I like color more than colour, but I like favourite more than favorite. For me it is better to write

My favourite color is blue.

Is it wrong to mix British and American spellings in writing, and if so in which contexts shouldn't I?

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    Interestingly enough, I, too, like "color" more than "colour", but "favourite" more than "favorite". :) – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 6 '12 at 20:21
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    I don't think it would be "wrong", but it would look horribly inconsistent. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Feb 6 '12 at 20:23
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    @Camilo: The fact that we're non-native speakers is important. More important is that I have never lived in any English-speaking country, therefore I don't have "my" English, be it American or British. But pronunciation of color/colour and favorite/favourite is the same in AmE and BrE, so I don't understand your point about pronunciation. And I would never spell pronunciation with ou, because it's just wrong :) – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 6 '12 at 20:29
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    @Camilo Martin: French and English never had any problem whatsoever. – nico Feb 6 '12 at 20:57
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    @Jay That's so harsh on them, Napoleon trying to take over Europe is water(loo) under the bridge. – Camilo Martin Feb 6 '12 at 21:02

As far as I know, there are no hard-and-fast rules against mixing American and British spellings, but as you suspected, there are contexts where you shouldn't do so. For example, when writing for an American audience, avoid British spellings; and when writing for a British audience, avoid American spellings; but those cases aside, there should be no problem with mixing of spellings.

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  • Are you implying that if a British person writes for an American audience, they should use American spelling and vice versa? :) – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 6 '12 at 20:43
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    @Armen Tsirunyan: well, it depends. If you are writing for an American newspaper, for instance, the editor will probably ask you to write in AE, even if you are British. – nico Feb 6 '12 at 21:05
  • @nico: Yeah, probably. But don't you think that it's unfair that the stackexchange spellchecker deems the British spelling incorrect? It should be more open-minded IMO :) – Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 6 '12 at 21:06
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    @Armen Tsirunyan: Hmmmm... what is the SE spellchecker? Aren't you just seeing your browser's spellchecker (that you can turn to BE if you wish)? – nico Feb 6 '12 at 21:10
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    @CamiloMartin: Most writers do not have, or do not assume, an international audience. It's not that they intentionally try to write only for a British or American or Canadian audience, but that they write what they know, which is the local variant. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Feb 6 '12 at 21:17

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