Here at Trusted Translations we receive translation requests for US as well as UK. Although these two “flavors/flavours” aren’t as different as say the Canadian variant of French to Europe’s, there are a few things we must take into account particularly when it comes to .
It is known that some words are spelt differently in the US and in the UK: color vs. colour, or realize vs. realise. But how, when and why did these changes take place in written English? There’s no difference in pronunciation of both forms, so why the need for the differentiation? Doing some research, I found an interesting explanation. It seems that the English language was not standardized prior to the 18th Century and thus the language and its speakers were influenced mainly by .
Shortly after the Independence of the United States, was busy writing spelling books and dictionaries. It seems that he wasn’t too happy with what seemed unnecessary letters in words and decided to leave a few out and relocate others, which resulted in the implementation of words such as “harbor” (as opposed to “harbour”) and “theater” (as opposed to “theatre”.) I can’t say I blame him to be honest… in writing we use many vowels and even consonants that are placed for seemingly no particular reason. (I’m sure an expert in English language might have a different opinion; so, feel free to comment below if I am completely wrong!)
What influenced Webster into transforming these words? The thought that changing the traditional spelling of some words and creating a new “American English” would boost nationalism and patriotism for this new founded country. Not only did he snip a few vowels off words, he also implemented the letter “zee” which replaces what is known as “zed” in British English.
The spelling reformer went even further and proposed removing the final “e” from many words such as: “medicine” and spelling words in a more phonetic way such as “soop” for “soup”. These weren’t approved, as we know today, but later on in the 1880s, the American Philological Association (APA) issued an official list in which Webster’s reforms were accepted and 3,500 words changed in their spelling . After Noah Webster’s death in 1843 the publishing company bought the rights to Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language.

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