[OT] spelling colour / color was Re: Toggle

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info
Fri Oct 10 09:11:06 CEST 2014

Terry Reedy wrote:

> On 10/9/2014 1:43 PM, mm0fmf wrote:
>> On 09/10/2014 02:29, Steven D'Aprano wrote:
>>> Apart from the horrible spelling of colour :-)
>> I've always spelt colour as "color" when programming and as "colour"
>> when writing language including documentation about software.
> Like it or not, Python uses American English.
> Perhaps ironically, there are 52 uses of 'colour' in the stdlib, all but
> 4 in idlelib, and most of those in one file.  I just changed all except
> in the one file.

Well of course Python uses "color" *now*, you've just changed them all.

Which I think is bad practice Terry. That's needless code churn. I don't
think we should be churning code just to give preference to a minority
variant of spelling. "Colour" is preferred in the UK, Australia, New
Zealand, Canada, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Ireland, South Africa, and many others. "Color" is preferred only in the

Whether you count by number of countries, or by total population of
English speakers, users of American spelling make up a minority (less than
30% of English speakers world-wide, and much less by country count). I
don't mind Americans using their own spelling in code they write, but I do
mind when they churn the standard library to push their preference over
that of the original author. I would never go through a code base doing a
mass "correction" of American spelling to English, and I don't think you
should do the opposite.

I believe that documentation, in particular, should be written in a form
which is going to be most acceptable to readers world-wide, not just a small
minority. Python is an international product, not American.


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