American English vs British English…


Which version of English to use on our website? I think American English. Cue gasps of horror from my fellow British  ex-pats, and mutterings of treachery to the mother tongue. But hold on. Who are we writing for? Ourselves, our old English teacher? No, we are writing for the users of the website who, predominantly, will probably have American English as their first or second language. Furthermore, what language are they searching in? They are not using the Queen’s English to search in Google, that’s for sure, if they have American English as their language.

Jakob Nielsen has an article discussing this, where his conclusion is that as many of our students are Asian or American, then using American English is probably the best bet. I discussed this with him at the seminar he refers to, which was extremely useful – I’ll blog more about it later.

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