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HELP! > I'm English, I spell things differently.

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments Focussed or focused?
Focussing or focusing?

Both are valid according to online searches. Yes, the one with 'ss' is mainly British English, (apparently also used by the Aussies and Kiwis.)

The BBC News app used a single 's' in something I read last night. A single 's' looks better to my eye than the traditional 'ss'

UGH. Decisions. My husband (also English) says it's 'ss'

Why do I feel the need to ask if it's OK to be English?


message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments I would use the single S, I wasn't aware of a double S spelling for either of those words, I know what you mean about the use of British English (or as I like to call it, correct English) though. I've seen books where English rather than American spellings were considered typos *shakes head*
I think it would be a mistake to try and Americanis(z)e your spelling to cater to readers, I certainly don't plan to. If readers are put off because you're using a different, but perfectly legitimate, spelling for words then they're probably not the right kind of reader for you.


message 3: by Erica (new)

Erica Graham (erica_graham) | 1490 comments Mod
Speaking from an American standpoint, there are typical grammar and spelling signs that indicate to me when a book has not been translated to "American English". When I see these, I never count them as "mistakes". Unfortunately, there are people out there who don't recognize those signs and will comment. That is their error though. I don't think I would realize "ss" is a British English spelling (I will now), but if you had other British English characteristics, I would most likely assume that is the case. Hope this helps. :)


message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments Thank you both.

I definitely won't use US spelling just to please readers. I'm more than happy reading their US spellings I expect them to be as happy reading my UK ones. I think I got over the trauma of coping with US spelling at the age of about 7! If any UK spellings got flagged in a review as incorrect it would just highlight the ignorance of the reviewer I'm afraid. If I, at the age of 45, with my high school education know that there are differences in spellings from both sides of the pond, I expect other people more qualified than me to realise the same. (As we say around here, I have now "gone off on one")

It's just these two words. I'm happy to move with the times on spellings, but the UK spelling is apparently still current as far as I can tell. But to me it looks odd. But it's correct. I hate language sometimes!

Maybe I can replace the entire word... lol


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments All of this for one use of the word "focussed" and two uses of the word "focussing" in a 43k word book... Over-reacting much?


message 6: by Erica (new)

Erica Graham (erica_graham) | 1490 comments Mod
I see it at great attention to detail which is a quality of an awesome author. ;)


message 7: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments You're too kind. I see it as a tad OCD lol


message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Amy wrote: "You're too kind. I see it as a tad OCD lol"

I fully understand on the 'tad' OCD, I'm okay on some things but others will really trigger it for me and completely set me off.


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments I used to be far worse over certain things. I have foibles as a friend of mine calls it.


message 10: by Nat (new)

Nat Kennedy | 153 comments I'm pretty up on British spellings so they don't phase me. You can even set your Word to spell check British instead of American English. Go the way you want! Some readers might be confused, but I bet most will pick up on it. Add a few colours in there and they'll get it faster.


message 11: by Amy (last edited Sep 24, 2017 12:38AM) (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments Here's the thing I'm incensed about at the moment. I've got UK English set in Word. It's giving me US English as the spell checker. I have no idea why. I'm not using the US dictionary. But somehow it is, somewhere in a secret setting I've yet to find. Most bizarre.


message 12: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments It also doesn't respond to me yelling expletives at it either because it's ignorant.


message 13: by Nat (new)

Nat Kennedy | 153 comments So, that's odd... but sometimes my spellchecker switches to French and I've NO EFFING IDEA what's possessed it. I run spell check and it gives me French word suggestions.

Ghosts.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments Eh? Do you speak French?


message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex Carver | 4626 comments Don't get me started on Microsoft and their auto-switching of default languages to American English. Profanity has never fixed it in the past but I still try it.
I can feel my shoulders getting tense just thining about it.


message 16: by Anna (last edited Jun 04, 2017 05:56AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1128 comments My Oxford English Dictionary - you know, that thing we used to use before Word, Google, etc, - says focused is the preferred English spelling. I've never seen it with a double ss in reputable English writing.

And... don't get me started on this subject because it is never-ending but I must just say (!) that the American spellings are frequently our old British spellings which the Brits have changed/evolved.

Realize used to be the 'correct' way to spell what Microsoft and nearly everyone else now has decided should be spelled with an 's'. I still use a 'z' and I have no intention of following Microsoft et al. Though the reality is, because I am not an expert on this, I muddle along a bit.

'Honor' used to be how the English spelled 'honour'.

I see the Americans as the guardians of old English. But... no I'll shut up now, otherwise you'll all fall asleep.

Bill Bryson's 'Mother Tongue' is a good read on this subject


message 17: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4600 comments Mod
I love the way you guys spell. Many of my UK reviewers have complained about my American spelling- but that's what happens when you use American editors. lol.


message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments It wasn't so long ago that I had to "correct" my dad from writing "To-day" things move on. That was the way he was taught in the late 30s.


message 19: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Carole wrote: "I love the way you guys spell. Many of my UK reviewers have complained about my American spelling- but that's what happens when you use American editors. lol."

That is crazy. I think authors should stick with the spelling they grew up with. An American author should stick to US spellings and British authors should stick with UK spellings. As soon as I see a British spelling, it lets me know the author is British, if I hadn't known it already. I wouldn't expect a British author to use American English or vice versa.


message 20: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments Denise wrote: "That is crazy. I think authors should stick with the spelling they grew up with. An American author should stick to US spellings and British authors should stick with UK spellings. As soon as I see a British spelling, it lets me know the author is British, if I hadn't known it already. I wouldn't expect a British author to use American English or vice versa."

