Easier for Non-Americans to write in American English?

Discussion in 'Casual Chat' started by redsadie, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. redsadie

    redsadie New Member

    Me again!

    Just sat here on hotel reception and although here it's Mothering Sunday, the restaurant is busy and I am not [​IMG] (done my work already)

    I was just thinking. Is it more beneficial for English (and other Non-American) writers/marketers/website owners etc to write content in American i.e you write color, I write colour, you use $ sign, I use ?? sign, you get the gist. Only I had this dilemma when I had my jewellery making SBI site, as you can see jewellery is another word that we spell differently [​IMG]

    What would you suggest from a marketing point of view? I can see the benefits of writing in 'English English' but also know the US market is so much bigger.

    Thanks for any input

    xx
     
  2. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    It depends on where you get most of your traffic from - you can usually find out by looking at your stats, and look at the countries that people visit your site from. Personally, I only write in American English, because that is the only version of the English language I know...
     
  3. Kecia08

    Kecia08 New Member

    getagrip: Personally, I only write in American English, because that is the only version of the English language I know...

    Same here.

    If I were to open a ".co.uk" site, I'd probably look more into writing in the English tongue, but I doubt I'd ever do that.
     
  4. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    Hi RedSadie,

    Write in accordance with your target market. If American then American English.

    ~Newbie Shield~
     
  5. A8ch

    A8ch Gold Member

    Interesting thread!

    redsadie: I was just thinking. Is it more beneficial for English (and other Non-American) writers/marketers/website owners etc to write content in American i.e you write color, I write colour, you use $ sign, I use ?? sign, you get the gist.
    getagrip: It depends on where you get most of your traffic from
    Newbie Shield: Write in accordance with your target market. If American then American English.
    RedSadie,

    If you insist on putting a fine point on this distinction, then I agree with GetaGrip and the Shield's responses.

    Using the spelling that is common to the largest segment of your niche makes the most sense. Readers will recognize you are speaking their language and feel an affinity for you, the writer.

    On the other hand, if you use spelling that is unfamiliar to the reader, she will still get the gist of what you are trying to say because only a word or two is affected. Writing is about communicating the essence of a thought, so a "misspelled" word shouldn't materially alter the point you're trying to make.

    What I would pay closer attention to is the use of expressions and idioms that may or may not be familiar to your readership, or that may have a completely different interpretation to what you intend, depending on who is reading.

    I can relate to your concern on this detail. I grew up on a Caribbean island that was colonized by the British. Consequently my eduacation was based on "the queen's English" or as you put it English English. When I first moved to the US, my English spelling was often questioned, so I decided to adopt the American English format.

    When in Rome...

    Hermas
     
  6. redsadie

    redsadie New Member

    Thanks guys, some interesting points raised. I would like to think I was appealing to 'the masses' but as we all know, that is very difficult.

    Hermas, you hit the nail on the head (again [​IMG]) regarding idioms and meanings, I have put on my site I am writing at the moment about "not knowing your arm from your elbow", I will probably change this because I think it is a saying that is not just 'local' to the UK, but probably only local to my family! If I were to move to America though, I would probably adopt the American way of writing but I am leaning towards writing in American English as I feel this is where my market would be more targeted to.

    When I had my SBI! site, they sometimes would say to put in miss-spellings on purpose so to enable people who don't spell so well to be able to find your site through that miss-spelling. I personally think it looks like the site owner is lazy and cannot be bothered to use the spellchecker!

    Oh, I don't know!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Newbie Shield

    Newbie Shield Gold Member

    redsadie: When I had my SBI! site, they sometimes would say to put in miss-spellings on purpose so to enable people who don't spell so well to be able to find your site through that miss-spelling. I personally think it looks like the site owner is lazy and cannot be bothered to use the spellchecker!
    Hi RedSadie,

    I know they say that. So do a lot of the other camps. I agree with you though - it does make the webmaster look lazy. It also makes them look unprofessional and a bit less bright. I understand the temptation but I wouldn't do that one ;)

    ~Newbie Shield~
     
  8. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    Hi all,

    I have to say that I'm guilty of using the misspellings on purpose on my sites occasionally. Sometimes I will build an entire page around a misspelled word or phrase.

    When you do keyword research you sometimes find a huge demand for a misspelled word.

    I do take a moment on the page to clarify the fact that it is misspelled on purpose, but I don't insult my readers by saying they don't know how to spell correctly. [​IMG] Instead I say that people get in a hurry while typing and I want to help those visitors find what they are looking for.

    Usually, if they've landed on that particular page, they're guilty anyway, so I don't think they mind.

    As for using the King's English or American English, I do both on my parasite site because it targets both the Australian/UK market as well as the US market.

    I also have an English friend that helps out occasionally by writing some health related content for me. She tends to always use the UK/Australia spelling, so I generally leave it.

    Sometimes it's not just about pride in your own work (although that's important), but it's also about needing to be found by those searching for what you provide.

    Have I lost visitors because of this inconsistency? I don't know. No one has ever complained outright, but they would probably just hit the back button and I'd never know. It's a chance I take because I'm relying on my reliable content to engage them to the point they'll overlook the occasional misspelled word, intentional or otherwise.

    Just my thoughts. [​IMG]
    Blessings,
    Angie
     

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