Divided by a common language – us & US

What every traveller or communicator between the US and UK needs to know – the language differences… You could be forgiven for thinking that English is a one-size-fits-all.

When I was enjoying a front row seat unwittingly living the inspiration for what became Love Travels, we came across many terms that were alien to each country. It was a source of great amusement and entertainment. That was in a social setting but there are some I wouldn’t want to get wrong. We talked about creating our own version of what so many people have since published to ease relations between the countries.

I liked the one that found me today and reminded me of those fun exchanges; some of which are referred to along the way in Love Travels.


It isn’t just the language, it’s also the spellings. American spellings often have fewer characters. For example we say travellers, they say travelers. We say colour, they say color. Have you realised how many words there actually are?

This is a useful list: http://www.tysto.com/uk-us-spelling-list.html

Left me wondering how fewer printer cartridges the US uses simply because they use fewer letters in some common words? I suspect someone could actually measure that.

As someone who has battled through the hidden settings of US English spelling and grammar checkers, I wonder if one day in the future we may decide on a little more agreed commonality… The world seems to strive to make things easier but then there is often resistance to change. Brexit and Trump – say no more.

Text-speak of course took off with a life and language of its own. However that’s the young for you! I love languages, I love differences. And I’ll always have a soft spot for what the US and its ancestors have done with the English language.



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