Posted in Of Bloggingly, Of Culturel, Of Funnies, Of Life's Dramedies

Of Humor and Humour

The Office UK (left) and The Office US (right)

I, occasionally, write a funny post. Well, I try to be funny on them. I try to be funny on most days, because I covet humour more than love and less than music. Next to being a great pianist, I would kill to be Irish comedian Dylan Moran, if I could. But, I am the opposite of Moran. While he is adorably awkward and insanely clever, I am awkwardly awkward and embarrassingly not-always-clever. But, that does not stop me from trying.

I never deliberately set out to write a funny post. They just become somewhat funny in places while writing. So, when tagging time comes along, I tag them as “humour”, thinking that I might get the sort of readership I, most ardently, desire. Mind you, I also write “philosophy” posts and I am not even formally qualified for those. Which makes me question what I am doing here, not on Earth but on WordPress, but that is a subject for another post. However, I do not get the readership I want even after the tagging. I finally figured out why, in my last post. It is because I tag them as “humour” and not “humor”.

Now, if I were writing about Renaissance body fluids then, “humour” would be completely justified. But, I am not, and unless there is occasion for a lot of bile, phlegm and blood, I am unlikely to ever write about that. I am Indian and English is one of our official languages. I was raised tri-lingual (which, according to scientists, should make me cleverer but, I suppose, being raised by the TV has ensured I am not). English is what I am most fluent in. Because my early education, in the 90s and early 2000s, predates the IT boom in India as well as online social networking, I am of the last generation of kids who learned English in the British tradition. Thus, “gray” was “grey” to me, I filled “in” forms and not “out”, I started paragraphs leaving a gap of 1 inch etc.. Despite also being exposed to American culture through films, literature and music all my life, I still managed to keep these British traditions running.

Even in the case of Humour, with things like Blackadder. Or Humor, with Whose Line is it Anyway? (the American one with Drew Carey and not the British one with Clive Anderson). Thus, despite the constant exposure to all these traditions (I was also obsessed with Australian reality TV as a kid), I still managed to keep the British influence on Indian English going. Reading Indian English novels coming out in the 21st century makes me realize times have changed. Even if they write “humour” and not “humor”, “grey” and not “gray”, there is still enough Americanism to show that Indian English has most thoroughly changed. Thus, despite spelling “humour” in a book, the book will still be categorized as Humor. I suspect it must be the same in Britain as well.

It’s too late for me to fully Americanize my English usage. I am, also, unlikely to ever work in IT to have to do that. However, henceforth, I shall continue spelling “humour” when I am writing but tag them as “humor”. Or tag them with both “humor” and “humour”, if there might still be people like me who prefer the latter spelling. And it helps, because I want the whole crowd to validate if I have a funny bone in my blogging. This one, probably, won’t qualify though.


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

4 thoughts on “Of Humor and Humour

  1. Don’t go changing…. it will be just as irritating for the English amongst us if you use humor rather than humour (plus my spell check doesn’t like the Americanism)

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