Color and colour can be likened to a product that has different packaging but the same content. Color or colour is one and the same. The difference is just in the spelling.
Color and colour are both use in writings. A look at the history of these two different spellings of the same word would be of interest to color lovers.
The Middle English word “colour” originated from the Anglo-Norman French. The word has many definitions as well as uses. The Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson, which was published in 1755, is the source of many of today’s current British spellings. Between the publication of the book and Noah Webster’s “An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828, the American English was simplified in terms of spelling.
Webster played a big role in changing the spelling of the American language. His strong nationalism and philosophies influenced the spelling changes. Some of the spellings viewed as correct then are considered as variants today.
The unstressed “our” in colour has been simplified into color. Same as with other words such as favour, savour and flavour. British words ending in “re” such as metre, litre, centre and manoeuvre became meter, liter, center and maneuver. Words ending in “ce” such as offence, pretence and defence became offense, pretense and defense.
In 1878, a list of revised spellings was prepared by some American philologists. The Philological Society of England followed suit after two years. It was in 1883 that both philological societies issued a joint manifesto that recommended various general simplifications.
The American Philological Association released a list of recommended spelling revisions which affected almost 3,500 words. Almost all the changes proposed were recommended by Webster 80 years ago.
Though there is nothing different in meanings, the change in spelling affects the way that the word is research on the Internet. Popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL do not consider color and colour to be the same word. A search for the American spelling would not bring you to sites using the word with the British spelling. Therefore, a search for the British spelling of the word would not give you sites with the word in American spelling.
The difference in spelling affected one color word-grey or gray. Grey is the official British spelling while the American spelling is gray. But however it is said or spelled, the word will always mean the same thing for color lovers.