Canadian spelling

Subject: Canadian spelling
From: Chris Knight <knight -at- ADA -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997 14:56:34 -0700

Fabien Vais asked:

Does anyone know if Canada "always" chooses the American spelling of
words, or do we sometimes choose the American, and sometimes the
British spelling? As if the differences between American and British
spelling wasn't enough, we also have to know which of the two Canada
chooses!!!Aarrggh! Viva Esperanto!

Canadian English does not consistently follow EITHER British or
American spelling. For example, we (Canadians) use "ou" for "colour"
and "favour" (British) but "program" (American) rather than "programme"
(British). The spelling authority for Canada is generally acepted to
be the Gage Canadian Dictionary, and the federal government (Dept. of
Secretary of State) has a style guide for any writing for government
audiences. If anyone is interested I can fetch the title tomorrow.
BTW, this style guide agrees with the vowel-doubling rule referred to
by Mary Durlak:
1) double consonant after single vowel (allot) or at end of one-syllable
word (bat, run)
2) the final consonant of a word stressed on the last syllable (preFER)
Otherwise, don't double.
Following which, Canadian style properly would be "modeling",
"labeling", and "traveling". However, many Canadians were taught by
British-influenced school systems, and do double the "l" in these

Having said all that, most TECHNICAL writers in Canada are writing for
an international, but predominantly American, audience, and so
generally adopt American spelling.

Ya gotta love this country!

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