I have noticed that many terms in software come from American English, as the US was responsible for much software engineering terminology. I want to know how Britishers use these terms in these specific contexts.

  1. How do Brits say "refactoring code" (which means to decompose code into more easily workable parts)? Do they say "refactorizing"? Americans use factor as a verb; Britishers don't.
  2. Do Brits say "Database indices" instead of "Database indexes"?
  3. Is this correct British English: "We attended the entertainment programme after we corrected issues with our software program ?"
  • Can you explain that comment about Brits not using factor as a verb? Speaking as a Brit, I think it's plain wrong, so I'm curious to see on what basis you make that claim. Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 7:49
  • I don't know for 100% sure, but as far as my experience goes "factorize" is British and never used in US; similarly "factor" is American.
    – PKG
    Commented Mar 27, 2011 at 17:48

2 Answers 2

  1. Britons say refactoring code rather than refactorising code and certainly not refactorizing code, to the extent they say such a phrase at all.

  2. Both are used.

  3. "The entertainment programme" is slightly unusual as a phrase in this context; the issue is not with program(me). The following is certainly correct: "I have written a computer program to suggest a schedule of television programmes to record".


1, factor is a verb as a specific maths term in BE. BE tends to avoid "izing" endings - like AE burglarize.

2, Indices is correct if you are writing a textbooks, but indexes is used.

3, Program = software, Programme = TV. No good reason, it's just one of those things

  • "Indexes" are used for databases specifically, hence the question - I know the general usage. "Program" came from the US during the start of the computer era, whereas "-mme" was already well established.
    – PKG
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 0:33

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