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How do you spell…?

Is it “cancelled” or “canceled”?

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My 2 Cents

posted December 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm

so, snarkey that whole thing…Cancelled is British; Canceled is U.S. (as I understand)

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Your Name

posted December 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm

maybe not! oh, drat, i hate that stuff.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm

My 2 Cents,
I thought the same – I teach Molecular Modeling using a Molecular Modelling book – written in the UK (where it is centre of mass as well…).

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Len Flack

posted December 23, 2008 at 4:04 pm

It’s almost certainly canceled… however I’m going despite the cancellation.

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steph seefeldt

posted December 23, 2008 at 4:15 pm

so, for that matter, am i a worshiper, or a worshipper?
worshiping, or worshipping?
traveling, or travelling?

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Craig Beard

posted December 23, 2008 at 4:40 pm

“Cancelled” is British spelling (see the OED). “Canceled” is the preferred American spelling, though “cancelled” is listed as an alternative in the American Heritage? Dictionary of the English Language.

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My 2 Cents

posted December 23, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I think middle English is to blame.

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posted December 23, 2008 at 5:53 pm

One of my professors, who is also an editor for an international missions journal, Missiology, told me that its always better to pick the fewest characters for a word because it saves paper. Over the course of a book, or a journal, it saves pages: cutting costs and saving the environment. That’s my 2?.

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Jack Savidge

posted December 23, 2008 at 6:22 pm

How do I spell…? Badly.

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Darren King

posted December 23, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Try this on for size when it comes to spelling confusion:
-Born in the UK
-Raised in Canada
-Now making home in the USA
That’s me.
Just the other day I was working on a website for a psychologist in Nova Scotia, and he reminded me that the spelling is “counselling” as opposed to “counseling”. Of course, that’s only true in the UK and Canada, not the U.S.
Silly differences really. “Can’t we all just get along?” – linguistically speaking I mean. :)

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posted December 23, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Double ‘l’ is the correct way to spell it as far as I’m aware.

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Rick in Texas

posted December 23, 2008 at 11:36 pm

It’s spelled like this: “called off”.

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Liam Byrnes

posted December 24, 2008 at 4:00 am

Definately cancelled.

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Jim E.

posted December 24, 2008 at 7:26 am

There’s a legend that Daniel Webster created many of the differences between American and British spelling when he made his first dictionary. A bit of a rebellion against the imperial Brits.
However, I’ve found the following rule, taught to me many years ago (perhaps by one of my mentors, a great editor), to be very helpful. When adding suffixes to words (-ed, -ing, etc.), if the final syllable is accented and the vowel short, then double the final consonant before the suffix. If the vowel in the final syllable is long, do not double the consonant. This works close to 100% of the time (I can’t at the moment recall a counterexample, though I have seen them.) This works for American spelling.
Another way to put it is that, in American English, you can have either vowel length of consonant length (that is, the consonant is doubled) but not both.
Thus, it is “CAN-celed” because it is the first syllable that is accented. Same for “WOR-shiped.” Single final consonants, not doubled, because the vowel is short and the syllable is not accented.

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Clay Knick

posted December 24, 2008 at 8:42 am

Obviously we are (to quote Churchill) “separated by a
common language” from our British cousins.

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posted December 24, 2008 at 9:26 am

#13 Liam:
Definitely “definitely.”

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John Frye

posted December 24, 2008 at 9:36 am

How do you spell ‘cancelled”?

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Mike Beidler

posted December 25, 2008 at 12:23 am

Or is that “S-T-O-P-E-D”? 😉

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