I am always very aware that a) I am Irish (hard to forget that one) b) I live in England but crucially c) I write for a predominantly American market.
As I work away, I constantly wonder whether I should write in US English. But perhaps the US publishers won’t like it and I’ll try to sell it in the English market. Plus, it actually feels wrong to write in a different ‘language’, going against the grain as it were.
Words such as ‘forwards, towards, backwards’ make me stop to think. Over here we would say ‘go forwards to the traffic lights’ and in the US, it is ‘go forward to the traffic lights’. (Don’t get me started on punctuation, that’s another post lol). Some of my most valued critique partners are in the US too. Perhaps I should put a disclaimer on my work ‘warning this is written in UK English’.
Another example I recently came across is that the US call their gardens ‘yards’ and I just found out recently they didn’t mean a tarmacadam (do you have tarmacadam in the US or is it asphaslt?) area . Cookies for biscuits (still taste as good in any language!), movie for film (although movie is taking over methinks, especially when it’s up against the Irish pronunciation of ‘filum’), sidewalk for path, vacation instead of holiday. Heck, there are probably hundreds of them. Even just spelling, favo(u)rite, flavo(u)r, and oooh do you put in a ‘z’ or an ‘s’ such as analyse/analyze? Title differences, Mrs versus Mrs. I received my edited manuscript back and had to add all these full stops/periods everywhere. Fun .
Any more examples I should be aware of before I submit my next mansucript? And what would you do if you were me — write in American English or UK English?