10 October 2008

Color vs. Colour vs. Windshield vs. Windscreen in Australia, Canada, India, UK and US

Today I faced off two words variants and then looked at their trends in the major English-speaking countries. First, we looked at color and colour, resp. the US and UK variants.

Worldwide, color was more Google-popular than colour. Color saw a decline but colour didn't. Then we investigated color in Australia, Canada, India, the UK and the US.

Color was popular in the US and on a lower level, a declining one at that, in Canada and India. At the bottom, the UK and the US are slowly declining too. Next, the graph for colour in the five countries:

Colour was actually most Google-popular in Australia, closely followed by the UK. India and Canada followed a tad behind. The UK may use some color even while colour is dominant, not so the US where colour really is an alien spelling.

The second word couple is windshield and windscreen:

Worldwide, windshield dominated. Let's look at windshield separately in the selected five countries:

The US was in the lead, followed at some distance by Canada. The UK, India and Australia barely knew the word. Finally, what about windscreen?

The UK and Australia are "crazy" about windshield, not so the other three countries. In conclusion, it is interesting that Canada leaned more toward the US than toward the UK in this admittedly limited test and this was more pronounced for the vocabulary variants than for the spelling variants. Australia leaned mostly toward the UK while India wasn't clearly closer to one English pole than the other.


  1. That's very interesting, Francis. Do you think it's because Canada shares a border with the USA that they lean more toward the US than toward the UK?

  2. Yes indeed, that would be my guess: it's not just the long border but also the close economic relationship, the fact that many Canadians work in the US, etc.

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  4. Or as the old Flemish saying goes: "You sleep with a dog, you get his fleas!" :-)