Isn’t that the question that every student asks? Well now for me it really does seem to matter in a new way. Over the past quarter century I adopted the British way of spelling in most of my writing, and as someone whose stock in trade is words, that was important. Using all those extra ‘u’s and ‘z’s was my way of claiming my Britishness — just as much as having a British passport, just as much as saying ‘loo’ instead of ‘bathroom.’
But now, I’m back living in the States, and I’m still spelling the British way. I can’t help it. I hope that it will just look like an adorable affectation. But I’m afraid it looks like I just can’t spell. For a while, I guess I’ll just have to adapt my spelling according to who I’m writing to — or rather to whom I am writing.
Thanks to a Facebook and real life friend, I’ve found this video which does help to put all these spelling differences into an historical perspective. It might not help my present dilemma all that much, but it’s fun nonetheless.
In a few more days, I’ll be back in SE Asia for 3 weeks where none of this will matter very much. Other things will matter much more. I’ll let you know about them as they happen.