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 Alternate Spellings
 Posted: Apr 28 2016, 09:53 AM



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This is a question for synees with any kind of grapheme-syn. Mine is specifically for grapheme-color, but if you have another type (grapheme-taste, for example), feel free to share your comments, too.

I speak and type in American English, and that necessarily means certain words are spelled differently than British English. Some notable examples are:

American English | British English

Color | Colour
Gray | Grey
Honor | Honour
Neighbor | Neighbour
Theater | Theatre

My grapheme-syn tends towards darker or duller colors, but I have some lovely vowels. E is yellow, for example, and U is my favorite with its golden orange.

So I find that "colour" and "honour" are pretty in terms of colors, but I don't write them that way. It feels wrong and unbalanced, even if "colour has that nice golden orange to mix with the reds, browns, whites, and greens. (The "u" in "honour" doesn't look as good as it does in "colour", so I'm fine doing without it.)

In a similar way, I find "theater" to be more balanced than "theatre", where the "atr" looks quite cramped. Same for "center" and "centre". Additionally, I always want to pronounce them as "thea-truh" and "cen-truh", similar to French.

The spelling I ALWAYS change now, though, is "gray" to "grey". I can't stand seeing it with the "a", which, in this context, is a slightly dull baby pink. It's right beside some other dull colors, all darker, and it just looks mucky and feels like a bad rainy day. "Grey", on the other hand", has that refreshing burst of yellow (more pastel than electric), and if it reminds me of a rainy day, then it's more of mid-day, sun's-out summer shower.

Blonde is also a spelling I use frequently. From French, it's the feminine form for blond, and many people stick with this distinction, using blond for men with fair hair and blonde for women with fair hair. However, most Americans and Canadians, I believe, use "blond" as a general term and may not make the gender distinction. I, on the other hand, prefer to use "blonde" no matter the gender. The "e" at the end is the only yellow in the word, otherwise it's dark blue-black, white, and various dusty red/brown/orange shades.

Does anyone else purposely alter spellings like this? I'm not talking about creating some entirely new spelling, of course, or using words incorrectly (example: Using "pear" for "pair" no matter what simply because "pear" looks prettier.) Do you switch word spellings out where it's acceptable?

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