Cultural differences


I am Australian.  I’ve noticed in a few reviews, readers have thought I’m from England or Europe but nope, definitely Aussie.

When I write, I use Australian English so maybe it seems a bit strange to US readers.  We spell like the British but, when it comes to work usage, usually either US or British is fine.  We’ll say either “flat” or “apartment”, “bonnet” or “hood” (I don’t even know which of those is British and which is US).

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Some Australian writers try to Americanise their writing but I figure my readers are smart.  If say “colour” instead of “color”, they aren’t going to throw their hands in the air and be all like “I don’t know what this word means… arrrgghh!”

The last two books I’ve read, strangely enough, were by non-US writers trying to sound American.  They set their stories in the States and used US spelling and grammar but somehow it sounded a bit off and I could tell they were not American.  If I can tell that, just by strange word choices or details that don’t ring true, I imagine it must be even stranger for readers in the US.

One thing that is hard for me, because we are surrounded by so much US culture especially on TV, is knowing when I’m using slang or phrases that are widely know and when it’s something that is totally unknown outside Australia.  I hope if something is unfamiliar, it’s understandable from the context.  If not, please let me know.  I’d be more than happy to explain 🙂

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