Here’s a question that I get asked a lot – particularly by non US bloggers who find themselves writing primarily for US audiences:
“I am English so of course spell words such as ‘colour’ the English way. However, I also know that my largest audience is likely to come from America.
My question is this – would I be better off using English or American spelling on my site? My first instinct is to ‘be myself’ and use English spelling, but I was wondering if I would be better off from an SEO and audience point of view using American spelling.” Submitted by Pete
This is a problem that I face constantly in my own blogging. I find that no matter which I go with I tend to get ‘corrected’ by readers. If I use the Australian spelling I find US readers tell me that I’m wrong, but if I use the US spelling I get picked up by Aussies, the English and readers from other countries.
Colour is just one example:
In Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK it’s spelt ‘colour’. In the US it’s color and in Canada it’s both (they tend to swing quite a bit over there).
Another common one that I get picked up on are any words with ‘ise’ or ‘ize’ at the end. Recognise or Recognize? Analyse or Analyze?
Center or Centre, Gray or Grey, Catalogue or Catalog, Defence or Defense, Aluminum or Aluminium? The list goes on….
And of course the most confusing one:
- it’s fulfil in ‘English’ and fulfill in ‘American’
- but – fulfilling in ‘English’ and fulfiling in ‘American’
- and to further confuse it – it’s fulfilment in ‘English’ and fulfillment in ‘American’
My spell checker doesn’t know what to do with this post!
What spelling do I use?
To be perfectly honest I don’t have a policy on it. If anything I probably take the Canadian route and swing back and forth (after-all I’m a cofounder of a Canadian company and pay income tax over there – so I figure I’m entitled to).
What spelling do you use?
I’d be interested to hear how different bloggers approach this and want to open it up as a reader question. Which spelling do you use? The spelling of your own country, your readers or some combination of both?