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Canadian Spelling, Where for art thou?

Posted by Lorac Saturday, 29 August 2009

I have often wondered if visitors form other lands will think I am having difficulties with my spelling. I actually think about it every time I post words like: behaviour, cheque, harbour etc.  Bloggers reminds me constantly that I don't spell as an American. Even if I put the spell check for British English into text editors for Spell Check, it also, occasionally tells me that I am wrong. It seems that Canadian English is in fact mostly British, with a little bit of American and some specific Canadian. As this is the case when are manufactures of text editors going to wake up and smell the coffee? I usually will see a choice for American English, British English but rarely will I see a choice for Canadian! One I found, when set to Canadian English, told me I was wrong when I put in Canadian spelling. It insisted I spell it the British way. I didn't realize we were that low in population or so small a country that our consumers would make so little difference. It is possible that we just don't complain enough, but surely developers of text editors must realize how annoying it is to be constantly seeing that red underline on sooooo many words! I find it strange also that they all will let me type "eh" without a comment.

From Wikipedia:
Eh (pronounced /ˈeɪ/ or /ˈɛ/ in English) is a spoken interjection in Armenian, Japanese, English, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese meaning something along the lines of "Repeat that, please". It is also commonly used as a method for inciting an answer, as in "it's nice here, eh?" Lastly, it can also be used to express indifference. In North America, it is most commonly associated with Canada.
"
Although we do use the word "eh", it is not as frequently as some may assume, Eh?

I found this list on the web. It was such a long list that I cut it in half. Go to this site to see the rest. http://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/BritishCanadianAmerican.htm
So scroll through and take a look. I think you will find it interesting. I also find it hilarious that spell check is underlining most of the words in the list that are British and Canadian!

British
Canadian
American
acknowledgement
acknowledgement*, acknowledgment
acknowledgment, acknowledgement
ageing, aging
aging*, ageing*
aging
aeroplane
airplane
airplane
aesthetics
aesthetics
aesthetics, esthetics
aluminium
aluminum
aluminum
among, amongst among*, amongst among
amortise amortize amortize
anaemia anemia anemia
anaesthesia
anaesthesia*, anesthesia
anesthesia
analogue analogue analogue, analog
analyse analyze*, analyse analyze
annex, annexe annex annex
apnoea apnea apnea
apologise*, apologize
apologize
apologize
archaeology
archaeology*, archeology
archaeology, archeology
armour armour*, armor armor
artefact artifact artifact
authorise*, authorize authorize authorize
axe
axe
ax, axe
balk*, baulk balk balk
banister*, bannister banister*, bannister banister
behaviour behaviour behavior
behove behoove behoove
blonde (for female) blonde*, blond* blond, blonde
B.Sc. B.Sc. B.S.
burette burette*, buret buret, burette
burnt, burned
burned*, burnt*
burned, burnt
bussed, bussing bused, busing bused, busing
Caesarean Caesarian*, Cesarean, Cesarian Cesarean, Caesarean
calibre calibre caliber
cancelled
cancelled
canceled, cancelled
candour candour candor
capitalise capitalize capitalize
carburettor carburetor*, carburettor carburetor
catalogue
catalogue
catalog(ue)
catalyse catalyze*, catalyse catalyze
centre
centre
center
cheque (noun, money)
cheque
check
chequered
checkered
checkered
chilli*, chili chili chili
cigarette cigarette cigarette, cigaret
clamour clamour clamor
collectable *, collectible collectible collectible
colour
colour*, color
color
connection*, connexion connection connection
convenor convenor convener
cosy
cozy
cozy
counsellor
counsellor*, counselor
counselor
criticise*, criticize
criticize
criticize
curb (verb) curb curb
customize, customise customize customize
demeanour demeanour demeanor
dependant (a person who relies on another person, especially for financial support) dependant dependent
defence
defence*, defense
defense
dialling, dialled dialing, dialed; dialling, dialled dialing, dialed
dialogue
dialogue
dialog(ue)
diarrhoea
diarrhea
diarrhea
dietician*, dietitian dietitian*, dietician dietitian*, dietician,
dispatch*, despatch dispatch dispatch
doughnut
doughnut, donut
donut, doughnut
Dr (A contracted form of a word, ending with the same letter as the full form, is not followed by a full stop).
Dr.
Dr.
draught (current of air)
draft
draft
dreamt, dreamed
dreamt*, dreamed*
dreamed, dreamt
emphasise
emphasize
emphasize
encyclopedia*, encyclopædia encyclopedia encyclopedia
endeavour endeavour endeavor
enquiry*, inquiry
inquiry*, enquiry
inquiry
enrol
enrol
enroll
favour
favour
favor
favourite favourite favorite
fibre
fibre
fiber
fibre optics fiber optics, fibre optics (used by the Canadian government only) fiber optics
finalize, finalise finalize finalize
flautist
flutist*, flautist
flutist
flavour
flavour
flavor
focused, focusing or focussed, focussing focused, focusing or focussed, focussing focused, focusing
foetus*, fetus fetus fetus
forever*, for ever forever forever
fuelling fuelling fueling
fulfil
fulfil
fulfill, fulfil
galvanise galvanize galvanize
gaol (old fashioned),  jail* jail jail
gauge gauge gauge, gage
gemmology gemmology gemology
generalise generalize generalize
glamour
glamour
glamour, glamor
gonorrhoea gonorrhea gonorrhea
grey
grey
gray
gynaecology gynecology*, gynaecology gynecology
haemorrhage
hemorrhage
hemorrhage
harbour
harbour
harbor
harmonise*, harmonize harmonize harmonize
haulier
hauler
hauler
homeopathy*, homoeopathy homeopathy homeopathy
honour
honour
honor
humour humour humor

