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Old 20.04.2014, 19:08
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"American English" or "English English" in a job application

I am trying to write some covering letters for jobs here and I have a really stupid question- should I "Americanize" my native British spellings? I am the only native English speaker at my current job where I proof-read a lot of documents to correct the English and, in my experience at least, American spellings are the norm here. As long as people are consistant I don't care how they spell things, however now I am beginning to wonder if I need to adopt these spellings for job applications.

Also, which spellings would you use to apply to American companies?

Thank you for any light that you can shed on the matter, apologies for the silliness of the question
Baz
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:22
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

In my experience here, either is acceptable but consistency in spelling is the key.

I've worked for American owned companies here and in the UK and always applied using British English. Actually, it never occurred to me to do otherwise.

It's afterwards, depending on whom I was working with and dealing with the most ie if mainly American clients/work colleagues, that I'd then switch to writing American English and use of verbal expressions.

Good luck!
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:24
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application



Good God! It's bad enough that Americans don't use the language properly, without everyone else following suit!

If you're writing in English, use English spellings!
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:31
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

It hadn't occured to me either until I had an American friend look over my stuff and they pointed out that I had "mis-spelt" various words...
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:40
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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It hadn't occured to me either until I had an American friend look over my stuff and they pointed out that I had "mis-spelt" various words...
Did you point out that they were spelt quite correctly, thank you very much??
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:43
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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It hadn't occured to me either until I had an American friend look over my stuff and they pointed out that I had "mis-spelt" various words...
You should point out that you were using english not American as the language
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:48
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

Funnily enough, I did. My office also has a relatively short list of acceptable Z-containing words that I will defend wholeheartedly.

On a serious note, my work is often corrected to incorporate American spellings when I am writing for Swiss funding or scientific journals. If job applications are all about first impressions, are these the things that people notice? At the same time, I can't bring myself to change the way I spell things because to me it's the correct way.
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:53
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

I don't think I could bring myself to work anywhere that required me to use American spellings!
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Old 20.04.2014, 19:54
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

Stick to what you're comfortable with otherwise you'll likely cock it up.

Btw, the -ize ending is perfectly acceptable in British English, being the older form and the form preferred by the Oxford English Dictionary.
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Old 20.04.2014, 20:22
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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I don't think I could bring myself to work anywhere that required me to use American spellings!

Oh please, take that pretentious stick out of your backside.

To the OP, use the spelling you're familiar with, be consistent and you're fine.

I once submitted an article to a journal published in the UK. I was surprised there was no requirement for British spelling when the article was accepted and published in the journal.
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Old 20.04.2014, 20:43
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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Oh please, take that pretentious stick out of your backside.

To the OP, use the spelling you're familiar with, be consistent and you're fine.

I once submitted an article to a journal published in the UK. I was surprised there was no requirement for British spelling when the article was accepted and published in the journal.
I think American English is sort of the accepted "International English" and many Swiss (and other Europeans for that matter) defer to the American spellings and vocabulary.

I think this is partly because many Europeans have done their English exchange experience in the US and/or have only worked in international firms. I once had to explain to a Swiss what a "wardrobe" is. They had only used the word "closet"

Bizarrely, I am good friends with a German married couple; one learned English in London and the other studied at an American university. Each sounds like a native of where they studied and have been known to argue about the "correct" English terms.

As for the CV and job application, I agree that consistency is the key. Apply in British English if that's what you feel the most comfortable in. If you get the job, be prepared to adapt here and there.
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Old 20.04.2014, 20:49
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

FWIW I use whichever form I feel like - I certainly don't let the MS Office spellchecker dictate to me (often incorrectly) which is the British and which is the US spelling (am from the UK originally)
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Old 20.04.2014, 20:55
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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Good God! It's bad enough that Americans don't use the language properly, without everyone else following suit!

