Anyone who has ever had to memorize a tough-to-spell English word (It’s fuchsia, right? Or is it fuschia? Fushia?) has noticed that the spelling of some words is wildly different from the way we pronounce them. To make matters worse, some words are spelled differently in American English and British English. If it makes you feel any better, the eccentricities of English spelling weren’t invented just to make life difficult for writers.
Friday, May 13, 2016
Many people dream of living and working in the USA, but no one would claim it’s easy. To secure a work visa, you’ll need a job offer before you leave – which means perfecting your CV is more important than ever. Don’t simply roll out the CV you’ve been using at home; there are a few key differences you’ll need to know first. Before you hit send, check through this list of tips to make sure American employers can easily see what a great candidate you are.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Capitalization: First Word After a Colon
In British English, the first letter after a colon is capitalized only if it’s a proper noun or an acronym; in American English, the first word after a colon is sometimes capitalized if it begins a complete sentence.
Here are some quick tips for using colons properly:
- When a colon introduces a list of of things, do not capitalize the first word after the colon unless it is a proper noun.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Let’s dispel another spelling mystery. It’s defense against defence, and if you think it’s one of the British English vs. American English things—you might be onto something.
Defence and defense are both correct ways to spell the same word. The difference between them, the fact that one’s spelled with a “c” and the other with an “s”, comes down to the part of the world in which they are used.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
If writing dates has you stymied at times, it is probably for one of two reasons. The first is that date formats vary the world over, and we come across these different styles frequently in our reading. The second may be that you aren’t quite sure how to write dates with commas.
The key to overcoming your struggle with dates is to understand the prevailing conventions and then apply them clearly—and consistently.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
To many Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is synonymous with junk food, cheering, the best new commercials, and possibly the sensation of winning (or losing) a war. People in other countries sometimes wonder if the prize is a very large bowl.
It’s not just the fascination with football that befuddles non-Americans—it’s the very words we use to describe it. That goes for sports-related words in general, especially when we compare certain terms in American English to their British counterparts.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Donut is an alternate spelling of doughnut. Some dictionaries point out that donut is rarely used outside the United States. All of them recognize doughnut as the main spelling, as do some of the more popular style guides. Doughnut might be the spelling you should use if you want to be sure you’re not making a mistake.
Doughnuts: the thing no stereotypical law enforcement officer can be seen without.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Do you speak British or American English? Depending on your answer, you may differ on which spellings you favor.
Center and centre have the same meaning. Center is the correct spelling in American English, but British English writers usually prefer centre. Notice that center (and centre) can be a noun, adjective, or a verb. Seeing the two words in real-life examples may help you to visualize how to use them.
Monday, December 19, 2011
English is already the most common second language (by number of speakers) in the world, and more people begin studying it every day. Fortunately, the availability of learning resources is growing right along with the number of English learners. The publishing industry, web entrepreneurs, respected institutions, and enthusiasts who just want to help are producing a staggering amount of materials aimed at getting people to understand, speak, and write in English.