Today’s grammar tip: British English versus American English.

For this post, we’re going over some common British English spellings (a.k.a. Briticisms) that pop up once in a while over here in the States. You’ve likely seen at least a few of these mistakenly used in advertisements (not ours, though!), news articles, and social media posts – but to be fair, who can resist the charms of “cancelled” and “grey”?

So here’s a little list of some common US English terms (in bold) paired with their UK English counterparts. I’m sure you’ll recognize a lot of the Briticisms. And if you’re hungry for more, check out this interesting breakdown from Lexico (a partnership between and Oxford University Press).

aluminum, not aluminium
analyze, not analyse
canceled, not cancelled
center, not centre
color, not colour
defense, not defence
encyclopedia, not encyclopaedia
favorite, not favourite
gray, not grey
humor, not humour
judgment, not judgement
license, not licence
maneuver, not manoeuver
neighbor, not neighbour
pediatric, not paediatric
recognize, not recognise
sulfur, not sulphur
theater, not theatre
traveler, not traveller

We should acknowledge, though, that sometimes clients or businesses have an established preference for a Briticism or two. For example, the proper names of many theaters in the United States use the British spelling of “theatre.”

So next time you are scrolling through Instagram and see people referring to “cancelled” YouTubers or the dangers of “sulphuric” acid, check if they’re Brits before passing judg(e)ment.