Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Grammar Moment: British vs. American Spelling, and Sailing

OK, which side of the pond are we on?

I have noticed, as I travel through the blogosphere, that a whole lot of the sailing blogs that I frequent use British spelling – gybe vs. jibe, manoeuvre vs. maneuver, and so forth. I attributed that partly to the fact that some of these people are British, and to the fact that much of American sailing and sailors wish to keep a tie to Britain, where sailing has been a major part of the culture.

Because the American Sailing Association courses I have taken in basic keelboat and coastal cruising and navigation have used the American spellings, so have I. However, as part of my homework for my Adams Cup training, I am studying the US Sailing racing rules, and they use the British spelling.

I am hereby declaring that henceforth, I will be using situational spelling. When I am writing about racing, I will use the British spelling, and when I am writing about cruising, I will use American. The Wizards will continue to use American spelling, whether they are cruising or racing, because I’m not about to go through all of the 47 chapters I have written so far to make changes.


Blogger Tillerman said...

As a Brit transplanted to America I am now hopelessly confused as to which spelling is which. I used to pride myself on my spelling ability but the change has ruined my skill in this area completely.

I try and use the American spellings when I can but, even after all these years, jibe just doesn't gybe with me.

Tue Jan 24, 07:31:00 AM MST  
Blogger Pat said...

The spellings are probably not the hardest thing about trying to be bilingual in English and American; I think what's harder are word usages such as "The team is" vs "The team are", "in hospital" vs "in the hospital", "try to" vs. "try and", and so on.

I suppose you could really confuse a Yank crew member by mixing up some Anglo-American sports metaphors; try telling a crew or competitor that barging "isn't cricket".

Tue Jan 24, 02:48:00 PM MST  

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