Differences between the different varieties of English can be very confusing. Today we are on our final look at spelling differences between American and British English. You can check the two previous articles Part 1 or Part 2
This one is a bit of a tricky one, as there aren’t really any rules, you just have to learn each word on its own.
For advice/advise and device/devise, both British and American dialects follow the same rule: noun with c, a verb with s.
British English also keeps that spelling on licence/license and practice/practise, but in American English, they are always licensed and practise.
When it comes to defence, offence and pretence, British English uses the -ce version and American English uses defence, offence and pretence.
This difference is quite straight forward. British and American English use -logue and -gogue but American prefers -log and -gog.
Keep in mind that the change doesn’t affect any other words that end in -gue: tongue, argue…
Double consonants are very confusing because some words are doubled only in British English, some only in American English, some in either and some in both.
As a general rule if a word doubles a consonant, the doubling usually happens when an inflection is added to a verb: such as -ed, -ing, -er, -or, -est.