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Isn't language interesting?
28 Mar 2011

English has become the major language used for communication around the world, especially online.

Depending on where you live, there are differences in word meanings and spelling. The word processor on your computer (eg. Microsoft Word, etc.) will have spelling and grammar checkers. You can check out the spelling and grammar of different versions of English in the UK, USA, Australia, and many other countries, including several countries in Africa. Have a look next time you are writing a document and you can see what I mean.

This website is written in Australian English, so some of the spellings we use may be different to those used where you live. For example, what we spell 'metre' is in some countries spelt 'meter'.

Just for fun, do a grammar and spelling check of your work sometime using the different versions of English on your Word program.

So, why the differences?

In the 'olden days' when English speaking people moved to other countries, they took the spelling and grammar of their old country with them. They had to invent new words for their new country, animals, birds, etc. which had not been in their vocabulary before, and they often adopted words which the original people of that country used.

Language is dynamic, which means it is still changing all the time depending on where you live and what is happening there.

Texting on mobiles (cell phones) and chatting on the internet are having a big influence on spelling everywhere, as short cuts are becoming used more. eg. 'lol' = 'lots of love' or 'laugh out loud'. Many words are written without the double letters normally used eg. 'geting' instead of 'getting' or spelt as they sound rather than how they are correctly spelt eg. 'laf' instead of 'laugh'.

But when we are writing important things, we need to check that everything is written correctly - for where we live.

In the not so distant future, maybe the English language, spelling and grammar will have fewer differences as people are able to communicate so easily across the world and changes are quickly accepted and understood.