Friday, July 25, 2014

l/ll: The Weekend Edition—Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday–Sunday, July 25–27, 2014

There are quite a few words spelled with a double L in UK English which are spelled in the US with a single L. Examples include “woollen” (US “woolen”), “counsellor” (US “counselor”), “medallist” (US “medalist”), “jeweller” (US “jeweler”), “initialled” (US “initialed”), “labelled” (US “labeled”), “signalled” (US “signaled”), “totalled” (US “totaled”).

Most of these won’t cause Americans serious problems if they use the UK spelling, and a good spelling checker set to US English will catch them. But “chilli” looks distinctly odd to Americans when it turns up in the UK-influenced English of South Asian cookbooks. Americans are used to seeing it spelled “chili.” (Of course Spanish speakers think it should be chile.)


The Week's End Extra from the Archives: "Even more errors: razor-tight" (November 7, 2012).

Paul Brians comments on Weird Al's "Word Crimes" in his latest blog post.

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