Consider the following words: colour, flavour, honour, neighbour, rumour, labour, humour.
Those are all British spellings of the words Americans spell color, flavor, honor, neighbor, rumor, labor, humor. Each of them has an extra ‘u’. Whenever an American uses one of these words, or a whole host of others that fit the category, he takes a little less time to write it or type it, and takes up a little less room on the page.
Now, when you take into account all the books that have ever been written, those fractions of a second and spaces on a page start to add up. So, over time, think of how much less time Americans have spent not writing those extra letters, and how much paper has been saved by not having to print them. I’m sure we’ve saved a great many trees by using American spellings of words, and will continue to, since hell will freeze over before you convince the British that their English is wrong.
Besides, we don’t want to overuse the ‘U’ key on our keyboards. And I don’t think Scrabble was designed with the frequency of letters according to British spellings.
Lots of people are making a big deal out of going green lately. Well, I’m all in favor (not favour) of being green. So, here’s one more thing we can do to make a difference: use American spellings of these words.
So the next time someone reminds you that the British invented English and says the Americans have ruined it, you can remind them that American English is greener.