Why English has both colour and color

Während man in amerikanischen Texten das Wort color liest, begegnet einem in anderen englischsprachigen Ländern eher die Schreibweise colour mit einem u. Die unterschiedliche Schreibweise geht auf einen patriotischen Lexikografen zurück. Bei welchen Wörtern er noch den Rotstift angelegt hat, lesen Sie in diesem Auszug aus der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On.

LANGUAGE CORNER

By Franziska Lange

1                You have probably noticed that some words in English have different spellings. Colour is one example: while Americans write color, the word is spelled colour in the UK and in British Commonwealth countries like Australia, Canada, and India.

2                Differences like this exist because of the American lexicographer Noah Webster (1758–1843). In his first dictionary, published in 1806, he made some spelling reforms to make words shorter, simpler and more logical. He said taking away unnecessary letters, like the u in colour, could save money in printing.

               However, patriotism also played a big role in Webster’s reforms: having become a country of its own in 1776, the US should have its own spellings, too, Webster thought. He wanted American English to be clear and simple and to reflect the country’s independence and identity. American English should be free from the “clamor of pedantry” Webster thought he saw in British spellings.

4                Webster changed the spelling of most of the ou words, like flavour, rumour and honour, which became flavor, rumor and honor. He also made a few other changes.

5                He took out one l in words like travelling and made words like catalogue and programme shorter: they’re written catalog and program in American English. He changed the ending in words like organise and realise so they’re written organize and realize in the US.

Den vollständigen Artikel lesen Sie in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On.

Vocabulary

0–1            to notice bemerken — spelling Schreibweise; Rechtschreibung — British Commonwealth loser Staatenbund, dessen Staatsoberhaupt der brit. Monarch ist     

               to exist existieren — lexicographer Lexikograf(in) — to publish veröffentlichen — logical logisch (nachvollziehbar) — unnecessary unnötig — printing (Buch-/Zeitungs-)Druck

3                patriotism Patriotismus; Nationalstolz — to reflect widerspiegeln — independence Unabhängigkeit — identity Identität — clamo(u)r Lärm; h.: Aufhebens — pedantry Pedanterie; übertriebene Genauigkeit

4–5            flavour Geschmack — rumour Gerücht — honour Ehre — to realise s.th. sich etw. bewusst werden

Foto: Pixabay