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A "British standard" began to emerge following the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, and an "American standard" started following the work of Noah Webster and in particular his An American Dictionary of the English Language, first published in 1828.
Webster's efforts at spelling reform were somewhat effective in his native country, resulting in certain well-known patterns of spelling differences between the American and British varieties of English.
Rather […] he chose already existing options such as center, color and check for the simplicity, analogy or etymology".
Webster did attempt to introduce some reformed spellings, as did the Simplified Spelling Board in the early 20th century, but most were not adopted.
Many words of the -our/or group do not have a Latin counterpart; for example, armo(u)r, behavio(u)r, harbo(u)r, neighbo(u)r; also arbo(u)r, meaning "shelter", though senses "tree" and "tool" are always arbor, a false cognate of the other word. independence and establishment) dictionary used -our for all words still so spelled in Britain (like colour), but also for words where the u has since been dropped: ambassadour, emperour, governour, perturbatour, inferiour, superiour; errour, horrour, mirrour, tenour, terrour, tremour.
For instance, some spellings seen as "American" today were once commonly used in Britain and some spellings seen as "British" were once commonly used in the United States.He preferred French over Latin spellings because, as he put it, "the French generally supplied us".