Sometimes I Like to Be a Wee Bit British

English: British versions of the Harry Potter ...

Bloomsbury editions of the Harry Potter series

When my husband and I saw the movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we joked that if we ever had a daughter, we’d have to teach her to speak with a British accent because Lucy Pevensie was just so darn cute. As fate would have it, we had two boys instead, so I guess we’ll never know if we would have stuck to the plan. But there are still many things British that we love.

We’re Harry Potter geeks, so much so, in fact, that when I found that some of the language was Americanized in the Scholastic editions, I searched far and wide and finally purchased the Bloomsbury (British) editions of all seven books. There’s something about reading the words the way J.K. Rowling wrote them (not to mention that the title of the first book was changed in the American version) that makes me feel like I’m getting a more authentic experience.

I have to extend my love to the entire United Kingdom. I recently saw Disney Pixar’s Brave, and anything with bagpipes stirs my soul. (And I still say that real men wear kilts.) Being Presbyterian, I am Scottish by denomination, although my heritage is mostly Irish.

I guess the biggest give-aways about my occasional British affinity are a couple spelling choices that I make. I cannot make myself write “gray” or “theater,” unless, of course, those spellings are used in proper nouns. I’m more of a “grey” and “theatre” kind of girl. I can’t ever remember a time when I chose to write these words the preferred American way, nor did any teachers ever try to correct me—nor should they. I suppose I’m inconsistent, since I still write “color” and “labor” instead of adding the optional “u,” but I’m not the only one out there doing these kinds of things, am I? Come on, somebody, admit you like to break out of the mold a little, too. (And not capitalizing doesn’t count! e.e. cummings already took that one.)