I just started reading "The Bourne Supremacy" and I see that in some places Robert Ludlum spells things the British way, and in others the American way. For example, on one page you'd see "favorite" and on another one you'd see "favourite". Or, he spells "color" like "colour", even though he's American. There are also much more things that I won't include here.

Is that a common thing in books written by American authors? Or does this style of writing seem weird?

  • 2
    Authors aren't usually responsible for the spelling in their books, that's the business of publishers and editors. Was it a British edition? Sounds like the editors who changed the spelling from American to British were a little slipshod. And it's not just American authors who can't spell. Shakespeare, a British author, was a famously inconsistent speller, but that was before consistency in spelling became fashionable.
    – user14111
    Mar 5 '19 at 1:16
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    @user14111: some of Shakespeare's spelling inconsistencies told you how to pronounce a word. When he used murdrous, it was supposed to be pronounced with two syllables, while murtherous was supposed to be pronounced with three syllables. (But many of his spelling inconsistencies were just inconsistencies.)
    – Peter Shor
    Mar 5 '19 at 2:54
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    If you look at the pages in the front of the book you are likely to find some indication of where, when, and by whom it was published and printed. There are no strict rules about what to change for British or American readers, those are editorial decisions. They might well change cookies to biscuits etc. When Harry Potter was translated from British to American, they changed philosopher to sorcerer, although Americans don't really call philosophers sorcerers.
    – user14111
    Mar 5 '19 at 6:33
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    Is there any distinction between where in the text US and UK spellings are used? I could just about imagine a rationale for speech being in US spelling and narrative in UK spelling.
    – Spagirl
    Mar 5 '19 at 15:54
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    This version which appears to be the Hachette UK edition, returns no results for 'favorite' and only shows returns spelled 'colour' if you search for 'color' (though it returns fewer 'colour's when you search for 'color' than it does when you search for 'colour', so there is obviously something screwy going on. Can you check some of your numerous examples against that edition and see if it is the same as yours?.
    – Spagirl
    Mar 6 '19 at 17:20

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