There is a difference between the vocabulary and spelling of British English and American English. And the difference is minimal, but big enough to cause annoyance and even drama. A story about how spelling correction caused a minor argument between my translator and editor, and how spelling played a role in the run-up to the Iraq war.
Writing in one's own language
I start all the articles on this blog in my own language, Dutch. That works better and feels more creative, freer. Many a reader will recognise this, no matter how good and thorough the English. After a first draft, or a few drafts, I develop an article. Then I first edit the own language via LanguageTool and then translate the article.
The translation goes via DeepL. The quality of this is convincing. I copy my text and paste it into the translation application. The translated text goes into a newly created file. I read it carefully and again correct and edit it with the help of LanguageTool, the language assistant.
Until recently, there were quarrels, the editor was picking a fight with the translator. And vice versa. One programme corrected the other, and it made me uncertain whether my articles were published without errors. And then I dug deep and found out that LanguageTool (included in my writing programme Ulysses) takes over the computer's default settings and that DeepL has a setting per translation.
Then I did a poll on Twitter and 80% of my readers think British English is the standard for the world language and not American English. So I cut the knot and conformed to that standard. Now the computer and therefore the editorial staff are set to British English and I use that as the setting for my translations. Now I can concentrate again on the content.
War in Iraq
In the run-up to the Iraq war, a newspaper published secret, American documents showing that the UK was illegally withdrawing from the war. An article appeared in the newspaper, which also reproduced the original document. The article caused a storm of attention, but soon there were reports that it was a hoax. Someone had found out that the secret American document used the British spelling. Later, it turned out that a well-meaning intern had spelt-corrected the document.