User:OrenBochman/Varieties of English
The English Wikipedia does not prefer any major national variety of the language, and editors should recognize the differences between them as superficial. Cultural clashes over spelling and grammar are avoided by using the following four guidelines.
Strong national ties to a topic
- Basic principle. An article on a topic that has strong ties to a particular English-speaking nation uses the English of that nation. For example:
- The Lord of the Rings (British English)
- American Civil War (American English)
- Institutions of the EU (British or Irish English)
- Vancouver (Canadian English)
- AC/DC (Australian English)
- Cook Strait (New Zealand English)
- Nelson Mandela (South African English)
- Subject's variety. In a biographical article, it may be best to use the subject's variety of English.
- Ownership. Do not use this guideline to claim national ownership of an article.
Where there are no strong national ties to the topic and an article has evolved using predominantly one variety, it should conform to that variety. In the early stages of writing an article, the variety preferred by the first major contributor to the article should be used. Where an article that is not a stub shows no signs of which variety it is written in, the first person to make an edit that disambiguates the variety is equivalent to "the first major contributor".
Each article should consistently use the same conventions of spelling, grammar and punctuation. There are three exceptions:
- Quotations. Retain the original variety, although the precise styling of punctuation marks such as dashes, ellipses, apostrophes, and quotation marks should be made consistent with the surrounding article.
- Proper names. Use the original spelling (United States Department of Defense, Australian Defence Force).
- Meta-comparisons. Explicit comparisons of varieties of English.
Opportunities for commonality
- Common across the language. Try to find words that are common to all varieties of English, especially in article names: fixed-wing aircraft is preferred to the national varieties aeroplane (BrEng) and airplane (AmEng). Avoid ambiguity (alternative or other route, not alternate, which may mean alternating in some varieties.
- Redirects. If one variant spelling appears in an article name, redirect pages are made to accommodate the other variants, as with Artefact and Artifact, so that all variants can be used in searches and in linking.
- Gloss uncommon items. Terms that are uncommon in some varieties of English, or that have divergent meanings, may be explained to prevent confusion.
- Other resources. Articles such as English plural and American and British English differences provide information on the differences between the major varieties.
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