Vive la Difference
No, this article isn't about sex, but it
should be of interest to both sexes. It's a brief look at some differences between Australian English and American English.
Many of the references to Australian English will apply equally to British English - but not all, so I'll let the British
be the judge of that.
I often append the words "Australian English"
to my writing, and sometimes I add, as an extra precaution, "Australian Spelling". It still hasn't prevented the occasional
American from querying my spelling. Surely, they don't suspect my spelling could be wrong?
There are a few major groups of differences:
The "tre" words -
- In this category we have words such as centre, theatre and spectre. (American = center, theater, specter)
The "ise" words -
- Here you would include realise, recognise and civilise. (American = realize, recognize, civilize.)
The "our" words -
- Examples to consider are favourite, humour, honour and colour. (American = favorite, humor, honor, color.)
The "double consonant" words -
- Examples: travelling and focussed. (American = traveling, focused.)
However, where Americans write willful,
Australians write wilful.
The "u" words -
- I mean words such as gauge and baulk. (American = gage, balk.)
Other odd words -
- cheque (that is, a bank cheque) (check)
- dialogue (dialog)
- aluminium (aluminum)
- tyre (on a wheel) (tire)
... and so many more.
Don’t despair about the differences;
rejoice that variety is the spice of life and English is such a vibrant living language.
Up From Down Under - April 2009