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G B Ralph, Author

British vs American English survey results

Humour or humor? Cosy or cozy? Metre or meter?

As a Kiwi I tend to write primarily in New Zealand English which has its origins in British English, with significant contributions from te reo Māori, and even some influences from American and Australian English.

However, I recognise the majority of my readers are not New Zealanders, so I asked the lovely people on my mailing list what they preferred to read. Here’s a screenshot of the survey question in the email newsletter I sent out last month:

Mailing list survey question screenshot: Do you prefer British or American English?

The main reason for asking this was that I was keen to see if I was alienating huge swathes of readers by writing what I was most comfortable with (which more closely aligns with British English).

So, looking at the results below, we have a plurality of respondents ready to roll with whatever’s on offer, a fair chunk who prefer British but are happy with American, just over 10% who fall the other way, and around 8% who know exactly what they want!

Survey results comparing readers' preference for British or American English

Now, what have we learnt/learned, folks? I’ve found this rather reassuring and I think I’ll keep on as I have been, jealously guarding my extraneous use of the u and fending off any incursion of the z to protect my s.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on the matter, or if you have any interesting things you’ve read or heard relating to this – drop me a message!

And if you’re keen to get involved in any future little surveys, you can jump on my mailing list (you’ll also score a couple of exclusive short stories right away as thanks).

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