British vs. American English

Was just commenting on another blog and was reminded of those olden times … 2005, when we were a bunch of people blogging in something called Yahoo 360°.  It was a blogging platform, but much more ‘community oriented’ than, for example, here at WP.  I signed up when it was brand new — back then I was a Yahoo Mail user, like so many others, and I guess I saw it advertised.

I quickly became acquainted with four or five people, who — like myself — were interested in layout, customization and stuff like that.  I thought that was great, as I’d always felt like I was the only one interested in this. We learned a lot from one another … we even had «help groups» with chat on Friday nights.

Anyway … apart from all the fun stuff that happened there, one event stands out in my memory. We were allowed to make a certain amount of own HTML [Hyper Text Markup Language] … where you change the font, colours, backgrounds just to mention the very basics of it. A little example snippet of code in the image here.

One evening a woman came in and asked how to center an image and headline in her blog. Easy enough, we thought so Cat and I just told her to type in <center>. She came back — not only one time, but many, and told us it didn’t work. Both image and headline were still aligned to the left.

We were flabbergasted … just couldn’t see where she went wrong with something that straightforward. After a long time of trying, it finally dawned on me: The lady was in the U.K. and she kept typing <centre>.

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14 thoughts on “British vs. American English”

  1. Hi,
    Sounds like it was a fun blogging community you all had going.
    Yes the different spelling does confuse a few people, I don’t think anyone really thought about this until we all started “meeting” one another on blogs.

    Here in OZ a lot of our spelling has “ou” in it where as in other parts of the world that use English this isn’t so. An example of this is the word “colour” – “favourites” etc. some people think that these are spelling mistakes, but it is just the different way in which we have been taught.

    1. oh, I use that spelling all the time now. As I live in Canada, I thought I should … Before I moved, I’d pretty much adopted the AE ..spelling plow instead of plough et centera, but as a kid in school, I was taught British English with colour and favourites 🙂

  2. heh heh. too cute. I tease my daughter about this as she lived in the States for a few years and learned to drop the ‘u’ from colour and such as well as to spell center instead of centre.
    Words are so much fun!!

    1. Yeah, I did the same thing; When I was almost 18, I started to work at an American company, and the working language was English. I wanted to be like them, so I did my best to pick up the accent too…

  3. I think there is a lot of confusion here with English/American spellings. I am British born but live in Australia – thank goodness they use British English!

    1. I think, in general here, they’re pretty good. Every now and then, I see a road sign with NO THRU TRAFFIC, but I think that’s just because it’s so much shorter on the sign 🙂

  4. That’s a neat story: centre/center.
    A small difference that, in this case, made a BIG difference!
    You were clever to have figured it out —

    I think my favourite/favorite is aluminium/aluminum.
    Hmm, lots of differences!

  5. Love it!, we live in the States, and my kids call me mummy, which gives their friends a kick….so i figured i’ll go with ginasmom for now. Wondering if i should change it to ginasmum, when we move back to England:)

    1. Hello Ginasmom, and thanks for stopping by! Nice to meet you…
      I have a friend from Sheffield, UK, living and working in PA … he says all the girls in the office totally adores his accent … I believe him! On TV nowadays, British accents seems to be trending… both in commercials and other talent-shows 🙂

      So yes … I understand that the kids get a kick out of it..

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