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Why does American English and British English have some words spelt differently?

Few examples 

Analyze.... Analyse

Mom... Mum

Color.... Colour❓

12 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Daniel Webster, author of the first American dictionary, was a proponent of phonetic spelling, a hopeless task. He only succeeded in getting Americans to accept a few changes, like -ize for -ise, -er for -re in centre and theater, and dropping the u in words like hono(u)r. In other words, all he succeeded in doing was creating headaches for future generations of editors, publishers and proofreaders.

    In some cases like "mom" and "mum" it's just been the natural evolution of language difference by country or region. You can see this today with satnav vs. GPS or cashpoint vs. ATM. We seem to be big on 3-letter initials here in the colonies. BTW that's Global Positioning System and Automated Teller Machine (and By The Way - lol).

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    The differences often come about because British English has tended to keep the spelling of words it has absorbed from other languages (e.g. French), while American English has adapted the spelling to reflect the way that the words actually sound when they're spoken.

  • 2 months ago

    The Oxford dictionary wasn’t drafted until 100 years after the founding of the United States. There’s a great movie about it with Mel Gibson and Sean Penn on Netflix called the Professor and the Mad Man about that. 

    Daniel Webster, meanwhile, drafted his dictionary 60 years prior in the 1820s. Standard Modern American English technically predates Standard British English. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You mean the English language and  the  American language.   Americans don't say British or Britain.  Anyway whatever the Americans are doing is the way it will be.  Despite every attempt to kill it, despise it, spit on it and all the endless never ending hate for Americans, the American language is the language of the world.

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  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Because of a man called Noah Webster, who was not as weird as you might suppose.  At the time he simplified the American spelling system, there was far less agreement about the standard way to spell English words in the UK, and some of his changes were in fact, historically more authentic than the current English ones.

  • 2 months ago

    Blame the early Webster dictionary.  The changes for American spelling were done on purpose, to be different from Britain, on purpose, in the years following independence.  It worked.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Because the two countries are so far apart.

  • 2 months ago

    spelling wasn't regularized in either country until well into the 19th century, or even later.  if you look at correspondence from before that [try the 18th century], you'll see that spelling was frequently made up by the person writing.  so when spelling was regularized, Britain and America made difference choices for many words [Mum, however, is taken directly from speech of the lower classes in England -- who stuck with their learnt from home wording instead of what the schools were trying to teach].  {Yes, i used 'learnt' intentionally instead of the Americanism.}

  • 2 months ago

    They picked different spellings just to be anti-British. The answer is supposed to be that American English spells the words as they sound, rather than spelling them as they were when imported from from French and German..

  • Embery
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Because they are content being incorrect in England.

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