Tips & Resources

The "Briticiser" is quite effective and very quick, and it seems to work well with reasonably large blocks of text - 50-60 pages of text is normally converted in just a few seconds.

Please note that scripts like this are very difficult to make perfect, and I provide no guarantee that your manuscript can be transformed into perfect British English by using this tool, which should always be used with care (the conversion tool, I mean, not British English!)

Known issues:

This tool is still in its infancy and I am constantly refining the set of rules which it uses. These are the known issues and limitations you should know about:

  1. It's not very case-sensitive right now, so all replacements are in lower case.
  2. If you have an existing UK English spelling containing a US English word, then it may correct the US English word "inside of" the correctly spelt UK English word... sometimes (it's just a case of catching these and making a rule up for them - some have been fixed already). An example is the UK English word Aesthetic, which contains the US English variant spelling of "Esthetic". Without applying a rule to watch out for such instances, then the conversion would return Aaesthetic (note the double "Aa" at the start of the word). Of course, I've already fixed this one. Please let me know if you find any more.
  3. Some words, such as "Practice" and "Licence" are trouble-makers. These words can be spelt different ways depending upon the context in which they're used. It would take a lot of processing time to attempt to make a contextual correction, so I've simply highlighted these words for you and provided you with a link to a usage note, to allow you to quickly decide which form you should be using.
A UK English to US English version of this tool is much harder to achieve as a much more complex set of rules is needed, as many of the changes from UK English to US English require knowledge of the context in which a particular word is found. One could also argue that the demand for such a tool would be much lower, as most word processing programs such as Microsoft Word do a very good job of converting your text to US English anyway, and often whether you like it or not. Then there is the fact that most English speakers who are native to the UK (and Australia/New Zealand, to a certain extent) are probably more accustomed to working in US English - mainly due to the aformentioned tendency for Microsoft Word to use US English as the default, and to keep re-setting US English back as the default by making the process of changing this to anything else as difficult as possible for the user.

Probably the best way of using this tool is to simply copy and paste an entire document into the form and click the blue button, then proceed to assess each change made by the tool, and any other suggestions (which will be highlighted in yellow) before making those changes which you're happy with in your actual document.

I hope you find this tool to be useful. I'd welcome your feedback, including comments or suggestions as to how I could improve it. If you'd like to advertise here, then I'm not stopping you from asking me about it! To get in touch please use the contact form.

Paul.

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