Jul 3rd 2013

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When did Americans gain independence from British English?

 

Color or colour? Neighbor or neighbor? Which is the correct spelling of these seemingly identical words? It depends who and where you ask. For Americans, the correct spelling would be color and for the British the correct spelling is the slightly longer colour.

Since it was the British that originally colonized the land that is the United States of America, wouldn’t it make more sense if these words were spelled the same rather than different?

When did it change, and why?

Historians trace the spelling changes in words like color, neighbor and others to just after the American Revolution in the latter part of the 18th Century.

As America physically distanced itself from the British, many Americans also wanted to distance themselves intellectually.

Noah Webster the “Father of American Scholarship and Education” authored An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828 and as more copies of this dictionary spread what is regarded as “American English” became standardized all across the United States.

Where do you live? Which spelling is used in your area and most importantly, how are YOU celebrating Independence Day?

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