At risk of discussing the Colour of the Bikeshed, should Japan SE should use American English rather than Commonwealth English (such as ) for its tags?

  1. Stack Exchange generally uses American English rather than Commonwealth English.
  2. People from Japan use American English rather than Commonwealth English.
  • 1
    The post pointed by your second link does not say Stack Exchange uses AmE. Did you mean to link to this post? Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 12:13
  • @Tsuyoshi Ito: Yes.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 5:15
  • Then why don’t you correct your link? Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 12:10
  • @Tsuyohi: I was on an iPhone at the time, and I'm still a bit n00bish at it.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Aug 21, 2011 at 4:41

3 Answers 3


Usability issues can appropriately be solved using tag synonyms...

As for re-tagging in order to fall in line with the official guidelines... Sure, I guess (more on account of not caring all that much, than on the strength of the OP's arguments)...

(Needless to say, spelling flavour in posts does not move and should never be edited. But I'm sure that was clear already)

  • 1
    Hurrah for synonyms and British English \o/
    – Axioplase
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 9:46

I prefer tags in American English to make them look consistent with other part of user interface of the website, but I do not care much. But either way, the other spelling should be a synonym for the real tag.


I don't find Japanese to use more American English at all. In fact English borrowed into Japanese overwhelmingly takes the not-rhotic pronunciations to Japanese rather than rhotic ones. This means "r" sounds following vowels in English words are generally omitted when they become Japanese words even though it's perfectly possible to preserve them. Although there are non-rhotic American accents such as Boston and rhotic Commonwealth accents such as Scotland there is a strong marker.

I find changing between correct spellings to be disrespectful to the original author. I prefer a policy like on Wikipedia where both spellings are fine and whichever one was used first should stand. Synonyms can take care of the rest.

  • 3
    If I am not mistaken, we learn primarily American spelling and General American pronunciation at school in Japan, including rhotic pronunciation. I do not claim that we should use American spelling on the website because of this, but there is a clear intent to teach American English in Japan. Whether students really acquire American pronunciation or not is a little separate matter. :) Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 12:03
  • 1
    Wikipedia's policies on language spellings also indicate when a topic is primarily related to a certain country, then that country's version of English is used. WP:TIES
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Aug 18, 2011 at 13:21
  • +1 for mentioning boston accent! (/me boston person) Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 3:30
  • Is it even possible to preserve r's when they are the final letter? Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 3:47
  • @Louis: Yes but there would be following vowel just like with words ending in "l". All the words I can think of end with "ル". Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 10:30
  • @Andrew: Exactly. If this were a site for American English or a site for one of the Commonwealth Englishes it would be a no-brainer. But since this site is primarily related to Japan and Japan doesn't have a version of English it's pretty moot unless we want to adopt the kind of English used in the instruction manuals for products made in Japan. Commented Aug 19, 2011 at 10:33
  • @Tsuyoshi Ito: did you mean "Whether teachers really acquired American pronunciation"? I know several English/French teachers in Japan, and I'm still to meet one who is even slightly natural (not even fluent) when talking in his taught language…
    – Axioplase
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 1:09

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