EDIT ME — UK English vs. US English

quote mark

As an editor, I get manuscripts from all over the world. One thing I see most is UK English used in a manuscript. So what is it?

It’s an alien language from the planet Alpha Com. Yep, it’s true. They use a lot of extra Us and they stuff S where a Z is used in the States (ie: realise).

In reality, a lot of authors use UK English because, well… they’re not American. They put an S on toward, forward and backward. They reverse RE in theatre, metre and centre.

Some US publishers will only use the US English. But I say there is a real place for UK English. Where, you ask?

If the book is set in the UK and the characters are British, that’s where. No self-respecting Brit is going to call a shopping cart anything but a trolley. (picturing Platform 9 3/4)

Where shouldn’t you use UK English? If you’re a Brit and your characters are not only living in US but are US born. I once edited a book set in Seattle with 2 Americans, but the author insisted on using UK English because she is British. It looked weird, it felt wrong to edit and I wouldn’t suggest doing that.

The moral is: use your common sense. Thanks for stopping by today!



2 comments on “EDIT ME — UK English vs. US English

  1. Great post! I’ve seen it used both ways and agree that there’s a place for it.

  2. Been there, done that! Great post.

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