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Separated by a Common Language

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Transcription services and two nations separated by a common language

For a transcription company and the differences between the Queen’s English and American English is a real problem. We receive audio dictation which we are then required to convert into a typed document via our transcription services. However, being British, when typing the document we naturally use proper Queen’s English spelling. When we return the transcribed document to our client they open it in Microsoft Word and see almost every other word underlined in red to indicate a spelling error! Our spelling is perfect, but it does not look good, particularly when the client may be situated outside of the UK and unfamiliar with proper English spelling.

The most annoying part of this story is that when using Microsoft Word the user is presented with the option of selecting “American English” or “International English”. I wonder if it ever occurred to the people at Microsoft that the clue to the provenance of the word “English” is in the word itself which is quite evidently derived from the word “England”! We would suggest that Microsoft ought to change their software options to “Proper Queen’s English” or “Improper American English”.

This problem is not unique to the English language. Proper German spoken in Germany is known as “High German” whereas improper versions are spoken elsewhere, for example in the German speaking parts of Switzerland such as Zurich. German people cringe when they hear the Swiss version of their language in the same way that English people cringe when they hear the American version of their language.

Spoken language is one thing, but when typing a document the purest form of a language should always be used.

Type It Tiger is based in England and employs native English speakers who were educated in England to perform typing services. As such it always uses the Queen’s proper English in the execution of its transcription work.

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