20 comments

  1. darsden Says:
  2. Oh my gosh..I sooooo do not follow guides I spell this way for a reason..LOL and I ignore spell check to that reminds me. I have to drive a point home sometimes by the spelling..Hilarious post!

     
  3. Lorac Says:
  4. darsden - Thanks! I thought so too!

     
  5. Jenn Jilks Says:
  6. Good points.

    I made sure that my book, has Canadian spelling. I had a marvellous editor.

    I see it as a badge of courage. With 1/10th the population of the US, I am proud to be different and to educate others.

    My other pet peeve are Canadian publications or shows citing America data. It doesn't always apply; especially in education or health care.
    P.S. I am having trouble with the 10th photo! I love the idea- but can't figure out which photo album.
    I'm between a rock and a hard place! :-)
    Thanks for the shout out!

     
  7. Lorac Says:
  8. Jenn - I agree! I don't want to loose our Canadian English. Thus the idea of text editors supporting Canadian English.

     
  9. Susan Ellis Says:
  10. Hi there,
    Great post, and I too am very particular to use the Canadian spelling and/or British ...it IS a point of pride (at least for me)that sets us apart on this great big continent we share!

     
  11. Lorac Says:
  12. Good to hear! Does any one know of a language setting in Blogger?

     
  13. bettyl Says:
  14. Moving from the US to very-Britishy NZ, I know what you are talking about! I find it quite fascinating, when it's not totally confusing!

     
  15. Lorac Says:
  16. Betty - That would be a huge difference! Must have been difficult at first.

     
  17. I have so many friends on the other side of the pond that I'm not really bothered. But I must admit to a slight bother when using my English spelling, so I'm not that unbothered about my contribution after all. Egocentric as ever :-) There is a real concern, though, I have a couple of people who might just publish my books in Canada and the States, and there is a difference in the language of school children - i.e. in my next book. I'd better stay with historical novels, less of a problem! :-)

     
  18. Lorac Says:
  19. Carol Anne - For you to publish "across the pond" may be an issue but I would love to see your books over here!

     
  20. Dear Lorac,
    How very kind. My dear friend in Atlanta is trying to get my books into the Atlanta library, David Ward - Professor at Willamette University Oregon who found my book when on holiday on Lindisfaren - is profiling my book with education students and on children's literature courses.
    I work hard and feel that apart from local independent bookshops, and of course Bamburgh Castle which is the book's natural home, there is little recognition. However, recently I have had an American publisher begin to show interest, so you never know. :-)
    Thanks so much for your encouragement.

     
  21. Ooops...wrong spelling and nothing to do with the great divide :-) Should have been Lindisfarne!

     
  22. Lorac Says:
  23. Carole Anne - Keep me posted!

     
  24. Of course I shall....

     
  25. AL Says:
  26. Hi Lorac,

    Nice post! That was very educational I too, mispell some words, we were thought standard English in school, so words are spelled in a formal way. There are also some words that gives me a hard time writing it, like silhouette, commission, quail hahaha. Btw, I appreciate your comments on my blog thank you so much.

    AL

     
  27. Linda Says:
  28. Interesting! I haven't spent long enough in Canada to notice the spelling differences - a total of 8 weeks over 30 years. But I am proud of being able to pick out a Canadian accent from an American one.

     
  29. Anonymous Says:
  30. Bravo, seems to me, is an excellent phrase

     
  31. Anonymous Says:
  32. You obviously were mistaken

     
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Lorac
Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
I have lived in Georgetown for 31 years but have traveled around a great deal. I own my own business which takes a lot of my time but try to blog as much as possible! I love to take pictures, no training, just a love of photography. Enjoy the pics but please do not copy them.
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