A labourious Word problem

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A reader who wishes to remain anonymous is puzzled by the recent Anglicization of her Word documents. Said reader writes:

My Word 2004 dictionary decided about a month ago that I should use all British spellings. When I look at my preferences, my custom dictionary appears to be set to English (US), but still it insists I spell “labor” “labour” and “color” “colour.” It’s really annoying. Suggestions?

While we could write this one off as Word’s attempt to adopt a tonier tone, I’m going to suggest instead that you’re searching in the wrong location for the cause of this issue. The problem lies not in the dictionary you’ve chosen but rather the default language of your document. Try this:

Open a document that exhibits this behavior—one that uses Word’s Normal style or a template you’re using—and choose Tools -> Language. I’m going to guess that the item selected in the resulting Language window is not English (US) but rather English (UK) or English (AUS). Choose English (US) and Word should return to good ol’ ’merican spellings.

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