If you're writing in English, use English spellings!
How is it that we (Americans) don't use the language properly? Please enlighten me.
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:00
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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I am trying to write some covering letters for jobs here and I have a really stupid question- should I "Americanize" my native British spellings? I am the only native English speaker at my current job where I proof-read a lot of documents to correct the English and, in my experience at least, American spellings are the norm here. As long as people are consistant I don't care how they spell things, however now I am beginning to wonder if I need to adopt these spellings for job applications.

Also, which spellings would you use to apply to American companies?

Thank you for any light that you can shed on the matter, apologies for the silliness of the question
Baz
No offense, but if proofreading is your job, I don't think your main worry should be using UK or American English.

Also, I don't think Americans are so picky about these things. We understand both
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:02
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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I think American English is sort of the accepted "International English" and many Swiss (and other Europeans for that matter) defer to the American spellings and vocabulary.
That's partly a result of the cultural dominance of American English (several hundred million vs a few tens of millions speakers of British English, not to mention Hollywood), but also because American spelling makes more sense - especially to speakers of Romance languages.

Many of Noah Webster's reforms were intended to bring English spelling back to its roots. There is no good reason why 'colour' should be spelt with a U, no good reason why 'pulverise' should be spelt with -ISE. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the languages from which these words are derived or adapted can tell you that. Yet still we persist in using these rather odd innovations while our transatlantic cousins are happy to use the more sensible, essentially older forms.

As for vocabulary, anyone who has taught road safety to a class of international children will be sure to tell them to stand on the 'sidewalk' rather than the 'pavement' once they discover quite how ambiguous the latter is.

I always write in British English because it is the variety with which I am more comfortable, but it's plain to any objective observer than American English is the superior of the two. Or should that be 'superiour'?
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:14
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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No offense, but if proofreading is your job, I don't think your main worry should be using UK or American English.
Thankfully proofreading is not my job, just a "perk" of being a native speaker. I never said I was any good at it
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:15
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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That's partly a result of the cultural dominance of American English (several hundred million vs a few tens of millions speakers of British English, not to mention Hollywood), but also because American spelling makes more sense - especially to speakers of Romance languages.

Many of Noah Webster's reforms were intended to bring English spelling back to its roots. There is no good reason why 'colour' should be spelt with a U, no good reason why 'pulverise' should be spelt with -ISE. Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the languages from which these words are derived or adapted can tell you that. Yet still we persist in using these rather odd innovations while our transatlantic cousins are happy to use the more sensible, essentially older forms.

As for vocabulary, anyone who has taught road safety to a class of international children will be sure to tell them to stand on the 'sidewalk' rather than the 'pavement' once they discover quite how ambiguous the latter is.

I always write in British English because it is the variety with which I am more comfortable, but it's plain to any objective observer than American English is the superior of the two. Or should that be 'superiour'?
I thought that french played an important role in british spelling given that a large number of words do actually have a french origin.
- colour, odour comes from "couleur" and "odeur"
- centre instead of center....again french "centre"
- pulverise instead of pulverize because of french "pulvériser".
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:20
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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I thought that french played an important role in british spelling given that a large number of words do actually have a french origin.
- colour, odour comes from "couleur" and "odeur"
- centre instead of center....again french "centre"
- pulverise instead of pulverize because of french "pulvériser".
Some earlier acquisitions do, but there's no excuse for the later examples. We've not been dominated by francophones for more than half a millennium!
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:21
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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How is it that we (Americans) don't use the language properly? Please enlighten me.
Well the clue is in the name of the language!
English, comes from England. Therefore if we are going to argue about spellings etc, it goes to reason that the spellings from the country the language originated from would be the correct ones. Americans have altered the language. Australians and Kiwis however have kept very much to the original English spellings.
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Old 20.04.2014, 21:22
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Re: "American English" or "English English" in a job application

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Well the clue is in the name of the language!
English, comes from England.
English came from England. The language hasn't been the sole possession of the English people for more than 200 years now (and it wasn't even before then).
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