Agreed. Carole that's barking mad. Of course you use US spellings and American editors.

The main thing I am aiming for is consistency. If I am writing in British English, I don't want to inadvertently use a US spelling and then have some bright spark point a finger and complain about inconsistencies. Because they will. There are people out there whose sole purpose in life is to nitpick and find fault.


message 21: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Amy wrote: "Denise wrote: "That is crazy. I think authors should stick with the spelling they grew up with. An American author should stick to US spellings and British authors should stick with UK spellings. A..."

I agree with everything you said. I'm American but I live in Germany. My keyboard has a tendency to type crazy stuff no matter how much I revise. For some reason, stand alone letters seem to appear. I blame it on the keyboard software because I didn't have that problem with my first book, which was published prior to my move. Oh, and it switches from English US to English INTL to German. It keeps me on my toes.


message 22: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments I'm hand writing my next one and submitting it via telepathy for publication. I am so sick of the dictionaries messing around and doing some things in US English and some things in UK English. It's becoming quite a well known problem apparently. I suppose it's good to see that it's affecting German as well, I wouldn't want people to feel left out. #StupidSoftware


message 23: by Denise (new)

Denise Baer Amy wrote: "I'm hand writing my next one and submitting it via telepathy for publication. I am so sick of the dictionaries messing around and doing some things in US English and some things in UK English. It's..."

:D Goodreads needs "like" buttons or "I feel your pain" buttons.


message 24: by Erica (new)

Erica Graham (erica_graham) | 1490 comments Mod
"like"-I agree!


message 25: by Píaras (new)

Píaras Cíonnaoíth | 29 comments I'm Irish and I also grew up with British English.

Methinks me have a bigger thistle up me nose than thou dost!!


message 26: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (theodorejeromecohen) | 1417 comments Someone doth protest too much, methinks? (;>)


message 27: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 244 comments I see colours over colors in a lot of books. Two of my favorite indie authors here on Goodreads are British and use words spelled differently here but I don't mind as long as I still know what the word is. :)


message 28: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1128 comments If you're looking for the post that's been deleted - I deleted it as I suddenly realized I'd said much the same thing as I did in post #16. Oh dear...


message 29: by Theodore (last edited Sep 26, 2017 04:52AM) (new)

Theodore Cohen (theodorejeromecohen) | 1417 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "If you're looking for the post that's been deleted - I deleted it as I suddenly realized I'd said much the same thing as I did in post #16. Oh dear..."

So, might you say your post was repetitiously redundant? (;>)


message 30: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1128 comments Repetitiously annoying. The poor thing cannot be made redundant, my rants are needed ;o) By me if not by anyone else!

I like your nose >. Mine's a bit on the round side, so I use the :o) sometimes.


message 31: by Theodore (new)

Theodore Cohen (theodorejeromecohen) | 1417 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "Repetitiously annoying. The poor thing cannot be made redundant, my rants are needed ;o) By me if not by anyone else!

I like your nose >. Mine's a bit on the round side, so I use the :o) sometimes."


You are something else! (;>)


message 32: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1128 comments Possibly.


message 33: by Píaras (new)

Píaras Cíonnaoíth | 29 comments Theodore wrote: "Someone doth protest too much, methinks? (;>)"Guilty as charged :)


message 34: by Angel (last edited Oct 09, 2017 12:50PM) (new)

Angel | 722 comments I grew up with a mixed bag of grammar and spellings, etc. from UK to US. Also French, Spanish to name a few.


message 35: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments That must make it interesting Angel!


message 36: by Angel (last edited Oct 09, 2017 06:02PM) (new)

Angel | 722 comments Amy wrote: "That must make it interesting Angel!"

It can be. I usually ignore the grammar check when it tries to change the way I spell words particularly when its UK spelling. I set it on ignore rule so that way it won't bother me again. I also put a foreword in my novel so when people see UK spellings and other languages and spellings they won't freak out. So far I've had no problems. I try not to think about it. And even when I do think about what my readers would think I still do it the way I feel it should be done. But it can be a pain when I have different languages, grammar, spellings and colloquial terms in the same book. It's a lot of work, but it comes naturally to me. But it can confuse Grammarly and Microsoft Word grammar and ProWriting Aid quite a bit. And then I can get frustrated. But it eventually works out the way I want it to. Probably because I'm more stubborn than Grammarly, ProWriting Aid, and Microsoft Word grammar check.


message 37: by P.D.R. (new)

P.D.R. Lindsay (pdrlindsay) | 84 comments There are more people in the British commonwealth than there are in America and we all have our own unique idioms and expressions and we usually spell the British way.

If we can accept American books, which we do, it seems only fair for Americans to accept our books.

We Kiwis and Aussies also have a problem with people not understanding that our Christmas is summer and hot and our June is winter and cold. There have even been cases of our books given bad ratings because the reader didn't understand the southern hemisphere and snowy June.


message 38: by Amy (new)

Amy Hamilton | 2560 comments P.D.R. wrote: "There have even been cases of our books given bad ratings because the reader didn't understand the southern hemisphere and snowy June. "

No way! My Dad worked for the SA government so I suppose I grew up with that knowledge even if I've never visited.


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