On American and British spelling

I’ve grown up with British English. I have been told that people go to the beauty parlour not the parlor. In London I had many neighbours, and I once visited by friend’s neighbors in New York.

I usually realise something when I read an enlightening text, but when I write code, I always capitalize class names in javascript.

When programming, I always use American conventions, something that has stuck with me since my Python days. But I am conflicted about which spellings and what localization I should use when not programming.

This is an attempt to reason about the options.

I live in Europe, most of the international work we do in English is an odd mixture of British and American conventions.

We use British date and time formatting, and it still takes me a concerted effort to read American dates (which for me, look backwards).

Often, our collaborators prefer American spelling conventions, because that’s what they’re most familiar with. And it is simpler, fewer letters to remember.

There are still many, less obvious language conventions that can tell British from American English.

It seems to me that it is possible to spell -ize and still ‘have done something’ rather than ‘did do something’.

Z vs S in the Google Book corpuses

It seems like it is OK to spell with z when writing British English, and it looks like the spelling of realize took over for the now less used realise around the 1930s. See a Google Books ngram graph over the en_US and en_GB corpus.

The link to google was originally picked up in a discussion about use of z vs s on the English-language Stack Exchange.

Interesting thread, and comment by the user Odo deBayeux about the Greek + French (Norman Conquest) origins of the -ize/-ise debate.

Are you my neighbor or neighbour?

It looks like there was a significant shift in Americans adopting the new spelling (neighbor) around the mid-1800s.

Check out the Google Books Ngram Viewer for neighbor/neighbour.

English language, spelling, language