‘How Does A Brit Write ‘US English?’
By using CMoS of course. If you’re unfamiliar, this is the Chicago Manual of Style. According to Wikipedia (yeah, I know, but that’s where everyone goes and I want to keep it easy for you) it has been a style guide for American English since 1906. You can get this little beauty online, but I’ll be getting a hard copy as soon as possible. (you know me, I like my physical books!). It updates pretty regularly, but the style rules don’t change a great deal unless there has been some massive change in writing styles and speech.
If you’re unable to fork out for either version, you can use the website and trawl through the Q&A section. It’s rammed with questions from other folk just like you who need grammar assistance. I’ve spent an enjoyable hour or so just reading through some of the questions and answers. It is searchable too, so you may be able to find what you need without paying for anything.
However, if you are flush, then you can subscribe to the site, giving you access to all the fun stuff within, like submitting questions to the Q&A or getting direct help within the forums.
I was directed to this nifty document right at the start of my experience with Breathless Press and used as much of it as I could editing with them.
It helped a great deal with style, those things that differ between here and the states. It gave me the ‘proper’ rules with regards to dashes, em-dashes and hyphens for instance. Something I still mix up if I’m not paying attention. It guided me on awkward pieces of punctuation at the end of quotes, or quotes within dialogue. Even nicknames and petnames are treated differently.
Many different bodies use this style guide to help keep their publications uniform. Not only are their own publications structured using the same rules, but everyone else’s is too, meaning that you’ll get a consistent read across any document you read.
I must admit, I don’t know if there is a similar guide for UK English. That’s something I want to look into.