Why We Should Preserve The Proper Language

If you were like me when I was younger, and didn’t know why color was sometimes spelled “colour,” why program was spelled “programme,” why realize was spelled “realise,” and why encyclopedia was spelled “encyclopaedia,” here’s your answer: it’s British English.

Using British English spelling helps you look more sophisticated, improves the aesthetic qualities of your paper, and tells others that you properly know how to spell.

British spelling is a real gem to find in textbooks and on websites, but where exactly does it come from? And why don’t we use it?

The American preference of –or endings was made first apparent in Noah Webster’s 1828 book, An American Dictionary of the English Language. Webster himself was a strong proponent of the American spelling system, believing that words could be simplified and still retain their meanings.

In contrast, nearly 100 years earlier—in 1755—Englishman Samuel Johnson published his Dictionary of the English Language, the dictionary from which most modern British English gets its spelling. Johnson considered the rising “American” English to be a ghastly perversion of the language.

Apart from that, the history of the rift between British and American English is disputed. Some say that it was an act of slow and steady American rebellion, and that it occurred largely in the 19th century.

Be that as it may, British English still serves a very important purpose for us Americans; if you’re the kind of English purist, the sort who believes in steadfastly maintaining proper grammar and lexicon, who picks off typos in publications and advertisements, then British English is for you.