Monday musing – is it time to Americanize?

Stupid question, right? But…

1. The success of the World Wide Web has been led by US companies.
2. The rest of the world has got used to reading website text in ‘American’ English.

You can even prove it for yourself. Try Googling words with British and American spellings – you can bet there will be more results for the latter.

Picture of American English being selected from the language settings for a copywriting project

Cloud global copywriting success hinge on choosing American English spellings for your webpages?

Merrie Olde England

The ‘British English’ copywriter is probably gnashing their teeth at this point. Why would you want to sully your website with a bastardised variant of your mother tongue?

Because on the world stage, you look provincial. Quaint even. Like a throwback from Merrie Olde England.

If your business hopes to use the Internet to go global, you need to speak the world’s language. And it ain’t British English no more.

This is not a wind-up

This isn’t some random attempt at causing a stir, or click-bait for indignant language zealots. Increasingly I am being asked by larger clients to use American spellings as standard in their web content. Why?

  • Americanized spellings help their business appear global.
  • This global image helps establish a sense of brand authority.
  • Their readers expect it.
  • Web visitors who have English as a second language will find it easier to understand the American spellings.

Do I like this situation? Of course not. But as a copywriter I know the importance of using the right words to connect with readers (to sell stuff). And if that means more -ize and -ors, then that’s just the way it has to be.

If your business wants to be big on the world stage, it may be time to let go of the (‘British’) English sensibilities and Americanize your web content.

What say you?