Globalization and Creative Writing: British English

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ESL (English as a Second Language) is very much in the news these days.

Even within English speaking countries there are differences.

As technology brings us closer to the rest of the world, we see more and more examples of regional differences in writing practices.


For example, comparing the U.S. and the U.K.:

We would see periods after Mr. and Mrs. in the U.S. Like this:


Mr. and Mrs. Smith (in the U.S.)

Mr and Mrs Smith (in the U.K.)


Time is written differently also:

9:45  in the U.S. is

9.45 in the U.K.

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Quotation marks

In the British English, the use of quotation marks is more apt to follow logic. In American English, periods and commas go inside quotation marks regardless of logic.



My favorite poem is  Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” (American English)

My favorite poem is Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”. (British English)




Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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