TCK Identity and Spelling Confusion

spelling differences

It’s that Third Culture Kid identity thing again. If our souls don’t show the confusion we feel, our spelling certainly does.

Is it color or colour? Honor or honour? Favor or Favour? Neighbor or neighbour?

Is it caliber or calibre? Center or centre? Fiber or fibre? Theater or theatre? Tire or Tyre?

The red F on the spelling quiz tells us we are wrong, but how can we be wrong when just a year before we were right?

And the spelling moves on to words and phrases and grammar:

One year it’s “Put your jumper on!” and the next it’s “Put your sweater on!”. In one country we’re going to the football game, across the ocean in the U.S we’re going to the soccer game.

We take the subway on Saturday and, after a transatlantic flight and jet lag, we take the Tube on Monday. We eat chips with a sandwich one day, and crisps the next. We buy our medicine and our shampoo at a pharmacy or drugstore in one country and at a Chemist shop in another.

And that doesn’t even include the boot and the trunk, the barrister and the attorney, the flat and the apartment, the nappy and the diaper.

(Let’s not even go into the words that would offend like rubbers and erasers.)

All of this can range from funny to embarrassing to irritating. But the stories created from these differences are priceless. So as you think about queues and lines, prams and strollers, lifts and elevators, I ask you to embrace your dual identity and tell us your biggest language gaffe, whether it be in English or another language, through the comments.  


broccoli & cheese muffinsToday’s muffins from Stacy are savory and look like they would be delicious with a winter soup. Take a look at Broccoli & Cheese muffins by clicking here or directly on the picture. Stacy is also going to have some amazing holiday recipes this week so you may want to bookmark her blog.