Is British Spelling Deprecated

No spelling is deprecated. Spelling corrections do not improve text. If you're tempted to waste your time correcting someone else's spelling, please consider that you're also wasting other peoples' time reading your edit from RecentChanges. Which far outweighs any benefit of such an edit.

Try, instead, aligning your brain and your will directly in order to create some actual content here. Which now I better do since the only thing I can think of more valueless than correcting spelling is correcting someone who corrects spelling.

Finding relevant text is quicker and easier if you don't have to search for variant spellings, so correcting spelling is useful. In many cases, the page changed was already in RecentChanges and the correction was to the latest added paragraph(s), and so the cost of reading the spelling corrections is offset by quicker comprehension of those paragraphs, due to improved spelling and punctuation. Also, reading the page to find spelling errors often leads to the discovery of technical flaws and other faults, such as BrokenLinks and vandalized text. My changes to MakeTheSimplestThingThatCouldPossiblyWork provide an example.

To WikiGnome

You have been replacing perfectly good British spellings, such as "visualisation," with their U.S. equivalents. This clutters RecentChanges, and makes it difficult to distinguish significant changes to content from minor changes to spelling. Is there a reason for doing this?

See RealizeVersusRealise regarding that spelling difference. The main point is that either spelling is correct in British English, whereas only the version with "z" is correct in U.S. English. In most cases, I am correcting other mistakes as well.

Do you feel the additional clutter to RecentChanges is worth it in those cases where you have not corrected other mistakes in a paragraph, in light of the fact that U.S. readers recognize British spelling as effectively correct when coming from an Australian, British, Canadian, New Zealand, South African, etc., author?

In the case of GrossDeficienciesOfUnix, which is where "visualisation" occurred, the page was already in RecentChanges. Moreover, I waited until the QuickDiff for the page was particularly short (a single line addition, in fact). Also, such spelling changes reduce the length of the list of words not found in the dictionary used whenever the page is saved. I don't assess whether it is worth it on a paragraph by paragraph basis. Typically, I copy the page into a word processor to find out what mistakes are present. In the page just mentioned, there were numerous other mistakes to correct, so it seemed very much worth it overall.

Okay, how about STOP IT, IT'S ANNOYING. "Visualisation" is correct for any reasonable interpretation of correct, and as a Canadian transplant in Britain I find the whiff of creeping Americanism offensive.

Did you read RealizeVersusRealise? It's not creeping Americanism. The "z" spelling is etymologically preferable. What about creeping Europeanism and general lack of concern about spelling, which are to a considerable extent responsible for the sort of misconceptions which you have?

I am not convinced that the "z" spelling is "etymologically preferable". There is no clear benefit that makes "z" objectively preferable except to cater to the sensitivities of a minority of English-speaking countries, so "etymologically preferable" is meaningless. I've already eliminated "what's correct in the US" as inapplicable, as USoids clearly recognize "visualise" to be correct in context. As for "creeping Europeanism", I'll believe it when I see as many European chain stores show up in the US as US franchises show up in Europe. General lack of concern for spelling, which is a genuine issue, is irrelevant here as we're talking about one correctness vs another. Finally, this quibble has reached the point where my annoyance at it has exceeded my annoyance at your reliance on the red squiggles in your set-to-US word processor. I give up. <sigh> Carry on.

Dave, please read the details in RealizeVersusRealise - "etymologically preferable" was just a 2-word shortcut, so it was bound to have limitations. We were using "z" here before the U.S. spellings were established. The "creeping Europeanism" referred to British English, not chain stores. In Britain, use of "s" is not just "correct", it's one of two alternatives, both in use, both "correct". However, the endings we're discussing have their etymological roots in Latin/Greek endings conventionally represented using a "z", not an "s". After all, it has a "z" sound, not an "s" sound. We've never lost the "z", and there's never been any good reason for preferring "s" as "correct" or "more correct". A reason very often given is that "z" is an "American" spelling, and I've demonstrated the flaw in that argument. You haven't come up with any other reasons, instead indulging in ad hominem attacks. My word processor is, of course, set to British English, but its results are only a guide.
Gosh, I hope you'll all get to your senses (like the Brits have done with the metric system) and get to phonetic spelling. Save yourselves tons of money wasted on teaching children to read and write for years and years - never mind the embarrassment that a large chunk of the population doesn't quite make it to literacy. I knew to read and write in both Latin and Cyrillic (Russian) before I even went to school. F___ the etymology, etymology is for weenies and people spoiling for an argument. English/American spelling is an example in caca design, and arguing over such crap only makes it worse.

Agreed. Though you can do something about it. All you have to do is write a translator from phonetic to crappy English that can be included in text editors and word processors. It would be much, much easier than a translator from one language to another because you wouldn't have to worry about completely different cognates between the written script and the spoken language. And if you could make this translator available on a PDA with OCR that could reliably read typed text then children could use it everywhere and reading/writing the non-phonetic English script would go out the way of the slide rule and log tables.

View edit of December 30, 2005 or FindPage with title or text search