At this wiki, we've taken a community stand to use British English in our main article space, and we therefore have a strict policy to support that consensus. However, a lot of our editors are American, which means that they won't think they're making mistakes at all. The help file, How can I get my computer to spell check in British English?, gives tips on how you can make it easier to spot the mistakes you probably don't even know you're making.
Most people understand the -our differences. The bot almost never finds anyone misspelling colour, neighbour, favour or humour.
However, there are some words that are so commonly misspelt they deserve to be highlighted in the following spelling cheat card. These, then, are the words our spelling bot constantly corrects, in rough order of number of occurrences.
|Correct (UK)||Incorrect (US)|
dematerialise, rematerialise, materialisation
Oddly, you will find one or two primary sources, mainly TV Comic stories, where the letterer chooses to use the -ize form. Nevertheless, this is clearly not preferred British usage.
realisation, realising, realised
colonises, colonised, colonising
This is a bit controversial, because traveler is an acceptable alternate British spelling. However, traveller is by far the dominant British spelling, so the bot will correct for it.
centring, centred, self-centred
labelling but the base label has only one l
appals (but appalling and appalled are correct)
mobilising, mobilised, immobilised, immobilising
This one is "overcompensation" — humour, humoured, humouring are all correct, but the US and UK agree on how to spell humorous
organisation, organising, organised
|canceled, canceling, cancelation (though, actually, cancellation is correct on both sides of the Atlantic)|
This is a tricky one. Instalment derives from the UK-only way of spelling install, instal. The British tend to use install as the base for most other forms of the word, just like Americans do. So installing, installed etc. are seen as correct by at least some Britons. But instalment is, for whatever reasons, firmly seen as the absolutely correct British spelling.
fulfils (but fulfilling and fulfilled are correct)