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Your Cv - Keep It 'british'

March 27, 2019

Over half of Brits find American spellings frustrating and think they are harmful for the British language, according to new research from Oxford Home Schooling. The research carried out by the online home education provider looked into the importance people place on British spellings and attitudes towards Americanisms being used in everyday life.

Brits are passionate that our own standards are taught from an early age with over eight in ten stating it’s important for children to learn the importance of British spellings and over two thirds believing it’s unacceptable to use American spellings at school.

Other instances it is considered unacceptable to use Americanisms are on CVs (71%), in newspapers (55%), at work (52%) and even on greetings cards (43%). The researchers asked people which spellings they tend to make mistakes on, to create a list of the most difficult American spellings to identify. The top ten most unrecognisable are:

  • Encyclopedia (encyclopaedia)
  • Skillful (skilful)
  • Pretense (pretence)
  • Offense (offence)
  • Cozy (cosy)
  • Sulfate (sulphate)
  • Defense (defence)
  • Meter (metre)
  • Cesarean (caesarean)
  • Appetizer (appetiser)

Just 10% of those polled correctly identified all the American spellings in the list.

The study found Brits feel TV shows, Facebook, Twitter and American films have had the biggest impact on our British spellings. With eight out of ten of Netflix’s most binged TV shows originating from across the pond it’s little wonder their spellings and words are finding their way into our dialogue.

To test your own ability to spot American spellings, try this quiz of some of the most common spelling mistakes.


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