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ID number:522171
Published: 13.12.2004.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 1 units
References: Used

This article outlines the differences between American English, the form of the English language spoken in the United States, and British English, which for the purposes of this article is assumed to be the form of English spoken in southeast England, used by the British Government and the BBC and understood in other parts of the United Kingdom. [1.]
Differences in the way that the same language is spoken different places are called varieties or dialects. These varieties may be regional or national. [2.]
English usage in other countries has traditionally followed one model or the other. Although American and British English are generally mutually intelligible, there are enough differences to occasionally cause awkward misunderstandings or complete failures to communicate. It has been said that the United States and United Kingdom are "two countries divided by a common language". [1.]
While there are certainly many more varieties of English, American and British English are the two varieties that are taught in most ESL programs. Generally, it is agreed that no one version is "correct" however, there are certainly preferences in use. The most important rule of thumb is to try to be consistent in your usage. If you decide that you want to use American English spellings then be consistent in your spelling. [6.]
American and British English are dialects of English which have a recognized standard form and are equally acceptable in Academic English as long as the style and register used are appropriately formal. There are no significant differences in the academic form of other varieties of English. These tend to resemble either the American or British form. For example, Australian English generally uses the same spelling as British English. [4.]…

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