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Hi All, 

If your producing a detailed internal document from within the UK that is broadcasted to an international audience (including your boss's boss based in the USA) is it more professional to use the American spelling or the UK English spelling?

But...

The system the raw data is downloaded off, while used only in the UK, has certain headers attached to it using the American spelling. 

Should I use the 'system' as my guide or default to the UK English spelling?

My guessing is both ways of spelling the words would be acceptable but in this situation is there a *rule*?

hyubdoo23's picture

 

Gareth,

I think the only rule is choose one and stick to it. Is the company American or English? If the reports are coming out in American English, I would lean in that direction. At least you ensure consistency that way. As a Brit working in the States for an American company, I have found that it's easier to "fit in".

Cheers,

HBD

Gareth's picture

Thank you HBD, 

The company is based from the UK which I have to admit didn't cross my mind when considering this!

The reporting system I believe is an off the shelf product from an American company which is why it contains the American English. Had the reporting system used UK English then I would stick with the UK English spelling but as you suggest I am also leaning towards the American English.

Your first point is however spot on, I need to pick one and stick to it!

wendii's picture

HI Gareth,

as someone who has to regularly switch between UK and US writing (and sometimes gets it wrong :-) ), a word of warning for you. It's not just spelling - it's easy enough to change Word to US spellcheck or vice versa, but the use of punctuation is different (american's put punctuation within quotes, we don't) and the formation of sentences (UK sentences are longer, apparently) too.

It's worth reading some style guides in the opposite language just to get an understanding, even if it's only to know which rules you're breaking :-)

Wendii

Gareth's picture

Thank You Wendii, 

I knew this wouldn't be simple :p

I think i'll spend what is left of the night with my research hat on!

AManagerTool's picture

"English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England!"

Homer Simpson

I too have had a hard time figuring out how to format an international document.  Fortunately, my inner Homer saves me the hours of consideration of the "other" version of English and I default to good ole' Merican English.  I simply don't have the processor cycles to spare anymore.

jhack's picture

Don't overthink it.  

Make your prose simple and clear.  Be consistent with grammar and spelling.  

John Hack

12string's picture

 I usually alternate sentences...that really gets people spinning.

~12string~