/-ization endings have become quite acceptable in British English over the years. In British English, the word realize and realise are both acceptable. While writing, it is important to stick to one style.

Here are the main ways in which the British spelling (BE) differs from the American spelling (AE).

Program (AE); Programme (BE)

Check (AE); cheque (BE)

Organize (AE); organize / organise (AE)

Color (AE); colour (BE)

Dialog / catalog (AE); dialogue / catalogue (BE)

Analyze (AE); analyse (BE)

Double or single consonants

Appall (AE); appal (BE)

Enroll (AE); enrol (BE)

Fulfill (AE); fulfil (BE)

Skillful (AE); skilful (BE)

Willful (AE); wilful (BE)

Jewelry (AE); jewellery (BE)

Counselor (AE); counsellor (BE)

Modeling (AE); modelling (BE)

Traveler (AE); traveller (BE)

Sections in this article

American and British English: differences in grammar - I
American and British English: differences in grammar - II
American and British English: differences in vocabulary - I
American and British English: differences in vocabulary - II
American and British English: differences in usage - I
American and British English: differences in usage - II
American and British English: differences in spelling