Foreign Words: Britishisms

June 11, 2009: Issue 293

Dear Style on the Go,
I must say I’m in a tiz-woz. Cheeky copy editors keep changing the spellings of perfectly good words:
Moulding becomes moldingTheatre becomes theater. My spellings are in the dictionary, so why must the CEs be such smug buggers?

Dear Gobsmacked,
We don’t want to insult you or any other Anglophiles, but we don’t use British variations (indicated in Web 11 by “chiefly Brit var”) because most of our readers don’t. So it’s analyze, not analyse. When two spellings are listed with an entry, we use the first. So it’s catalog, not catalogue. We’re sorry if you think that takes the biscuit. Maybe you can corner us in the lift or in the loo to give us an earful.

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