Who’s in charge of the spelling....

By: Auditor Training Online | Posted 23 May 2016

Who’s in charge of the spelling at Auditor Training Online?

We often receive questions or feedback from our Students about the spelling and grammar used in our online auditing courses. 

Our courses have been written in what we at Auditor Training Online call ‘the language of ISO’ which tends to be a mix of US and UK spelling and grammar. And this can get a bit puzzling for people reading it. Thankfully for us and for you, ISO, the International Organization for Standardization have produced a document that explains this logic far better than we can.

‘colour’ is to be used and not ‘color’

The ISO Central Secretariat Guidance to the Preparation of Standards Documents includes a section on Style Differences in American and International Grammar.  This guide states that International (and following that, British) spelling and grammar shall be used.   It also states that when spell checking any ISO Standards they use the British English MS Word dictionary and overrides certain corrections, such as words ending in ‘-ize’ and ‘-ization’, where the letter ‘z’ is kept even though the spell checker wants to change it to an ‘s’.  The use of the main NSOED (New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary) spellings is a requirement, even though the variants may be included. 

For example, the guidance states that the spelling ‘colour’ is to be used and not ‘color’.  The only time a variant spelling can be used is if it is applicable to a specific field of application.

So, the ISO Guidance helps us to understand why there are language differences and what may appear as conflicting spelling throughout the ISO Standards. 

A few of the main examples we come across in ISO Standards are: organization, programme, minimize, and realize.

In summary, if our organization/organisation recognizes/recognises the difference in the programme/program we will realize/realise that there is always an explanation and guidance to these differences!

If you would like further information regarding the ISO language standards, you can download a copy of the ISO Language Standards here.