Browse Month

May 2014

Something about U Brits.

(Pic: AP Images)

Whichever branch of the English language you are brought up with, you have to admit parts of it are an inconsistent mess. There are words that are spelled broadly the same but pronounced entirely differently—cough, bough, borough, through, brought—words that are spelled entirely differently but pronounced the same—write, right, two, too, to—and words that do the same job and have only slightly different spellings—obfuscate, obfusticate.

And of course, as with most things that are old and full of character, there’s a lot of beauty in that mess, but also a lot of room for people to argue over which aspect of the mess best exemplifies the true spirit of this living, breathing, evolving thing we all use every day.

via Why Did America Drop The ‘U’ In British Spellings? | Anglophenia | BBC America.


Language, to paraphrase George Orwell, is a powerful thing. I always wondered why we Americans had a different spelling for “flavor” instead of “flavour.” To be honest, some of the British ‘U-versions’ always seemed nicer. As for Ax, I’ve seen the one ending in ‘e’ just as much over here.

Also, why do we say “Zee” for Z instead of “Zed”? Don’t tell me it had to do with that damn song we were taught in Kindergarten!  Actually, if you look at those ancient English tomes, say from Shakespeare’s days, the English language was radically different back then. The spelling for words they use over there in those days had vowels in places that today both the British and we Yanks would find odd. Noah Webster produced his dictionary 200 years ago. So what will the English language in the “Anglo world” be like 200 years from now?