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If you are from Great Britain, or other English speaking country (except US), or even most of European countries where you learn british-english

and are working for an American company

would you use, in your communications with them, English or American words, e.g. signalling (en-uk) or signaling (en-us)?

Edit: also saying that, because I have seen texts where both syntaxes coexisted, probably multi-authors, so a global policy should be set in the company

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closed as not constructive by Jasper Loy, tchrist, RegDwigнt Oct 16 '12 at 12:11

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Can be a suitable question on writersSE? – Kris Oct 16 '12 at 7:54
More likely Workplace.SE – user16269 Oct 16 '12 at 8:22
Is this an American company in Europe, or in the US? (I work for an American company in the UK) – Andrew Leach Oct 16 '12 at 8:52
@AndrewLeach the former (the hardest choice) – caub Oct 16 '12 at 9:04

Ask your manager which he/she would prefer for you to use. Explain that you are more comfortable with Commonwealth English. Most likely, it won't matter at all. Your manager may tell you that he/she would prefer for you to use whichever variety of English you are most comfortable with. Or he/she may insist that you learn American spellings and so on. But it's not really a question that anyone on this site can answer.

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Ok but see my short edit, I think there should be a policy, or then it's a mess – caub Oct 16 '12 at 9:02

I was brought up using British English. It got too ingrained in me to make any change easy or convenient. When you type, the spelling is pre-programmed into your typing speed. Thank heavens for spell-check!

After that many years in the country, I frequently still cross the road by looking right first.

My friends and colleagues (and spouse) perk up when I say "car park", "bonnet" because those words are programmed into me. They come out faster than I can think.

Even though the New England Patriots has replaced Man Utd as my favourite football team, I still sincerely believe that Football is round and not carried around on the field like a rugby ball.

I think we should continue with the euphemistic use of the word "toilet", rather than asking for "bathrooms" where we could neither take a shower nor have a bath.

I have a feeling that my bosses are not too comfortable with my intransigent language habits. OTOH, I feel so funny and disingenuous if I do ever try to learn an American form of accentuation when I speak.

So, fellow Americans, thousands apologies, I am trying my best. I am obliging myself to obligate.


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+1 for the video – caub Oct 16 '12 at 10:00

Large companies usually have specific guidelines for this, so you should check the communication policies for your company.

Working for a US company, but in their British office, usually I adhere to the following protocol:

  1. For general email and communication to team members, I will use my native British spelling (colour, realise, etc).

  2. For official communication being sent out a widespread audience of recipients within my region (i.e., EMEA) I will also use British spelling.

  3. For global official communication being sent out to a widespread audience including the US region, I will use the American spellings (color, realize).

You also need to consider date format conventions (e.g., 23/10/2012 vs 10/23/2012) - again, there will almost certainly be policy for this within any global company.

The best bet, though, is to consult your communication team (or, if one doesn't exist, HCM should have published guidelines for most large companies).

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