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  • Writer's pictureCathy Castling

British English or American English: Which is better? Does it matter which one I use?

Basically, no.


You can use any variant of English that you like on your website.


BUT…


Think about your target customers:


  • Where are they?

  • Which variant do they use?

  • Will you confuse them if you choose a different variant?


If your target customers are in the UK, it’s best to use British English (favourite, colour, mesmerise, etc.). My dictionary of choice is Oxford English Dictionary.


If your target customers are in the US, then use American English (favorite, color, mesmerize, etc.). I like using the Merriam Webster dictionary to help with spelling.



Could my choice of English impact sales?

Consumers are more aware of their impact on the planet. If a British consumer ends up on your website, sees American English and can’t quickly find out where you’re based or where you ship from, they may assume their parcel will be coming from across the Atlantic. Shipping from the US = greater impact on the environment = potentially loosing a sale.


What is the difference between British English and American English?

The easiest difference to spot are spellings. British Eglish uses "our" and "ise" (organise, neighbour) while American English uses "or" and "ize" (organize, neighbor).



Quick tip: AI prompt to rewrite and review your English content


If you’re using AI to create your website content, try this prompt:


Rewrite this text in American English


Rewrite this text in British English



Then do your own check.


Use ctrl + f and search for “ou” in British English and look at words like “colour” and “favourite” or look for “ise” and keep an eye out for words like “organise” and “accessorise”.


Use the same key combination for American English, but look for “or” in “color” and “favorite” and “ize” in “organise” and “accessorise”.

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