Saturday, April 30, 2005

Writing Beyond Cultures

Writing Beyond Cultures
When you read my entries at this blog, you will notice that I sometimes use International English instead of American English. This is because what I have written here may have come from what I have written for another part of the world.

As a writer, I frequently have to customize my writings to fit the preference of my readers and their modes of reading. Juggling the two English language is no easy task. Where I live, people use International or British English. Where I study via distance education, I use International English too. Where I work, however, I use American English and when I write articles on-line at web sites such as, I use American English too. The type of English I use depends on my target audience.

When I want to emphasise something in an article, I often write to emphasize the word, and while I write on the subject of favouritism at, I have to clearly write favoritism, not favouritism. In the web where readers and writers of different cultures meet, there are readers who sometimes comment and correct writers in the way they write. In a case I know, I saw a reader cautioning the writer to be careful to write 'favoritism' without a 'u', although in truth there is nothing wrong with it, because the writer is writing from another part of the world that uses International English.

A thing to learn about international writing is therefore about our readers and about gatekeeping by the editors. The style we write in one country may be unsuitable for another, and even though the language used is all-English, the way we write is crucial if we want to pen our writings for international read. To be an international writer, we have to learn the ropes of international practices and customs. We must learn the style to adapt, so that our audience will read what we write. It is important to know that not all things about writing are about the language. Writers must be able to adapt to styles and variants in language to target an international reach.

1 comment:

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