1. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    Using non-local English spelling.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Void, Dec 21, 2015.

    So, I've checked some similar threads on the topic, but I didn't see any that specifically answered my question.

    Here's the situation. After quite a while of letting a certain draft sit while I worked on other projects I'm at a point where I will likely be doing a pretty significant re-write to large sections due to several pages of notes and planed improvements that have built up over that time. As I'm from Australia, the current draft is written in Australian English (closely resembling British English), but somewhat recently I've put aside the petty tribalism and nationalism that often fuels such spelling debates and have come to the conclusion that the American spelling conventions are superior. Now, I would prefer to support it going forward and since I'll be re-writing such large chunks this seems like a good time to make a decision. I'm not worried about the task of conversion since it's a pretty trivial job for anyone who knows how to use a word processor, but I am somewhat concerned about how this would work with any Australian/UK publishers. I would think that pretty much any of the major English spelling conventions would be easily understood, and easily converted, so it wouldn't be much of a problem, but I still can't help but wonder what effect, if any, the chosen spelling conventions would have when attempting to get published.
    I figure I'm probably overthinking things here, but it doesn't hurt to discuss such issues before I embark on the re-writes.

    Oh, and just to add a bit more discussion value to the topic, has anyone else switched to a spelling convention other than the local one? If so, what made you change?
     
  2. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I know what you mean. I am Canadian and we spell words the British way, colour, stadium centre, favourite. To be honest i just use whatever i feel like at the moment. I'm not consistent and I am both Canadian and american so i use color and colour interchangeably. I know this will probably mean a lot more work for me when I edit but it can't be that much. I'm only on my first draft so there is time to change it. In terms of publishers..i have no idea but I would assume that when you send it for editing they will make their decision then? idk.
     
  3. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    It's more than spelling isn't it? Different words for many things: trunks, freeways and restrooms for example. I think the American ways of phrasing things too: shan't and should've and would've and won't—the US's frequency of use contrasts greatly to the UK's. Then there's the malarkey of where to plonk punctuation marks when covering speech. If you've already written it a certain way, you're going to have to be quite meticulous when converting or the attempt will be spotted (possibly at the expense of its authenticity). If it warranted it I think I'd pay someone; get an adaptation done.
     
  4. KennyAndTheDog
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    KennyAndTheDog Member

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    It really depends on where you intend to publish. if anything I do is going online I try to keep it American English, but if I'm publishing a physical book it's unlikely to cross the pond and I leave it in British English. if a character speaks in a dialect ten I try to have the whole piece in the appropriate spelling- so if I've a couple of characters who - like me - are Manchunian or Manx i'll dome who piece in British English even if it's intended for an international audience. that was a lo vaguer and less helpful that I was aiming for. Sorry
     
  5. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    Oh yes, there were a few clarifications I intended to mention in the OP but neglected to when I got down to it.
    I'm aware that there are plenty of differences between American English and Australian English, but I'm specifically concerned with the spelling and grammar only, not with quibbling over whether it's a lift or an elevator, or any other changes to the actual words. As for punctuation and its interaction with quotation marks, strangely enough, I've actually used the American system (double quotes, punctuation inside) from the beginning, even before I intended on using the spelling too.
    Also, the story is a sort of mix of high fantasy and sci-fi, so characters who speak with real world dialects aren't a concern.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I write in American English, even though I'm Canadian. My publishers are all American, so it's simpler this way.

    But I use the words and dialect that make sense for my characters.
     
  7. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    I should probably also mention that the situation is complicated somewhat by the fact that I'm not sure exactly where/how/if I'm going to attempt to publish it.

    I guess with that mentioned I probably shouldn't worry too much about which spelling I use.
     
  8. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Perhaps I'm wrong, but...

    After many years of wondering which version of English was best for me to use, I now stick to Canadian English. It's the one I grew up with, the one I know best, the one I'm least likely to screw up.

    I think if a story knocks the publisher off his/her chair, they aren't going to give a damn which spell-checker/grammar checker was used or whether the dialogue quotation marks are double or single.

    And as a side note, Canadian English (like, I'm sure, Australian English or any other version of English) isn't exactly the same as its British or U.S. counterpart. Some spellings are the same as British, but others are the same as U.S. English. Canadian English uses double quotes for dialogue like in the U.S., so using the British English spell-checker doesn't work for us any better than the U.S. one. It took Microsoft a long time to give us a dictionary of our own.

    Adobe still thinks Canada only speaks French.
     

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