Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's confusing to be a writer in Canada
(unless you write in French)

The dual influence of British and American spelling on Canadian English can make life difficult for Canadian writers.

Canadians use standard British spelling for certain words (axe, cheque), and use American spelling for others (connection, tire), and will use either version for other words (programme and program, labour and labor, neighbour and neighbor).

It's important to be consistent so you don't look silly and confuse your readers.

Set up your own "style manual" (just a list, really), and stick to it. Don't mix neighbour with labor, for example. Choose one pattern or the other and don't vary.

A Canadian dictionary might help, too (is there such a thing?). Word processor spell-checkers (chequers?) seem to accept both Brit and American versions of words.

(based on info from Dorothy Turner published by the University of Ottawa)

No comments:

Post a Comment