Some of the writing I do for Big Client #1 goes to American readers as well as Canadian. All along, the articles have gone on separate pages, so we stuck to American spelling with things written specifically for the U.S. page and Canadian spelling for the Canucks. Now the pages are going to be combined, so we’re discussing how to deal with the pesky extra “u” and the other ways in which the spelling differs.

Our plan is to follow the principles of inclusive language and look for the alternate word that does not shout out to one reader or the other, “I’m spelled wrong!” For instance, inclusive language related to gender suggests firefighter” instead of fireman, and humans instead of mankind.

It remains to be seen how successful this will be, because this has the potential to be more wordy (people next door vs. neighbo(u)rs). Also, the choices aren’t as obvious. I mean, what are you going to say instead of colour? Hue or tint might do in a pinch, I suppose.

Anyway, I’m keeping my eyes peeled for examples. If you think of anything, let me know! I’m starting a list.