For several years I worked as a customer service representative to pay for my studies, that was when I realized that I was thought a British spelling at my high school, then I blend it with the American spelling. I didn't knew there was a difference bigger than the difference between both cultures, accents and how they refer to daily objects like flat-apartment and trousers-pants, but it was. I realize this when I was submitting a cancellation for an order and the browser kept telling me "Order canceled!" it made my eyes hurt (don't get me wrong, my eyes also hurt when I see "apologise" and "familiarise"), I was used to "cancelled" instead of "canceled". I freaked out for a second and googled it to see if I was wrong and then I realized that both were correct, the difference is the country they are used in. As I investigated further about this I discovered that there was a spelling reform in the United States held by Noah Webster after the independence of the US from the British (author of "A compendious Dictionary of the English Language"). The whole point was to make English easier to learn and to help the spelling match the pronunciation of the words, but more importantly, it would distinguish the American English from the British English.
Some of the spellings he proposed were adopted but other were not, in his changes he omitted silent letters like:
- Giv - give. (not adopted)
- Ar - are. (not adopted)
- Ov - of (not adopted)
- Color - colour. (adopted)
- Honor - honour. (adopted)
I also found some words proposed by important US characters that were not adopted:
- Benjamin Franklin - "Alfabet" instead of "Alphabet". (He even suggested replacing the letters c, j, q, w, x and y with two new vowels and four new consonants)
- Theodore Roosevelt - "Kist" instead of "Kissed".
Here is a page that explains very well some of the changes:
Do you imagine written English, well.... American English like that?