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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.

11 Responses to Don’t apologise for being Australian

  • Calvin Taplay says:

    Thanks for this interesting article. As a Canadian, it is great to see people using International or Commonwealth English.

  • tashword says:

    You’re welcome Calvin πŸ™‚ Thank you for your comment, and encouraging Canadians to also use their own spelling conventions.

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  • Barak Feiler says:

    I’m also Canadian, and I completely agree. Why should the rest of the english speaking world change their spelling to fit just one country?

  • Kari says:

    I know this post is over four years old, but I wanted to comment anyways. I’m American, and it drives me crazy when I see fellow Americans correcting the spelling of words like “apologise” and “colour” on the internet. Honestly, it’s embarrassing that people are that ignorant to believe that the internet consists of Americans only, or that everyone from other countries should spell their words the way we do. I just hope we don’t all come across as that stupid and arrogant. πŸ™‚

    • tashword says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Kari – happy to hear form you even if the post is 4 years old πŸ™‚ Great to hear you are aware of the spelling differences and respect those and are fighting for those not stupid & arrogant πŸ™‚

  • David says:

    I am American and I found this page useful in drafting a letter to an accountant in Australia; I know of course that he would understand my American spelling, but when doing business in Australia I like to do as the Australians do. So this page actually helped me to correct “apologize” to “apologise” and ignore that silly little red line underneath! Good on ya, mate! By the way, Aussies are the best, that’s why I married one.

    • TashWord says:

      Hey David,
      glad to have helped you and I am so pleased to hear you adjusted your letter to match your reader’s needs and expectations πŸ™‚ And I can’t argue that Aussies are the best πŸ™‚

  • Anne Newstead says:

    I am American originally but as I now live in Australia, I make an effort to use Australian spelling

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