Where there's a difference, we prefer American English spelling to Commonwealth English spelling. This isn't because American English is somehow "better" or because we want to stomp on the rights, heritage, and cultures of other English-speaking countries. We need to pick one spelling style for consistency, and the founders of Wikitravel are Americans, so they just started writing American-style first. Below are reference guides for proper spelling:
- Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Wiley Hoboken, N.J.
- Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Springfield, Mass.
- National Geographic Atlas of the World, National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C., www.nationalgeographic.com/index.html
- CIA World Factbook, www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/
If you are from a Commonwealth country and use "harbour" or "aluminium" or whatever, that's fine. We want your contributions and your work, so don't worry so much about spelling. But other contributors may come through and switch those over to American English, just for consistency.
Sometimes proper names have words in them that are spelled differently in American and Commonwealth English, or just misspelled altogether. These words should not be changed -- the proper name should not be mangled to conform to Wikitravel's spelling rules.
However, referring to the proper named thing in the generic should be mangled. Examples may be clearer:
- Molson Centre is the center of hockey in Montreal.
- The harbor in Sydney is called Sydney Harbour.
- The nation's defense depends on the aluminum extracted from The National Defence Aluminium Centre.
- Joaquin Miller's home, "The Hights", rests on the heights of the Oakland hills.
See also: List of common misspellings