Sunday, August 17, 2008

Firefox wins here (just)

I use the excellent Google Analytics for tracking stats on my blog. One of the things it tells me is the browser that you, dear reader, are using:



I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that a technical readership should marginally prefer Firefox. But it's still very nice to see.

What else can I tell you about yourself? Well you're probably American.



I had an interesting discussion in the office last week. I'm British, but I suggested that since the majority of my readership is from the USA I should adopt US spelling. Even mentioning such a thing was like finding a raised toilet seat in a nunnery, so rather than being lynched I'll stick to 'through' rather than 'thru'. It's a marginally interesting factlet that English speaking kids take almost twice as long to read and write than most other European countries because of the awfulness of our spelling.

One last thing, and this really does surprise me: The vast majority of traffic to my blog is driven by Google searches which is the result of random people typing in random search terms and then finding their way here. The curious thing is that the numbers are so consistent. Every week looks the same with between 200 and 250 visits during week days and 50 to 70 at the weekends. I would have expected more variation, but I guess it's a good demonstration of the predictability of randomness that it's like this.



Anonymous said...

"predictability of randomness", that is a real good oxymoron!

Chad Myers said...

For the record, "thru" is not standard EN-US spelling (except in SMS messages, in which case all bets are off). So I agree with you there, through and through :)

The only major differences I've seen between US English and English English is that keyboards in the UK seemed to have swapped the location of the 'z' and 's' keys. This is evidenced by the fact that folks from the UK frequently misspell words like "specialization" with an 's' like "specialisation"[sic].


Mike Hadlow said...

Richard, I do like to discombobulate :)

Chad, very good :) I recently bought a Das Keyboard which only comes with a US layout. Where's the bloody £ sign? No not #.

Actually that keyboard is a real problem, it's so fast that I'm spending all my time backspacing to delete typos.

Anonymous said...


It is worth remembering that the British misspelling of specialization for example, is due in no small part to American software companies.

Early British English dictionaries for various software spelling checkers were created from American English using very simplistic rules, such as replacing z with s in any word ending in ize. Prior to this, the OED tended to recognise ize over ise as the preferred spelling in Britain too.

Software spelling checkers have caused a significant change in spelling habits amongst the British population, as most British people seem unaware that we used to recognise recognize as the better spelled form 40 years ago.

Anonymous said...

speaking of spelling habits, the British write "ardour" while we Americans write "ardor". Such examples abound )))