Re: US versus UK English, How relevant?

Subject: Re: US versus UK English, How relevant?
From: Chris Gooch <chris -dot- gooch -at- lightworkdesign -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 12:40:26 -0000

Ellis wrote:

In the UK it is spelt "dialog box" - we use the US form for this computer
term, but retain the UK spelling for the verb. I've never seen "dialouge
box" used in a current UK computer manual.

That's right. The other one is "program" v. "programme"; UK English
now has two different and entirely unambiguous words:

"program" a computer program, and the associated verb
"programme" a schedule of events, a TV show, etc.

US readers thinking of localizing such stuff for the UK by
search-and-replace should bear this in mind; UK English has
imported most computer terminology with US spelling,
thus providing a distinction between the computer term and
the traditional term which it grew out of.

A similar one, but not caused this time by importing technical
terms, is "licence" v. "license"; it's not correct to think that
you can globally replace "license" in US English with "licence"
in UK English, as we UK-ers use "licence" for the noun and
"license" for the verb.

All of that said, I see little need for US authors to localize into
UK English; we're saturated in US culture over here so basically,
if you read at lot you'll used to reading US English, and if you don't
read much you won't notice spelling differences anyhow.


PS. People also often get het up about whether "-ise" or
"-ize" is the American form (e.g., "locali(z)(s)e").
Both are correct according to the OED...

Christopher Gooch, Technical Author
LightWork Design, Sheffield, UK.

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