January 19, 2019

Spelling Differences are Ruining My Life

Spelling Differences are Ruining My Life

As a child, life was good. Those were the days that bills, taxes, and work sounded like distant adult things and I could spend my life innocently wanting to grow up. English was simple. Spelling tests were just regurgitating from a set of letters in a specific order and I get my marks. Every now and then, I would see a stray word spelt the American way, but it wasn’t a big deal. What’re a few letters here and there? Most of us would still be able to understand the meaning. I mean, yu prbly cn esly undrstd ths.

Having been educated in Singapore, a former British colony, I had the pleasure of studying Singapore English (not to be confused with Singlish), based mostly off the original language. No randomly dropping letters from words, no weird pronunciations. Granted, I had to write more during spelling tests, and I had to spend more time filling in the additional us, is, and ts while scribbling away at the endless onslaught of examination sheets.

Oh, but was I in for a surprise. The real troubles started when I began learning to code. For some strange reason, it is American English that dominates the software development industry. I’ve spent many a night having to fight with my compilers on what the right spelling of colour should be. Spoiler: The compiler always wins.

Assimilate or else

(I am well aware this is technically not a compiler but an interpreter, but you get my point.)

Those precious nights could have been spent doing something better, like writing this completely necessary post.

Up to this point, everything was really only a slight inconvenience. The real problems came recently when it started costing me money. Yes, you read that right, real, hard-earned cash was being taken from my poor bank account.

My story begins with me deciding on a domain name for this blog. It was to be a blog about travel, food and various tech culture. It just happens that at the time, I was pondering pathfinding algorithms. And that’s when it hit me! Travelling Devman! I’m so clever. (Get it? Get it? It’s like Travelling Salesman, but I’m a developer, and I travel and... never mind.) All was great till I went to purchase my domain, and to my horror, I realised that travelling had only one l in the American spelling.

If I were to claim my mark on this world (or the internet anyway), I would need to purchase two whole domains just to cover both spellings!


That is a whole ten additional US bucks a year! Do you know what I could buy with that money? 10 dollar meals from McDonald's. 10 items from Daiso (or a generic dollar shop). 2 Chicken Rices. Alternatively, that money could bring me 1/300th closer to a new gaming laptop.

Language truly is an evil construct that exists only to ruin people’s lives.



Oh no...