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Old November 4th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #211

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It's because teddy Roosevelt failed to change our spelling
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Old November 4th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #212

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Originally Posted by Mike Lynch View Post
We spell it the real way - the British countries spell things like the French. Theatre, centre, armour, etc

If it's that bothersome go back in time and don't surrender in 1783!
And yet you seem quite happy to bend over for the ghost of Naploeon when it comes to driving on the wrong side!
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Old November 9th, 2012, 07:29 AM   #213
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Well, as someone who studies Linguistics and Literature Arts in undergraduation, I believe I should add my two cents here, even if I'm not a native speaker.

First of all, it's important for us to remember that, as Saussure postulated a long time ago, languages/idioms are arbitrary. So, fighting because of this different vocabulary thing is pretty much a waste of time, for most of the words in a language are arbitrary, which means that there's no intrinsical relation between the word and the object that it describes.

So, for some unknown reason, instead of adopting the British "flat", for example, the Americans preffered to use "apartment", and so on and so forth. It is not a profanation of the language or anything like that. It's natural. As someone said before, languages evolve with time. Take Latin, for example, that became Romance and then was divided in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian. These, on the other hand, generated Brazilian Portuguese, Haitian French and etc. That isn't wrong or a tragedy: that's variation. The only language that stops in time is already dead. There's no pure language in this world, not even in isolated places.

So, the question is actually relevant if you try to use it to understand American culture and historical formation of the American English as a language, but irrelevant if you end up falling on language (or cultural) prejudice. If I were to take a guess at why Americans speak and write "color", I would say that it would be caused by the influence of mexicans who entered their territory in the 18th century, for Spanish language still preserves the Latin form "color", though with a different pronounciation than the one from Latin times.

Speaking of "color", it is most interesting to know that it "colour" is not the most used spelling variation. We also have the French "couleur" (always remembering that the fonetics of all these languages are pretty different, so their pronounce might sound strange for us), the Italian "colore" and the Portuguese "cor". It is the Portuguese variation of the original Latin word that is more used, for there is at least 200 million people who write it like that.*


*"Cor" came from "coor", which came directly from "color". It's also interesting to see a most common trace in all languages: the supression of some syllables, in a process called "Language Economy" (Poor translation from Portuguese's "Economia Linguística").
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Old November 9th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #214

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English in general isn't written as it is spoken, so I find it rather pointless to quibble over minor spelling differences.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #215

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Originally Posted by Fereydoon View Post
If I were to take a guess at why Americans speak and write "color", I would say that it would be caused by the influence of mexicans who entered their territory in the 18th century, for Spanish language still preserves the Latin form "color", though with a different pronounciation than the one from Latin times.
Those Mexicans were already there. US annexed them.


English say "Flat" for "Apartment". In Caribbean Spanish and in many American spanish speaking nations they say "Apartamento". Found out in Argentina they tend to say "Departamento" which supposedly comes from the French language. But in Spain it seems the they tend to say it like in the UK. They say "Piso"; Piso means Floor. But a floor is flat which is what they call an Apartment in the UK, a "Flat".

"Colour", "Centre" and "Threatre" if you pronounce all the words has written they sort of tend to sound French.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 04:47 AM   #216
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Those Mexicans were already there. US annexed them.


English say "Flat" for "Apartment". In Caribbean Spanish and in many American spanish speaking nations they say "Apartamento". Found out in Argentina they tend to say "Departamento" which supposedly comes from the French language. But in Spain it seems the they tend to say it like in the UK. They say "Piso"; Piso means Floor. But a floor is flat which is what they call an Apartment in the UK, a "Flat".

"Colour", "Centre" and "Threatre" if you pronounce all the words has written they sort of tend to sound French.
Well, it does seem like Portuguese and Spanish Speakers have something in common as well, for we also say "Apartamento" and "piso". There's also "chão", but it can mean either "floor" or "ground", depending on the context.

About the annexation. Yeah, I knew that. What I was saying is that they could have influenced in this ortographic thing with their spanish. Still, I'm not so sure of when did Americans start speaking and writing "color", so, uh, yeah...
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Old November 11th, 2012, 05:01 AM   #217
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My understanding is an element of Latin in the equation. Don't admonish our American friends for such things. Missing letters doesn't mean less understanding.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 05:47 AM   #218

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I just know that I was glad I learned the English spelling and then our English textbook switched from telling stuff about this English family to a telling a story about a boy in Oklahoma in 7th grade suddenly stuff was written differently and everyone got confused. So to this day I simply write a mix of both and don't give a damn. Though I personally prefer the British spelling
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Old November 11th, 2012, 06:10 AM   #219
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I just know that I was glad I learned the English spelling and then our English textbook switched from telling stuff about this English family to a telling a story about a boy in Oklahoma in 7th grade suddenly stuff was written differently and everyone got confused. So to this day I simply write a mix of both and don't give a damn. Though I personally prefer the British spelling
Understanding the meaning of the word is greater than the spelling, and is so in any language you may learn. Good luck in your endeavors in the future.
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Old November 11th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #220

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Understanding the meaning of the word is greater than the spelling, and is so in any language you may learn. Good luck in your endeavors in the future.
Haha indeed That was like oh god I don't know YEARS AND YEARS ago though and I remember we had to decide on one spelling when we wrote tests otherwise it would be marked as an error No fun.
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