July 1st, 2009

Oh, Canadian spellings

Colour vapour labour odour realize analyze vapourize glamour (but glamorous) jewellery ageing cheque judgment lasagna gonnorhea etc.

I use’em all (unless I forget), out of patriotism and consistency. But you don’t really have to. The “our” ones, yes, you’ll look American if you skip the “u”, but the -ize/-ise ones are more or less your call. The zed is actually the American version anyway; that’s what’s most common here now, for whatever reason. And no one in the world is going to give you a hard time if you write “jewelry”… A lot of these aren’t even really *for sure* the Canadian-ist–they’re just the most common I could find.
And what the standard is doesn’t really matter, because all spellings of these words are perfectly comprehensible to everyone who speaks English. The important thing is to take a stand on a given family of words and stick with it. It’s your personal house style, a chance to show you prioritize nationalism or felicity of word-appearance or whatever does in fact matter to you. If you spell willy-nilly, it looks like you don’t care.
Of course you care. Because forget national spellings, we are nation of tidiness and order…no sloppy spellings!
Happy Canada Day, fellow Canadians (and friends-of-Canadians!)
Let’s go party
RR

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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