UK vs US spelling

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UK vs US spelling

Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
I'm editing a review that was clearly written by a community member across the pond and I would like to know, should the spellings be changed to standardized American english, or are the UK spellings considered part of the writer's voice and therefore left alone?

For example, "colour" versus "color."

I'm leaning towards standardized American, but I want to make sure before I start making changes.
04/21/2012
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Incendiaire Incendiaire
I'd leave the spellings alone; everyone is aware of the differences between Commonwealth English and American English, and it doesn't make the piece any less readable. Plus, by "correcting" the spelling you may offend the author, by implying that you consider your use of language to be the only "right" form of English, which has an air of arrogance to it.
04/21/2012
Raigne Raigne
Take this with a grain of salt, since I have little knowledge of style in terms of this site, but IRL I am a copy editor, so I figure I am qualified to give my opinion. UK spellings are not the writer's "voice" in the way you're thinking of it, such as using spellings in a novel that express a person's dialect. They are accepted spellings that predate American English. Now, Wikipedia, for example, prefers all English articles to be American English spellings, but this is a site-wide stylistic decision.

As I said, Eden may have a different opinion, but I have to ask, how is that writer going to feel when you change those spellings? Is it worth alienating them just to make everything look the same, when the British English spellings of the words are the older variants?
04/21/2012
Calla Calla
I agree with Incendiaire. I'm Canadian and I wouldn't be happy if an editor changed my spellings to the American versions. You should only fix errors, and a writer using the spelling that is correct in their country is not an error.
04/21/2012
wrmbreze wrmbreze
I actually hadn't dealt with this issue until editing a few of Incendiaire's reviews. Some I caught and some I didn't. Like colour instead of color, things of that sort. I did miss, I think it was, sterilise instead of sterilize. I did apologize for the change as it was one that I hadn't seen before and when I spell checked, it said to change it. I think we should leave it the way that the person wrote it. I like the "flavor" it gives to reviews. I don't want to offend our members from across the pond ( or any of our members actually) and unless it is slang that most people wouldn't know about unless they were from there, I say leave it alone.
04/21/2012
ghalik ghalik
Quote:
Originally posted by Raigne
Take this with a grain of salt, since I have little knowledge of style in terms of this site, but IRL I am a copy editor, so I figure I am qualified to give my opinion. UK spellings are not the writer's "voice" in the way you're ...
That's not true about Wikipedia. Their policy is that each article should stick to one or the other.
04/21/2012
Petite Valentine Petite Valentine
Quote:
Originally posted by Raigne
Take this with a grain of salt, since I have little knowledge of style in terms of this site, but IRL I am a copy editor, so I figure I am qualified to give my opinion. UK spellings are not the writer's "voice" in the way you're ...
My experience has been that every style guide I've been handed so far has said change British spelling to American spelling, unless quoting. I checked the EF Editor Guidelines but there is no mention of what to do about it in reviews. Since EF is an American website, it makes sense to change it for site-wide consistency, however I'm going to wait a few hours to see if an admin chimes in.

@Incendiaire
I'm sorry that you look at the editing done here in that manner. I don't think any editor changes British spelling to American spelling with the idea that American spelling is superior. It is more a matter of localization, than correctness.

To put it in perspective, no one is going to question J.K. Rowling's writing credentials, but each of her books had the British spellings changed when they were published for US audiences. Scholastic was even cheeky enough to change the title of the first book. The edits were not meant as a rebuke or insult to the writer, they were meant as a concession to the US reading audience.
04/21/2012
Geogeo Geogeo
I would leave it how it is. It's not wrong, it's a variation. As long as they are all consistent within the review, it's not a big deal.
04/22/2012
Sammi Sammi
I would leave the spellings - they're fine, and don't need to be changed.
04/22/2012
Ms. N Ms. N
If the author is British, leave it. If they are an American trying to be British, that's another story
04/22/2012
Gracie Gracie
Quote:
Originally posted by Incendiaire
I'd leave the spellings alone; everyone is aware of the differences between Commonwealth English and American English, and it doesn't make the piece any less readable. Plus, by "correcting" the spelling you may offend the author, by ...
I agree with this. It makes sense since we have many internationa members in our community.
04/22/2012
Rossie Rossie
It's better to leave them alone - it might insult the writer if you change them to American spellings.
04/22/2012
Silverdrop Silverdrop
I wouldn't be insulted if mine were changed, but since my computer is set up with UK spellchecking, that's how my reviews will be written.
04/24/2012
SMichelle SMichelle
Quote:
Originally posted by Ms. N
If the author is British, leave it. If they are an American trying to be British, that's another story
Although note that just because someones profile says that they live in America does not mean that they're not originally from the UK.
04/24/2012
Total posts: 14
Unique posters: 13