When confronting differences between the English language of the United States and Great Britain one notes that spellings of the same words can be decidedly different. The following list shows some common examples of the variances between American and British spellings.
The two versions of the English language also diverge when it comes to the names for many everyday objects and events. It is easy for a visitor from across the Atlantic to provoke amusement from the natives by calling a cloth used to wipe one's mouth a napkin in England, or by asking an American waiter for the W.C. The following is a list of some common American terms and their counterparts in the United Kingdom.
|toilet, W.C., or loo
|hood (of car)
|trunk (of car)
Compounding spelling and word choices, there are also punctuation differences between American and British English. While American English always uses double quotation marks to indicate speech, British English, especially in older texts, sometimes uses single quotation marks. More recent British publications sometimes use double quotation marks.
In both American and British English, periods and commas at the end of a quote come before the closing marks when the quote is a full sentence, or a full sentence broken up by a connecting phrase such as "He said":
"When we go to the beach," he explained precisely, "we always take tanning oil."
In American English, the placement of periods and commas remains the same even when the quote is a sentence fragment. But in British English, periods and commas punctuating sentence fragments are placed outside quotation marks.
They described the forum as "a stimulating event," but decided that in the future "they would return only on certain conditions."
They described the forum as "a stimulating event", but decided that in the future "they would return only on certain conditions."