The old cliché states that the UK and the US are two countries divided by a common language. And that common language is still evolving, every day, bringing us closer together or pushing us further apart. But really, as long as the meaning of my words isn’t changed, does it matter if I spell it ‘grey’ or ‘gray’?
I’m happy to conform to the house style and have my spelling Americanized. I have no problem with my characters moving toward things instead of towards. Hell, they can do math instead of maths if they have to. It doesn’t change my story.
But the one that’s really baffling me is the little note from my editor that says ‘you could omit this’ next to the word ‘of.’ Do people really say ‘couple years’ instead of ‘couple of years’? Really?
It only comes up a couple of times (See? There? Could you really cut the ‘of’ and still make sense?) and I don’t imagine it’s a major issue at all. My feeling is, where it occurs in dialogue, my characters would say the ‘of.’ Because they’re British and we do. So I’ll keep it there. Elsewhere… I’m open to debate.
Edits. Baffling in ways I never expected. And probably I should be working on the parts that matter – like beefing up a skinny subplot – rather than obsessing about missing words.
But really. Not saying ‘of’? It’s weird, guys. Sorry.Photo Credit: TheDreamSky