Obviously when discussing volumes of fuel, oil, etc. the quantity can be specified in quarts, gallons, truck-loads, etc. I personally try to specify an international measure and a US measure (e.g. kms and miles) in my answers.

However when someone asks a question requiring an answer with a specific volume, should the spelling not be "litre" rather than "liter"? Taking wikipedia as a good standard, they redirect any query for "liter" to the page for Litre. It seems silly to use the less common spelling instead of the widely used international spelling.

  • There are tons of words which have overlap. The only stipulation for this SE is that it be in English. It doesn't say British English or American English, just English. As long as it's understood, there's no issue. I will even change my writing style if I know the other person is from the UK. I'll use words like "bonnet" instead of "hood" or "boot" instead of "trunk" ... Hopefully I'm using the right variants! Really, it's no big deal. Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 23:56
  • What on earth makes you think that Wikipaedia is a good standard?
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 10:57
  • 1
    What makes you think that it isn't? Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 14:30

3 Answers 3


As long as it's understood...

It doesn't matter.

If you really must insist...

Just use L, l or (if you're feeling adventurous) .


Here are some other mech.SE words which suffer from regional variations:

  • aluminium vs aluminum
  • vapour vs vapor
  • odour vs odor
  • kilometre vs kilometer

(Sometimes contexts change)

  • US gallon vs UK gallon
  • Gas vs petrol
  • square-kilometer vs km²
  • US driver's side vs Australian driver's side

Dont see no point in being pedantic


Use whichever you feel like, as long as it's clear and unambiguous - no one is going to get confused between liter and litre, or between vapour and vapor, or tyre and tire.

On the other hand, do be careful about things that can be ambiguous - "degrees" is a common one - is that C, F, or an angle? The same with prices - $ could be US, CA, AU, or several others (and don't get me started on post that say things like "this cost 250" - 250 what???)

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