How to Respect an Author's Choice of English on Wikihow

English is an international language, so it is natural for it to have variations. These variations are welcome on wikiHow, and they should be respected.


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    Learn the differences between variations. Most of English written around the world is derived from British English, so spellings such as 'realise', 'analyse', 'archaeology', 'oesophagus', and 'programme' are used. Spelling in the US is different, so these words become 'realize', 'analyze', 'archeology','esophagus', and 'program.' for example.
  2. Image titled Respect an Author's Choice of English on Wikihow Step 2
    Even in nations that use communications based on British spelling, there are some slight variations. Australians often drop the '-me' in words like the one above, and Canadians generally recognise both British and US spellings. These are just two variations found from around the world.
  3. Image titled Respect an Author's Choice of English on Wikihow Step 3
    Avoid the temptation to edit an article after you see that they're are using a variation of English that you're unfamiliar with. Language is part of self expression, and everyone has a right to that.
  4. Image titled Respect an Author's Choice of English on Wikihow Step 4
    Don't be afraid to edit legitimate spelling errors. If in doubt, please check on an online dictionary.


  • Wikipedia has a good article series detailing the differences between US and British spelling.
  • Cambridge University offers online dictionaries that use both UK and US spelling.
  • Remember that one regional variation of English is not superior to any other- it's simply a different take on the same language.
  • On wikiHow, the variation used by whoever starts an article goes. So if an article is started using South African English, it should stay in South African English. This reflects the international character of wikiHow.
  • As a general rule, countries that belong to the Commonwealth of Nations use UK spelling, with their own regional variations in some cases.
  • The main dictionary used in the US is published by Merriam Webster.


  • If for some reason someone edits your English variation and replaces it with their own in an article that you've started, don't get upset. Just revert the spelling back to the way you wrote it, and post a polite comment on the discussion page of the article asking that your choice of English be respected.
  • Spell checkers in popular software may attempt to enforce "corrections" to the local version of English you have chosen, such as preferring "realise" to "realize" in UK English, but in the UK, both spellings are used and both are correct. There are many other examples of spelling variations in English that are wrongly attributed to the "standards" of one country or another.

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Categories: Writing and Editing