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Don’t apologise for being Australian

We all know that spelling varies between Australia and some other countries, notably the USA. We write neighbour, they write neighbor; we write centre, they write center.

Which spelling you should use depends on who your readers are – if you want to attract Australian customers, use Australian spellings, and so on. If your domain ends with .au, then use Australian spelling and metric measurements even if you have an international audience – be proud of being Australian and use our conventions, especially as you have already announced your link to Australia.

As an Australian, I can read US spelling and understand it without too much effort (even when it annoys me on an Australian site!) and I believe that the Americans can cope with reading our spelling, too. I recently saw an Australian site with an explanation of the two spellings – to me, this implied that any Americans visiting the site were too stupid to understand ‘colour’ means ‘color’. That, or our spelling is somehow inferior and should be apologised for in case the Americans don’t like us.

Either way, it is not a good message to send and was a complete waste of the site owner’s time to prepare the table. So, be proud of our country and our conventions, and give others the courtesy that they are intelligent enough to respect and understand that.

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