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Plucky's avatar

Would an option for viewing Fluther in British English spelling be useful?

Asked by Plucky (10232 points ) July 5th, 2011

If the option is available, I usually select the UK/British spelling option on websites.

I’m wondering if people think it would be a useful option on Fluther.

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30 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Other than a few words that have that extra “u” (colour vs. color), are there really that many differences between American English and British English?

RareDenver's avatar

In theory yes but as the vast majority of text on this site is user generated I don’t think it would be practical or necessarily right to attempt to change what others have written.

Plucky's avatar

@FutureMemory There’s quite a lot actually; I certainly notice the differences. Wikipedia has an article on the subject.

@RareDenver ..I don’t mean what people post. Just the website itself (excluding threads and profiles).

I asked because seeing the different spellings can (and does) mess my brain up ..lol.

augustlan's avatar

@RareDenver makes a good point. It would be kind of weird to see posts from Americans converted into British spelling. Oops, I just saw your last post, and see that’s not what you had in mind.

Just out of curiosity, what words cause you trouble when spelled in American English? I’m wondering, because the British spellings don’t throw me off anymore.

RareDenver's avatar

@PluckyDog again it might be a bit of a waste of effort as the non-user generated text is generally read once and then ignored by each user, the text that users come here to read is the user generated text on the whole. The rest is just window dressing.

Plucky's avatar

@augustlan Most of it, lol. But, mostly the words ending in or vs our, er vs re, ise vs ize, og vs ogue, and single consonants vs double for inflections (like traveling vs travelling). Oh, and American English drops the e quite often (like story vs storey for floors in a building). Many times, I think I’m spelling something wrong only to realize I’m spelling it British English. Perhaps it’s just me, lol.

I know the feature would just be gravy or icing. I guess I’m wondering if people would like the option (rather than how useful it is).

Aethelflaed's avatar

There are options to view websites in different spellings? I thought it depended upon the author, not some program…

marinelife's avatar

In any case, it is unlikely to happen because the founders of Fluther work elsewhere and do not spend a lot of time programming the site.

Seelix's avatar

@RareDenver said pretty much what I was thinking.

I prefer British English for most words, being that Canada has adopted most British spelling variants (except for ise in place of ize – I rarely see that one). However, it doesn’t bother me to see American English spelling. Firefox does underline my Canadian/British spellings as “misspelled”, but I’ve learned to ignore that.

gailcalled's avatar

Not to me. I treat it as a mini-hobby.

What’s a boot, brolly, bloody mess, bumbershoot?

Lightlyseared's avatar

@gailcalled a type of footware covering at least the foot and ankle or the trunk of a car or a piece of material used to cover the mechanism of a soft top convertible and some times the rear seat and some times the passenger seat. (because despite the fact we brits love a convertible it does tend to rain 366 days a year here)
an umbrella,
exactly what it sounds like,
and, I’m gonna be honest, no idea

gailcalled's avatar

@Lightlyseared: Sorry to have been unclear. I was asking rhetorically. Since I call it a mini-hobby, I meant that when I find a new word, I look it up.

A bumbershoot is not an Anglicism but an an Americanism that means “umbrella.”

Lightlyseared's avatar

@gailcalled I guessed. But I was bored.

WasCy's avatar

Oh, hell no. I like reading British English and expressions, but the translations would be awful.

MilkyWay's avatar

Nah. We’re bright people. We can easily adjust ;)

flutherother's avatar

Hen me nae, but a Scottish version micht be worth considerin’. Translation courtesy of the Scots translator. PS if anyone knows what ‘hen me nae’ means please let me know.

nebule's avatar

(As a Brit) I don’t think the differences are that extreme that it would be necessary. Sometimes I have been known to drop the ‘u’ from ‘colour’ just for fun and to feel a little rebellious without anyone noticing…

MilkyWay's avatar

@nebule Then you’re my PIC ;)

RareDenver's avatar

@nebule when I was a kid and lived in the states I failed a spelling test at school by 1 mark when I spelt Colour the British way, I was not a happy child

Plucky's avatar

Again, I just mean the Fluther website ..not people’s posts or profiles. I guess it’s just me. :)

I figured it would be a nice option to have ..not necessary, but nice.

Thank you for the replies so far. :)

Jeruba's avatar

No. If I were participating in a British website, I would want to see exactly what other users were seeing, and I would not want to be catered to with different spelling. I think the international flavour here is charming, and I also think knowing the cultural context of the site helps users to understand what they see.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Plucky Most of them I’ve familiar with but “sledge” as in “sled” always throws me and I’ve always wondered what the Brits call a “sledge hammer.” And I noticed one on the Wikipedia list that would have thrown me to if I had ever encountered it: “jemmy” for “jimmy.” The wiki entry says “as in crowbar” but I assume it’s really as in “jimmying” a lock or jimmying” generally a car door, I think, right? Because I don’t believe Americans refer to crowbars that way, as a jimmy. It’s a more specialized sort of pry bar or something makeshift like a coat hanger.

WasCy's avatar

Oh, in that case, @Plucky, maybe some of the compliments in the top right of the screen could be in British English.

Cheers!

Plucky's avatar

Tee hee @WasCy…Yeah, like ..That colour looks bloody great on you!

I understand the website is American, and I’m fine with that. It doesn’t bother me at all. I was just wondering what others thought of the option – as there are a lot of Britons on this site. Maybe the sites I notice, that have the option, are more international and well known.

RareDenver's avatar

Yeah let’s have some British compliments added in, ‘I say old chap what a spiffing barnet you are sporting.’

Plucky's avatar

Lol, Oops ..I should have said, That colour looks bloody brilliant on you!

gailcalled's avatar

It seems that we do, perforce, already have the option to view answers using British spelling or idioms. See many of the answers above.

And just how difficult is it to translate colour, programme, specialise into our native tongue?

Plucky's avatar

@gailcalled I’m not saying it is difficult to translate the words. That is not my point. I probably should have worded the question better. I’m merely looking at the option as eye candy.

My only reason for the occasional frustration of different spellings sometimes is that it plays with my brain. I end up doubting my ability to spell properly. I will see certain words and think, wow, have I been spelling it wrong all this time? I’m learning. I’m prone to the neurons in my brain short circuiting a little easier than others. :)

lillycoyote's avatar

@Plucky I totally get that. After 9/11 I started reading a lot of English language versions of the foreign press and news websites and most of them use British English vocabulary and spelling and it does kind of mess with your mind. The thing that I had the most trouble with, was the -ize v.s. -ise words. And there were other things that I have trouble with anyway, double letters, and whether there’s a damn silent -e in that word or not, there are a lot of variations there too. It was like a little short circuit in my brain where I was no longer sure which one was right but that passed eventually.

And apparently there’s is a least one person in the U.K. confused by the sled/sledge and sledgehammer issue, but I got my answer as to what the Brits call it.

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