Spelling UK in the USA


Monday, 27 October 2008 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I have been spelling the British way for a couple of decades now. Weird habit I got into from watching so much British TV growing up. My father thought I was a jerk, but once I was living in the internet world in the early 1990s, I had to explain to him that we're the only country that spells English this way. Pretty much the whole rest of the English-speaking world spells British… "colour," "optimise," and "mobile phones." :)

When I try to mark UK English, I get myself into a heap of trouble you wouldn't believe. Evidently, despite the number of British, Irish, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and other people who are in the USA, computers seem to expect them to not keep spelling how they have been spelling.

I get the UK MSN site. I am defaulted to UK Windows Live searches. I had problems getting the Windows Live cash back promos because my browser decided I was in the UK because I am set to UK English. I think I might be set to Canadian English right now, to see if that helped. Nope, I see "ca" and "cdn" added to lots of URLs when I try to visit sites. Shopping.com defaulted me to UK shops. When IE was defaulting to AOL for some weird reason, I was getting AOL Canada.

Weirdest was an apartment hunting site that showed me the rates I know local apartments go for, but threw a £ where the $ should have been. So where I know rent was $865 locally, it said £865, and it's certainly NOT £865.

Facebook won't charge my credit card for the ads I have been running. Evidently, it's really scary that I might be marked UK English in Facebook while trying to charge a card with an Arizona billing address. The best was when Facebook asked me if I speak UK English, and would I help translate their site. Huh? Translate?

This is all because of my LANGUAGE. So if I live in the USA but would like to mark things as Chilean Spanish, I can expect to be defaulted to all sorts of non-USA sites. How about the ultra religious Jews who may be writing in Hebrew but are in New York… where do websites dump them?

I'd like my computer to recognise that where I am and/or where I might want to have purchases shipped is where things should default. Language or spelling choice shouldn't completely affect my entire web surfing and web shopping experience in IE and Firefox!


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Categories: Just An Observation

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