Spelling Differences – South Africa vs America

I decided to write this blog because I receive countless messages on my blog and on Pinterest, moaning at me because I claim to be a proofreader and yet I have many ‘spelling mistakes’ on my blog. Some kind souls even give me websites that I can use to check my spelling before posting. The people that try and help me, I appreciate their messages because they giving me constructive feedback and that’s something that I like getting even though it’s not helpful in this instance. But those that start insulting me from the onset, I don’t much care for them.

Let me explain my core reason for writing this. I feel like this post might help people understand the differences in spelling between countries that they might not have known before. I also hope to help alleviate messages sent to other bloggers that spell the same way I do.

Now, I have found that the spelling is the same in South Africa, the UK and, in certain instances, Canada. I am not aware of other countries but if yours is the same as ours, then please let us know in the comments so that we can all learn. There are many words that we do not spell the same as Americans do.

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Below is a list of words in our spelling vs American spelling. This is not a comprehensive list, but I have added the most commented-on words below:

#South AfricaAmerica
1JewelleryJewelry
2HonourHonor
3ColourColor
4LabourLabor
5OrganiseOrganize
6RecogniseRecognize
7TheatreTheater
8CentreCenter
9SpeltSpelled
10DreamtDreamed
11RumourRumor
12BehaviourBehavior
13FlavourFlavor
14HarbourHarbor
15HumourHumor
16NeighbourNeighbor
17SplendourSplendor
18ArmourArmor
19Favourite/FavourFavorite/Favor
20SaviourSavior

I’m going to stop there because I believe you get the gist of it. There are also grammatical differences but I’m not going to go through those. Were you aware that the spelling was different? If I was proofreading an American book, then I would need to use the American spelling and if I was proofreading a South African or British person’s book, then it would be our spelling. And because I am South African, my blog is written using South African spelling. I hope this helped a little with understanding the differences.

That’s it from me for now…

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Keep your crystal on, sparkle strong and enjoy your moments


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Cape Coffee Beans is a business built to serve coffee lovers all across South Africa. We sell a large and unrivalled variety of freshly roasted coffee beans, brewing equipment and coffee accessories – everything you need to make a delicious cup of coffee at home, at the office or on the road. We partner directly with 8 local artisan roasters to make their beans available online. We only dispatch very fresh coffee beans by maintaining close supply links with our roasters. We are passionate coffee specialists.

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