Does W3C or any other organisation has standard or protocol to constraint all developers to make sure they must use american english while they develop any sort of interpreter?

To avoid something like,

I was writing code and tried to align image in centre(spelled in british english)


above didn't work!!

There is no spelling mistake, above spelled word meaning is "middle"

when I wrote

align='center' it worked,

Does this mean HTML is written in "American English"?

What if a developer from British background writes a renderer for web browsers such as gecko?


Sorry I am not ranting but, I was wondering if W3C has any standards written somewhere which states that any future code or html tag written for HTML language must be in US-EN.

Does anyone have idea whether W3C have some constraint on this?

  • 2
    It's not the "interpreter", is it? It's the standard itself. When HTML was defined, the standard uses American spellings. Is that what you're asking? Why the standard uses American spellings?
    – S.Lott
    Sep 6, 2011 at 14:48
  • I know, and "colour" is spelled incorrectly as well, but it's something you have to get used to if you speak non-American English and are a programmer (all programming environments that I have seen are standardised on American English). Sep 6, 2011 at 14:54
  • I meant lets say I speak british english, and I started developing something which will help web browser to interpret <html> tags to layout their elements on right place, like Gecko for firefox. Now what if I will use something which has same meaning but different spelling in british english and american english. I hope I have clarified my dilemma. Just wanted to ask, Future british developer who will work on HTML 7 or 8 might add some tags which has british spellings, tht would be pain in the ass to remember which spelling to choose. There should be some constraints or standards by W3C.thanks
    – TeaCupApp
    Sep 6, 2011 at 15:08
  • 1
    If you meant to say something different, then please update the question to actually say what you meant. It's okay to update a question, and it's better than adding a lot of comments. Please clarify the question so we know what you're looking for. Right now, it's confusing and sounds like a rant. Not a question.
    – S.Lott
    Sep 6, 2011 at 15:15
  • Done I tried to clarify about what exactly I am looking for.
    – TeaCupApp
    Sep 6, 2011 at 15:22

2 Answers 2



The working language of the W3C is US English. The official version of a W3C document is the US English language version at the W3C site. The W3C tries to reach as many people and organizations around the world as possible. But translating specifications is a lot of work, and we need your help. We made it easy to help us with translations, and invite you to volunteer to translate some W3C specification and other documents, alone or together with somebody else.

  • 1
    It was the first Google response on "W3C US English".
    – S.Lott
    Sep 6, 2011 at 15:55

What if a developer from British background writes a renderer for web browsers such as gecko?

They will still have to adhere to the W3C standards, and those use US-English exclusively. If said British developer were to implement align="centre", then their product would not be a correct implementation.

Technically speaking, the standards define strings exactly as written, without any leeway for spelling; there is even one famous example of a misspelled word slipping into the HTTP standard (the "Referer" header). Using the correct spelling is actually an error in this context.

W3C does not formulate the use of American spelling and grammar as a constraint, but since US-English is their working language, and also the most commonly used language on the internet and in the programming world, the chance of a future specification containing British English is practically zero.

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