back to article Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

Welcome to the sixth instalment of "Who, me?", The Register's confessional for IT pros who managed to break stuff before it became the kind of user-generated mess story we run in On-Call. This week, meet "Don" who told us that "Back in very late 2012 I spent almost two hours debugging a front-end error on an app." That's well …

" 'You don't spell background-color with a U,' and walked away."

How else do you spell colour?

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Anonymous Coward

It's the bastardisation of the Queens English by the former colonies in the Americas. I did consider at one point they removed the letter U because they were just lazy but then the do call a lift an elevator.

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I prefer to think of it as a separate word used on the web. Same as 'center'. It makes me feel a little less dirty when I see/write it.

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Joke

I make sure that use the British spelling wherever possible; I never tyre of it

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Coat

Windows 8.0 Metro?

Surely TIFKAM? (that also seems to not have a "U").

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"How else do you spell colour?"

And how else do you spell background?

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The removal of U from colour and other words was partly an attempt to distance American English from English English, but also an attempt to remove some French influences from the language.

Program used to be the English spelling, but Victorian show promotors wanted to infer a touch of French flair by advertising a programme of events on their posters. These days i refer to television programmes and computer programs.

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The English language is open source, there are many forks and distributions.

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Headmaster

Program, program, I'll say potato

Reminds me of the time many years ago when my wife, secretary in / to an electronics lab in the UK, typed a document for our resident Septic engineer:

Paraphrased from memory:

"Say, you've typed program(me) as both program and programme in this document..."

<< Q short lesson in English like wot she is spoken and writ >>

Grins all round when the story got out.

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I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

...until I came across "burglarized".

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" was partly an attempt to distance American English from English English"

from English. It's the original and needs no qualification.

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

"...until I came across "burglarized"."

Is that Ignoramous for burgled?

Also I have come across bit when they mean bitten and broke when they mean broken. Broke as a adjective ONLY means out of money. Check your nearest English dictionary.

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

"Gifted" is the one that currently annoys me. It even takes slightly longer to say than "gave" or "given".

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"...until I came across "burglarized"."

That should be replaced with "TWOCed"

It's not just for cars anymore.

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Headmaster

Her Maj's English

A week or so ago I came across a West-Pondian TV programme that referred to Her Britannic Majesty as having been "coronated". It took a while for the penny to drop and then I realised they really meant 'crowned'.

The site where I looked up this travesty also had a pop-up window with the delightfully ironic title, "Words you've been using wrong".

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DJV
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"How else do you spell colour?"

I was informed by a Computer Graphics lecturer years ago that it takes more key presses to type COLOR than COLOUR with the following example:

C-O-L-O-U-R-backspace-backspace-R

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Joke

Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

@Korev It doesn't sound quite right if you say your kids are gave or given.

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How else do you spell colour?

Well, if you suffer from the particular form of stupidity I experienced some few years ago (say, 1991), you make extra pain for yourself.

I was working with Borland's Turbo C and its text-mode character attribute management system.

Its interface used American spellings, and I was working in the UK, so I had a tendency to use British spellings. Normally that didn't pose much of a problem, until the fateful day I started writing variations of this fine C statement:

 setbgcolor(somestructure.bgcolour);

I had headaches for weeks afterwards.

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Obviously, you're bias.

It's bad, and getting worse. And the rate is accelerating. It's all so very sad.

p.s. Ahem: "Queen's".

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Ahem: "Biased"

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Boro

There was also a drive to simplify (1800s, and can't remember the chap) so that Yanks have ~boro instead of ~borough etc.

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

Yes, gifted' is a smarmy circumlocation to make giving something sound more, I don't know, formal and important, not just giving, but somehow conferring, a signifier of extra greatness, emotion, charity, generosity, whatever.

Unless, of course, it is 're-gifted'.

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And as the joke goes, they all suck :)

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p.s. Ahem: "Queen's".

"Queens English" - the language spoken in one of the boroughs of New York City.

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Re: Boro

Noah Webster, of dictionary fame.

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

And yet,"bougthen," ishityounot. Grr...

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Re: Program, program, I'll say potato

I think program for 'things wot run on computers' is more or less agreed on, though I do remember university exams saying 'linear programme'.

