While both countries speak the same language, no one can deny that there are quite a few differences in the way that some words are spelled. In many cases, people often confuse the spelling of many words and they can’t tell which is correct and end up making mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
If you have to write for a particular audience and need to make sure that there are no spelling errors on your paper, here are some of the most common British/American spelling mistakes to help you out.
1. Words ending in -re or -er
In this category of common English spelling mistakes shows one of the things that confuses people the most. For this, words that end in -re are the ones that are common in British English where the same words are usually spelled with -er in American English. Some examples include:
• Centre or Center
• Litre or Liter
• Fibre or Fiber
• Theatre or Theater
2. Words ending in -ize or -ise
According to the Oxford dictionary, the only difference between American English and British English in this category is the fact that verbs in American English are always spelled with -ize in the end, while in British English both -ize and -ise are considered correct. Here are some examples:
• Apologise or Apologize
• Recognise or Recognize
• Organise or Organize
This makes people think on why the -ise is still being used in a written word. You might want to keep that thought in mind next time you’re writing for a British audience though, as it can make your writing seem more friendly and familiar.
• Colour or Color
• Neighbour or Neighbor
• Humour or Humor
• Flavour or Flavor
4. Words ending in -yse or -yze
• Analyse or Analyze
5. An extra ‘L’
• Travelling or Traveling
• Fuelling or Fueling
• Oestrogen or Estrogen
• Paediatric or Pediatric
• Leukaemia or Leukemia
• Dialogue or Dialog
The one rule that applies to this mistake though is that the term –ogue is widely used in America too.
• Defence or Defense
Differences within the same language
While we are talking about the same language, these common English spelling mistakes happen more than you think and they are simply a result of exposure to both British and American English throughout the years.
So, next time your Microsoft Word corrects a spelling mistake you made, keep in mind that it might just be right. Always keep in mind the audience you are writing for and you’ll be able to stay clear of these common spelling mistakes.