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- Megan Old
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Favourite (british) becomes favorite (american)
Colour (british) becomes color (american)
Humour becomes humor
Neighbour becomes neighbor
Basically, america hates u hahahaha
-- 07 Jun 2017, 21:55 --
On an additional note, british english spelling tend to interchange r and e.
centre (b) becomes center (a)
fibre (b) becomes fiber (a)
litre (b) becomes liter (a)
and in british english, they use s rather than z.
apologise (b) becomes apologize (a)
categorise (b) becomes categorize (a)
analyse (b) becomes analyze (a)
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What an interesting topic ! As far as I'm concerned, even though english isn't my native language nor the language I usually speak at home and with my friends, since I'm a teacher and grammar is one of the things I teach on a regular basis, I am completely against mixing languages. I always tell my young students : "Please, speak correctly ! Stop speaking "fran-ole" ! Stop mixing "français" (french) and creole ! Either you speak one or the other !"
Because we have two official languages here and it's absolutely horrendous to hear children and adults mix up the two on a regular basis.
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NB. Now with that being said there are times when I prefer the American words over the British and may even use them while using the grammatical rules of the British, for example, Programme and program
Life is controversial sue me.
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Supermoderntimes wrote:An interesting question but one that's easily answered. Use the grammar and spelling for where you live. Don't try to mix them because it makes no sense to do so. Naturally, if you're quoting something that your character has written, such as a letter found at the crime scene, you'd use the spelling of the character.
I read a mystery thriller about a year ago that offered a clue to finding the bad guy. When referencing a US Interstate highway, the crook said something like "...drive north on the I-680" which helped ID him as native Californian. Folks in Cali say "the I-10" whereas other people in the US omit the article and just say "I-10".
In my 3rd mystery novel (recently completed), I've got a surgeon originally from New Zealand who forms a romantic affair with my private detective protagonist. And she uses British-preferred dialogue, adding of course the NZ spark. But I've not had her write a note or letter, so all we hear is her use of British phrasing and I write her dialogue with US English spelling.
Whatever you do, do NOT attempt to write in dialect, such a deep South American hillbilly, or a Cockney or Irish brogue. You can "salt" the dialogue with a few colorful phrase that denote the person's origin but trying to write using dialect is a mistake as I see it. I recently reviewed a book in which some of the characters speak thick Cockney, and the sentences are nearly indecipherable. An actual example: “...Jus’ ’im blowin’ steam ... about ’im what wif Nell gittin’...” Highly annoying, although the book itself was excellent.
I did slightly mark down the book for its overuse of jargon / dialect, but my reviews are never "starred" so I simply mentioned it as a slight annoyance. Hopefully the author will avoid such in the future.
There are other mechanical differences besides spelling, of course. Punctuation Brit style places the period or comma outside the quote, US style puts the period inside: "I'm sleepy", she said. vs "I'm sleepy," she said. And so on.
My recommendation is to use the preferred grammar for your audience. If you're writing for British readers, punctuate and spell that way. If for the US reader, Yankee style of course. But don't try to get "cute" and play games with spelling or punctuation.
Why? Because when you're trying to sell your book or find an agent or publisher, any sort of "cuteness" falls on deaf ears and usually racks up "no" scores quickly.
Neither you nor I am James Joyce, and taking liberties with the language paints the writer into a corner.
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What editors look for is consistency. If you start with English grammar, end with it. If you start with British grammar keep using it. I'm not sure what Canadian publishers do if the spellings are interchangeable.
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It's perfectly ok to write garbage, as long as you edit brilliantly.
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