But what about dialog or dialogue? My view is that like program for things wot run on computers vs programme for things wot you watch it should be dialog as in 'having a dialogue about dialogs'.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

""Gifted" is the one that currently annoys me."

Some of the roots of English come from Scandinavian languages. I often wonder if there is a connection between the modern English "gift" - and the Swedish word "gift"*** which is "marry".

Traditionally in England a bride was her father's possession that was "given" to the groom.

***it also translates as "poison".

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Reminds me of the one time I installed an OS for an english-speaking customer. Asked him what language he wanted, British English or American English. He lowered his head to look at me over the rim of his glasses, then after a short pause he replied: "Proper English!"

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Thumb Up

Candles?

@werdsmith

there are many forks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO6EE1xTXmw

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

"Gifted" and "given" both have the same number of syllables--so, I don't get where it takes any longer to say. I'd also like to point out that the word "give" is used in a more broad sense, to mean the transfer of something, which may or may not involve receiving something in return--but the word "gifted" often carries further implications.

Gift:

something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

So, it's all about context--in the case of a purchase, you wouldn't say that you were gifted something after handing the cashier money, because it was part of a transaction. You gave them money, and they gave you what you agreed to purchase. However, if they declined your payment, they could have gifted you with the item you desired to purchase--because it was given without expectation.

While there may be a "U" in the UK and EU, there's no "U" in Bexit--so, maybe some of those goofy French spellings will get dropped in the process?

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Devil

perhaps he needed a "non-US-english.h" with a bunch of #define aliases in it

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Joke

backgrond-colour <-- fixed

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Devil

Re: Boro

as a kid, for the longest time, I was confused by the spelling of 'bough' - always thought it was pronounced 'bow' like 'bow and arrow', and not 'bow' as in 'bow to show respect'. And in my mind it was never connected to the spelling for 'tree bough'. It may be the worst example of arcane non-phonetic spelling causing confusion. [but in middle english it probably rhymed with 'cough'].

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Devil

"'Queens English' - the language spoken in one of the boroughs of New York City."

And the current U.S. President! Heh.

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

> Also I have come across bit when they mean bitten and broke when they mean broken.

Consider the well known British phrase: "the biter bit".

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Headmaster

Proper English!

So that would be British English then :)

I once managed to piss off a septic by pointing out that he spoke american and not english. This was after an argument on the correct spelling of tyre .vs tire

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

"Bird" * is a Scandinavian word.

* As in "Dave, have you met me new bird, Sheila?

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Anonymous Coward

I thought they called a lift a 'ride', as in "Do you want a lift to the pub?" becomes "Do you want a ride to the dive bar?"

But in certain dialects of these islands a 'ride' is something completely different.

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

and strangulation

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Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

Or momentarily

Is it - "The train will stop momentarily" as in it will briefly stop, or that it will stop very soon?

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#define bgcolor bgcolour

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Re: Boro

Or Lough

Which should be pronounced 'lock' and not 'looft'

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"The removal of U from colour and other words was partly an attempt to distance American English from English English, but also an attempt to remove some French influences from the language.

"Program used to be the English spelling, but Victorian show promotors wanted to infer a touch of French flair by advertising a programme of events on their posters. These days i refer to television programmes and computer programs."

So what you are describing is a pogrom against the French.

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Trollface

Re: Proper English!

The Americans do like to verbalise nouns. . . . . . .Oh!

Lets hope this discussion brings some form of normalcy/normality to the language

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Re: Boro

No! Pronounced "loch" as in Loch Lomand or Lough Neagh

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I did consider at one point they removed the letter U because they were just lazy

No - they made a conscious decision to simplfy English to enable all the non English-speaking immigrants (Germans and Dutch for the most part at that point) to learn the language more easily.

Which is kind of laudable in its own way.

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but also an attempt to remove some French influences from the language

Which is ironic when you consider that, without the French, they probably wouldn't have won the rebellion..

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the language spoken in one of the boroughs of New York City

The one that only has tangential reference to any variety of English, living or dead?

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Re: Boro

It may be the worst example of arcane non-phonetic spelling causing confusion

The trouble with English is that it's a complete packrat of a language - it has vocabulary and grammar from quite a few other languages grafted onto the fairly simple Germanic roots until the end result is more like a hazel thicket than a mighty oak tree..

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