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ISO Language and Spelling

Don't worry, here at ATOL we do know how to spell. Sometimes things might look a little different and we have explained further as to why they might look different.

ISO Spelling Looks a Little Different

We often receive questions or feedback from our Students about the spelling and grammar used in our online courses.

Our courses have been written in what we, at Auditor Training Online call ‘the language of ISO’ which tends to be a mix of US and UK spelling and grammar. And this can get a bit puzzling for people reading it. Thankfully for us and for you, ISO, the International Organization for Standardization have produced a document that explains this logic far better than we can.

This document includes a section on Style Differences in American and International Grammar. This guide states that International (and following that, British) spelling and grammar shall be used. It also states that when spell checking any ISO Standards they use the British English Microsoft Word dictionary which still overrides certain corrections, such as words ending in ‘-ize’ (like Organize) and ‘-ization’ (like Organization), where the letter ‘z’ is kept even though the spell checker wants to change it to an ‘s’. The use of the main New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary spelling is a requirement, even though the variants may be included.

For example, the guidance states that the spelling of ‘colour’ (COLOUR) is to be used and not ‘color’ (COLOR). The only time a variant spelling can be used is if it is applicable to a specific field of application.

So, the ISO Guidance helps us to understand why there are language differences and what may appear as conflicting spelling throughout the ISO Standards.

A few of the main examples we come across in ISO Standards are the words: organization, programme, minimize, and realize.

I hope this helps you to understand why it might appear that we are confused with our spelling sometimes! Happy auditing!