On Air Now
In Conversation With Steve Allen 9pm - 10pm
10 December 2019, 12:30
When, and why, did people in America start using different spellings? The truth behind 'mum' becoming 'mom'.
Mystery Hour Question
When did Americans make a conscious decision to speak and spell in American, as opposed to English?
Name: Heather, Whitstable
Qualification: I’m an ex-teacher, copywriter and content specialist
Answer: Before 1828, there were lots of different spellings for different words. In 1828 an American called Noah Webster wrote a dictionary, picking out his favourite spellings. These preferred spellings became widely used as printing was becoming more popular. But the British decided they wanted to stick with their spellings.