American English vs. British English

American English is a dialect of the English language that is used in the United States. British English is a dialect of the English language that is used in Great Britain. Compared to British English, American English is more homogeneous.

There are two main differences between the two languages, as related to writing and editing, which are: spelling and word choice.

Spelling

Below are some common spelling differences between American and British English.

American English

British English

-or vs. –our

Color

Colour

Favorite

Favourite

Honor

Honour

-ze vs. –se

Analyze

Analyse

Criticize

Criticise

Memorize

Memorise

-ll vs. -l

Enrollment

Enrolment

Fulfill

Fulfil

Skillful

Skilful

-er vs. -re

Center

Centre

Meter

Metre

Theater

Theatre

Word choice

Below are some common word choice differences between American and British English.

American English

British English

Apartment

Flat

Argument

Row

Baby Carriage

Pram

Band-aid

Plaster

Bathroom

Loo or WC

Can

Tin

Cookie

Biscuit

Diaper

Nappy

Elevator

Lift

Fries

Chips

Gas

Petrol

Guy

Bloke, Chap

Highway

Motorway

Lawyer

Solicitor

Line

Queue

Mail

Post

Movie theater

Cinema

Pants

Trousers

Parking lot

Car park

Period

Full stop

Potato Chips

Crisps

Rent

Hire

Sidewalk

Pavement

Sweater

Jumper

Trash can

Bin

Vacation

Holiday

At the end of the day, Project Team Beta does not care whether or not you choose to write in American English or British English, unless your characters are American or British and are making word choices that are not in line with their nationality. In example, an American character would not go on holiday, and a British character would not rent an apartment.

We believe that, in most circumstances, the use of American English or British English is a stylistic choice that should be left up to the author. What we do care about, is that you use American English or British English consistently.

This article was adapted from: List of American vs. British Spelling by Susan Jones

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