Nothing ever changes, no they never learn. Over 40 years ago when I was at school in an English lesson, yes an English country (England) UK I'd remembered a word I'd seen on the TV after the program finished. Having completed some English homework I used a American spelling instead of an English spelling, "color" I think instead of "Colour". I don't recall knowing a different spelling up to that point! I got marked down but was not told or shown why I was wrong. I couldn't believe the TV got it wrong and the teacher could be correct. I learned not very much in my young school days, but learned much when I went to college learning what I enjoyed, which then lead into other areas like English, maths etc. The UK TV today still uses the American English spelling, yet the schools use the English UK spelling, but nowhere else does it seem to get used? What a waist of time and money.
Ha ha! Things must be "smooth" for Bernie's law to work reasonably well.@Trade Member:Good point!!
Apparently, you can thank the coincidence of America's separation from their previous colonial masters and Noah Webster's (yes, of "Webster's dictionary" fame) time at Yale for the color/colour controversy - and for many other spelling inconsistencies!!
Webster was teacher at the time and his language conversions were touted as an easier way for American students to learn spelling. But reading between the lines, I suspect that the foundation for American English was as much a statement of independence by a then fledgling new nation as it was a futile attempt by Webster to covert UK English into a quasi-phonetic language (truth is that any form of English spelling is utterly ridiculous - even the word "phonetic", isn't phonetic!)
I guess that the variations didn't matter much in the old-days when communication between countries was via sailing ships, but of course stuff is very different today!
I'm not sure if you are familiar with Bernoulli's Law, but the separation of the 2 x forms of language gave English "entropy" which has become more impactful with the globalization! Bernoulli says that it's natural for entropy to grow in isolated systems (such as was the case during Webster's time) - but the Law also says that the disorder tends to uniformity as once disperate systems become connected
So, now that international communication is instantaneous and ubiquitous (i.e. connected system), and because language is viewed (and used) more as a practical tool rather than an art-form - there will be a gradual (perhaps imperceptive) morphing of the two major version of English over time. Likely, the eventual form of English that will be accepted internationally will be a meld of the most-used aspects of both languages. The use of these forums is an example of how easily we abandon our native-teachings; for the sake of avoiding the simple underlying of a supposedly miss-spelled word - we readily accept the American spelling that is suggested by the forum dictionary!!
Moral of the story - wait long enough and the problem will be fixed (I think)
PS: interesting read - Why Do Americans 'Color' But the British 'Colour?'