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Penalized for using American and British English

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Guest KAPOWW!!

My exposure to most things has been American, you know with television series et al. But because of my nationality I was taught British English, now as a result of the exposure and the upbringing I'm a confused chap when it comes to spellings(MS Word just aggravates this!! ;)-just won't change to British English!). So if I happen to use mainly British spelling but by chance, happen to throw in a few American ones will I lose marks? I assume yes.

Sorry for these presumably silly questions, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. ;)

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I think it depends on your country or your school to be exact. Whoever is marking your papers/ world literature will know what part of the world you are from and thus will judge whether you should be using British or American spelling. But to be honest, I don't think they really care. I think you should just choose one and stick to it. Don't go back and forth! Consistency is what they are after, rather than oh is she American or British?? For instance, I live in Australia so I use the British spelling but for my SAT writing I had to use American spelling. It wasn't that hard!yes.gif

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Consistency is pretty much what IB markers are looking for. As long as you use the same format of spelling, the markers won't even pick up on it :) Just try and stick with one, whichever that happens to be.

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yeah you need to stick with one. from now on check with dictionaries what the British spelling is and what the American spelling is, so you'll get used to one and not mix them up.

quick hint:

S for UK, Z for US as in organise and organize

with U for UK, without U for US as in flavour and flavor

those two are the most common rules I believe!

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1. Just change your MS Office Language Preferences to British English and you should be fine. Guide here.

2. I don't think the IB penalise you for incorrect spelling if it's just a difference between two different dialects of English, but they will penalise you if you make several blatant spelling errors that aren't correct in any form of English. Just use s instead of z and ou instead of o in those few situations where spelling becomes tricky. And remember it's aluminium not aluminum.

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I think you just need to stick to one type of English and be consistent in your writing. The IB examiners won't judge your spelling against your nationality because quite simply put, they won't care. I live in Hong Kong and while it was a former British colony, a lot of my classmates are American/Canadian-born or are influenced by American culture and so use American spellings. I on the other hand use British spellings.

It really doesn't matter as long as you're consistent. They'll determine whether you're using American English or British English from your writing, and as long as you keep using the same spellings throughout, they'll know that you're not confused between American and British English.

And though British English usually prefers using a 's' instead of 'z' for words like 'organise', or 'acclimatise', this practice actually isn't universal in the UK. For example, the Cambridge Press prefers using 's' over 'z', but the Oxford press uses 'z' instead of 's'. The key is simply to be consistent!

If you're confused, Google is your friend :)

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Well, I sometimes replaced the 'realised' with 'realized' and other common mistakes as such. My teacher constantly penalised me for them because she said that it bwcomesx annoying for the examiner if you keep switching from british to american english. You have to stick to one and really do it properly. But she was a bit of a Grammar Nazi so I'm not sure how much her opinion is genuine or extreme. But I would pick British English (since you have been properly educated in it).

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