For evidence that spelling and grammar matter, look no further than our friends across the pond.
PR pros with colleagues and clients abroad know that communicating can be a slippery slope. By now, Americans are accustomed to certain Britishisms, a point strengthened with every email signed with a “Cheers!”
While (see also: whilst) the differences between British English and American English are evident in the vernacular, a new infographic
reminds us to keep a watchful eye on spelling.
[RELATED: Learn to write smarter at our PR Writers Summit.]
A few instances in which British and American spellings differ:
• Simple past tense verbs and past participles are often spelled differently. In the U.S., you dreamed you had 40 million Twitter followers, but in the UK you dreamt it.
• U.K. spellings favor “-re” endings while American usage adopts “-er,” i.e. Centre
of Social Media versus Center
of Social Media.
• American spellings prefer “-ize” endings, whereas British spellings use “-ise”. You might do well to maximize
your time by organizing
your editorial calendar in the U.S., but in the U.K., it’s maximise
Differentiating between the two goes beyond spell check and could leave your auto-correct function slightly dysfunctional. Whichever style you choose, stick with it consistently.
See the full graphic below.