A question to the Americans

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by TAHbKA, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    if you were reading a program documentation spelled in an american english (aka program, center etc) would you expect grey to be spelled as gray or as grey or it wouldn't matter?
    (reading our product user guide, it spells grey and center in the same document. Am clueless whether it's good, bad, unimportant).

    Thanks!
     
  2. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    It doesn't matter as long as you are consistent. :)
     
  3. cholla

    cholla Fearless Musher

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    Grey = GB
    Gray = US
     
  4. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    No, both are commonly used in the US.
     
  5. TAHbKA

    TAHbKA Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's what I meant. The technical writer spelled `color' and `center' and then `grey'.

    emason, thank you! That explains:)

    Grey it is!
     
  6. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I can never remember which is the "American" spelling of the word, but the copy-editor at work tells me that Gray is the american spelling. Looking at all the major style guides ing the office, they all say gray is American and grey British.

    You can remember it because A = American, E = English

    Both are commonly used here, so I don't think anyone would give it a second glance, but I think that is because most Americans don't know which is the "British" spelling (because it doesn't follow any style convention that normally Americanizes words- why have two different words at all?)
     
  7. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    I use both. Seriously. I can never remember which to use. Somedays it's a, others it's e.
     
  8. Sassafras

    Sassafras Well-Known Member

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    What Aceon6 said ^^^^^^^
     
  9. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    Gray, graigh, grae, greigh. I prefer grey.
     
  10. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    "Gray" is far more commonly used in the U.S.

    I was taught in second grade that "grey" is the British spelling and shouldn't be used in written U.S. English.

    It I were reading an article that used the spellings "center," "color," and "grey," I would wonder why the writer was switching between American and British spelling conventions.
     
  11. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree; grey and gray were used interchangeably when I was growing up and there was no differentiation. There were just alternate spellings of the same word.
     
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  12. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

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    I had a teacher named "Grey". And I have always interchanged grey and gray. When I had this teacher, I assumed that Grey was the spelling when it's a name, and gray when it's a color. But when reading, grey and gray are used to mean color. So I just figured nobody gives a crap and grey and gray can co-exist peacefully. :D
     
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  13. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    My American dictionary at hand lists grey as a variant of gray. I.e., grey is not incorrect, but gray is preferred. It doesn't say anything about grey being primarily a British spelling.

    Same with theater vs. theatre.

    So I'd agree with emason -- either is correct as long as it's consistent.
     
  14. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I really don't read any difference. for example grey-dolloped horse seems to be the write spelling. Gray is a color in a crayola box. I had a friend who named her daughter Gray. So perhaps I read them: grey as a descriptive term and gray as a noun?
    I agree with PrincessLeppard and emason, just be consistent.
     
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I was taught that in American English a theater is a building and theatre is the art form.

    I don't know if that is a "real" rule though.

    (Oh- and I prefer grey, but the editors have conditioned me to use gray.)
     
  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    Grey looks much nicer.
     
  17. cholla

    cholla Fearless Musher

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    They are. But gray is defined as "the US spelling of grey" by the Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries when grey is a "variant of gray" for the Merriam-Webster. Gray is a color, grey is a colour ;). In the US the two spellings are acceptable. In the UK, they are not. Use "gray" in a Bristish document and it will be considered mispelling. I know that because I once did... Hence my reply to Tanya.
     
  18. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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    cholla is correct about Britain. Here in the UK, 'grey' is used universally, whereas if I came across the word 'gray' without knowing the source I would assume it was written by an American writer (or else it was a spelling mistake).
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  19. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

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  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I always think of grey as having yellowish undertones and gray as having bluish undertones.
     
  21. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    Thank you for asking this question, it's one I have wondered about and now I will know that I will be spelling good in the future.
     
  22. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

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  23. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Do you have synesthesia?
     
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  24. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    The bigger question is why are there separate spellings for British and American English? I get that "color" is shorter than "colour", but why "realize" and "realise"? Is it a reminder for Americans to hit those consonants harder?
     
  25. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea how it began, but I've often read that American spellings are more phonetic. Theatre/Theater is a good example, and realize/realise is too (though not quite as much).

    Maybe a long time ago we had a tough time learning how to read, so they made it easier?
     
  26. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    I agree! :)
     
  27. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    It may be urban myth, but I was told that the NY Times and other newspapers were quick to adopt a change if it meant they could set fewer letters and use less ink.
     
  28. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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    YOU BETTER WATCH IT.
     
  29. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    Um, no. After the Revolutionary War, Noah Webster changed a lot of American spellings, partly because he was an advocate of spelling reform and partly because he wanted American English to be different from British English because we weren't British any more.

    Of course, that's overly simplistic; many of the spelling changes were actually well underway in the colonies while they still were colonies and some of the spelling changes were holdovers from British spellings of earlier periods, as well as variants brought by immigrants from other countries, but Webster's original dictionary is what made them standard American spellings.
     
  30. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

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    When I read the word "color," the voice in my head always pronounces it "cul-oor," i.e rhymes with "poor."