Do National quirks put readers off?

​I have had reason of late to cogitate about the differences between American English and United Kingdom English. I am sure there are articles out there giving definitive views on the subject. I admit to not having done a search yet. A few incidents have set me wondering if the different word usages and terms become a problem for readers on the different continents. Do they actually turn readers off? I have read lots of books by authors from varying countries and personally I haven’t stopped reading any because of spelling variation or the odd quirk I have had to work out or look up. It has irritated me somewhat that ‘colour’ gets spelt ‘color’ and other words too are spelt differently to my instinctive way of spelling. Although not enough to give up on the story if I am gripped by the character and plot. That is my take, I would be interested to know other’s views. Do you consider the nationality and therefore the likely spelling and word usage when contemplating reading a novel, should writers take all national quirks out of their writing?
The specific incidents that got me thinking were:-

  • A beta reader from American did not understand the phrase – It certainly lit my blue touch paper.
  • Standing by the bar, I checked out the optics…..in England these are the measurements on bottles of spirits
  • I had a conversation with an American friend about my new kitchen and my new granite worktops ……ah countertops, counters in the USA.
  • Then there are all the others….garden….yard…..boot…..trunk….etc.

What do you think folks?


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