Which spelling standard in English? 'Oxford spelling'

  

  

The English language, spoken around the world by many millions, has without a doubt become the main language of international communication in all fields, including the world of universities, as it is used as the teaching language in a growing number of subjects and programmes and as the main language for scientific production and dissemination. At UPF in particular, English has also been considered a 'working language' since 2007, and it is used both for teaching purposes and for promoting the University internationally and, to a lesser extent, in the administrative sphere.

In order to ensure insofar as possible that texts written at or commissioned by the University in English are uniform, of the necessary quality and appropriateness, the Language Office offers an orthographic model and tools -basically the Catalan-English bilingual university glossary and the Catalan-Spanish-English UPF nomenclature- which  are designed to help the university community to produce texts in English that meet the needs of communication and are homogeneous and uniform from the point of view of the nomenclature and designations they contain.   

'Oxford spelling', or the most international English

The English language, which is spoken either as a first or a second language in many countries throughout the world, basically has three main orthographic standards: the British, the American and 'Oxford spelling', which is similar to the British standard but with a few nuances and can be considered the most international English (world English, according to the Oxford English Dictionary) and also, to a certain extent, the most neutral in that it does not coincide fully with the official standard used by any English-speaking government.

'Oxford spelling' is used by the principal and most prestigious English dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary, the Collins English Dictionary and the Cambridge dictionaries, as well as by prestigious publishers and publications and a host of international organizations, such as Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Penguin, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Nature, the United Nations and all of the bodies that report to it (such as the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, UNICEF and UNESCO), the World Trade Organization, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Interpol, the International Committee of the Red Cross, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Amnesty International, the World Economic Forum and NATO, among others.

The main difference between British and Oxford spelling is that the latter uses -ize (and -ization) instead of -ise (and -isation) (organize and organization instead of organise and organisation, for instance). This use of z instead of s does not apply, however, to words ending in -yse, such as analyse, which are written with an s in both standards (but not in the American standard, in which it is written analyze). Broadly speaking, it can be said that in all other cases, the Oxford spelling standard follows the British spelling standard in that it uses centre and not center, enrol/enrolment rather than enroll/enrollment, programme not program, colour instead of color... In general, the Oxford standard, and indeed the British standard in general, unlike the American model, always choose the closest spelling to the root of the word or its etymology, whether with such words as organize and analyse or with words like yogurt instead of yoghurt, archaeology rather than archeology and paedriatics instead of pedriatics, among many others.

Using the Oxford spelling standard is quite straightforward: all you need to do is choose the first or main dictionary entry contained in the majority of English language dictionaries, including the most prestigious, such as the Oxford, the Collins and the Cambridge dictionaries, and also most bilingual dictionaries, such as the ones published by Enciclopèdia Catalana. In addition, when writing texts in English or going over them using the spell check, you must select British English in the Word programme -Review > Spelling and Grammar > Set language > English (United Kingdom)-, which accepts both the -ise and -isation endings, that belong to the strictly British standard, and -ize and -ization endings, that belong to the Oxford spelling standard. If you run the text through Google automatic translator, however, bear in mind that you will be offered American solutions, logically, and that you will therefore have to take care to change center, color, catalog, enrollment, fulfillment and program for their corresponding British forms: centre, colour, catalogue, enrolment, fulfilment and programme (the Word spell check will underline all of these words if you have set the review language as British English).

Main spelling differences between British English and American English
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