Depends which way you look at it. Yes, because of the time when the pilgrims settled, American English has a lot of the features of Late Middle English, explaining some of the variant spellings of certain things. But it was the Webster dictionary that really made a lot of the changes, like the drop of "u" in "colour" and "labour".
However, even though British English moved on into Modern English, the rise of technology and globalisation has meant that we're actually starting to take on a lot of the Americanisms that we pretend to detest. The OED has actually allowed "spelled" and "spelt" as past tense forms of "to spell". So in the end, it's all circular anyway. As long as people can understand each other, it shouldn't matter!
By the way, this came from my English Language A2 class, so there may be some discrepancies, but I do have a rough idea of what I'm talking about =)
It probably makes sense for mainstream English to be determined by the largest group of native speakers ("native" here meaning born into a region where English is the prevailing language).
I heard an academician say that the Oxford English one hears today in Shakespearean plays is nothing like the English of Shakespeare's day. Actually, he said, the English of that time resembled the brogue of the American Carolinas more than anything else.
Once in a while I catch people saying or typing things that make me cringe. Then I remember that language is dynamic it constantly changes and each person uses and experiences language in slightly different ways. I'm not saying we throw all our pronunciation and grammar out the window it is important to understand others and to be understood and to have formal ways to communicate but to nit pick about little things in an average human conversation is a waste of time.
I used the "dynamic and constantly changes" argument with my English teachers in High School they agreed but refused to raise my grade.
Well, school is one of those place that you are expected to use formal ways to communicate.
There are two different dimensions operating here. 1) Your usage is correct in one sense if people understand what you say. At the same time, 2) language properly used is usually better understood by more people than when it is misused.
Irregardless.... I Hate Irregardless!!! IT IS NOT A WORD, OKAY???? The word is regardless. You don't need to add to it. It's just fine all by itself,
Even if one takes the model of "responsible" and "irresponsible," in that case the additional syllable has the effect of negating the original meaning, whereas when people use "irregardless" it's intended to mean the same as "regardless."
I think it's the mutant hybrid baby of irrespective and regardless. That one annoys me as well. This entire thread is highly amusing.
...or at least stick to errors which are without controversy, or are simply common knowledge :)
"He is a very young child."
If he's a child, then he must be young. -.-