The pandemic saw people staying put after countries closed their borders to prevent the spread of the virus. Now with vaccines available, many are getting excited to travel again and are looking for travel tips after the end of the pandemic.
A safer health situation is one of the reasons people want to travel again. So, many have started traveling to different destinations around the world. Or are they travelling to these destinations?
Travelling or traveling? What’s the difference between these two words? Do they have different meanings? Are they just variations of the other?
This article is about the differences between American and British English spellings of words. In particular, it covers the words “traveling” and “travelling.” It also provides tips on remembering the correct spelling for each word.
Around 1.5 billion people speak English around the world. But only about 400 million speak it as their first language, and over one billion speak English as a second language. That’s a lot of people and a lot of different ways of using the language.
The English-speaking world is divided into two groups when it comes to preferred spelling: British English and American English. This division is seen in several words, but perhaps most commonly with the word “travel.”
The British version of the English language is written and spoken in the UK. It is also similar to the language used in Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Even though British English is considered a unifying label, it is not universally embraced.
The language is also spoken differently depending on the region. For instance, Scottish English is spoken with a Scottish accent, and some words are different from standard British English.
Likewise, in Wales, there is a Welsh dialect of English that includes words borrowed from the Welsh language.
American English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects spoken in the country. One of the most noticeable features of American English is its spelling.
Many words are spelled differently from their British counterparts, with some common examples being “color” and “labor.” They use shorter versions of the word. There are also differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar.
Noah Webster was an American textbook pioneer and lexicographer who laid the foundation for this significant variation of the language. He started as a teacher and later became best known for his books. In 1828, he published the first edition of his 70,000-word American Dictionary of the English Language.
This dictionary helped to standardize American spelling and included many words that were new to the language at the time. In 1841, Charles and George Merriam purchased the rights to the dictionary.
Correct Spelling of Words
The correct spelling depends on where your audience is located. If you write for an American audience, you should spell the word “traveling” or use a single L. On the other hand, if you are writing for a British audience, you should spell the word “travelling” or use double L spelling.
The same divide exists between “traveler” and “traveller.” Again, the American spelling for the word is “traveler.” In contrast, the British spelling for the word is “traveller.”
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to spelling. The most important thing is to be consistent throughout your writing so your audience can understand what you are saying.
Tips to Remember the Correct Spelling
Here are some tips to remember how to spell the word correctly:
- Remember that the American spelling always has one L while the British spelling always has a two L spelling.
- If you can’t remember which spelling to use, you should search for the word in a dictionary.
- If you’re a writer, you should use spell-checking software and set the language to either American English or British English. Setting the language is crucial if you spot multiple spelling errors in an article.
- If you are still unsure, ask a friend or colleague who is a native speaker of the language you write an article.
Consistency is the Key
There are also some instances when you may need to use both spellings in the same article, such as quoting somebody. In these cases, it’s best to be consistent and use the spelling that the person used.
American or British Audience
You should also consider the audience when deciding to use either the American spellings or British spellings of the words you’ll use in an article. So, when deciding to use traveling or travelling, think about who will be reading your work. If it’s an American audience, go with traveling. If it’s a British audience, use travelling.
When in doubt, remember that consistency is vital. Once you’ve decided on one spelling you’re going to use, stick with it throughout your piece.
The difference between British and American English can be confusing for writers. The best way to ensure that you’re using the correct spelling is to know your audience and be consistent with your spelling choice.