Looking at the tags, we have a few inconsistencies between British and American spellings. For example, we have colour but also color-management, color-correction, and a couple of others, plus organisation (4x) but not organization.

Now, consistency would be nice, but if we pick one or the other, the site becomes less accessible to whoever wasn't picked, and it seems a shame to perpetuate American imperialism without good reason.

I think it's pretty certain that Americans are the largest constituency here, but do they outnumber the variety of English speakers who use British spellings? Is there any way to figure this out?


  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Color vs Colour (and other words with similar multiple spellings) \$\endgroup\$
    – chills42
    Jul 23, 2010 at 17:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was with you until the rant about American imperialism. In any case, tag synonims should take of this issue. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2014 at 13:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aren't most "english"-writing users not natively speaking English anyway and randomly choose American or English spellings without knowing which is which? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 9, 2014 at 10:54

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer: I am a Brit

There do seem to be some localisation issues across a number of SE sites, but we seem to manage it better than some I'm a member of. Personally speaking, I feel that it's best if we all post using the variant of English that we're happiest with. I find it very difficult to post using American English, and I'm not sure I'd be able to identify all the words I'd use that would need amending. What I do think is important is that we don't assume any cultural or local knowledge in what we say. Put another way; I don't think the syntax matters, as long as the semantics are general enough.

As for tags, American English does seem to be the dominant language, so I'd suggest that we use that for now. As i understand it, moderators on SO can set up tag synonyms, so maybe once someone reaches 2k rep they could do that?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree on the text of questions and answers - no need to standardise there. (Did I get it right?) :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Reid
    Jul 23, 2010 at 16:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I did realise as I was typing "localisation" I may upset those who didn't agree with me! \$\endgroup\$
    – Edd
    Jul 23, 2010 at 18:43

I don't think it really matters.

I imagine most hits for a question will just be from people searching. If they use Google, it will seamlessly consider different spelling anyway, like this search for "Favourite Colour".


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