Have you ever wondered why there are spelling differences between the US and UK? Here’s the reason…
Benjamin Franklin was one of the main people who pushed for the change. After the American revolution he and Noah Webster wanted to change the spelling of English to make it more easy to spell and closer to how it sounds. They also purposefully wanted to be different than British English.
The differences (The first example is US and the 2nd is UK):
Drop u from -our words – color vs. colour
Drop duplicate consonants – traveler vs. traveller
Transpose r and e – center vs. centre
Change the c to s – defense vs. defence
There are other changes/reforms as well.
There were other spellings that did not make it in the dictionary (and I’m glad too because they are bizarre). Here are a few examples:
Drop silent vowels in word like bread. So, they wanted it spelled like ‘bred.’
Replace some vowels and consonants to be written like they sound. Instead of ‘rough’ they wanted ‘ruf’.
Replace ch with k. They wanted chorus to be korus.
Celce-Murcia, Marianne, et al. 1996. Teaching Pronunciation. Cambridge University Press (New York).