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Many of the differences between American and British English date back to a time when spelling standards had not yet developed.
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.
Wherever the vowel is unreduced in pronunciation, e.g., contour, velour, paramour and troubadour the spelling is consistent everywhere.
Some 16th- and early 17th-century British scholars indeed insisted that -or be used for words from Latin (e.g., Webster's 1828 dictionary had only -or and is given much of the credit for the adoption of this form in the United States. Johnson, unlike Webster, was not an advocate of spelling reform, but chose the spelling best derived, as he saw it, from among the variations in his sources.
In A Companion to the American Revolution (2008), John Algeo notes: "it is often assumed that characteristically American spellings were invented by Noah Webster.
He was very influential in popularizing certain spellings in America, but he did not originate them.
Words with the ending -irior, -erior or similar are spelled thus everywhere.
The word armour was once somewhat common in American usage but has disappeared except in some brand names such as Under Armour.
In the early 18th century, English spelling was inconsistent.