[Tex/LaTex] What’s the benefit of loading babel when writing in English


When writing in English what is the benefit of loading babel, by \usepackage[english]{babel}, except for the possibility of setting it to use specific English dialects as described in babel: english, american, USenglish?

For example I know that biblatex, csquotes and microtype can work together with babel but their features seems to only make sense when writing in other languages than in English.

Best Answer

You should load babel if you're unsure about the default language. A system administrator in the UK may well have changed it to British English instead of US English (they have different hyphenation rules).

Assuming TeX Live is used (but also MiKTeX, I believe), lines such as


will guarantee that the requested hyphenation rules are used during typesetting. Another use for babel is for choosing a not directly supported set of hyphenation patterns; for example,


will use the "maximal set" of US English hyphenation patterns (check your language.dat file for the exact string to use, usenglishmax is surely correct for TeX Live).