Canceled vs. Cancelled

27 Jan

We’re on holiday, but I received an interesting question.  Here it is:

Sometimes I see ‘canceled’ and sometimes I see ‘cancelled’ – what is this difference? 

The only difference between the two is canceled is American spelling.  Cancelled is British spelling.  Both are correct.   You will also see this difference is words like, travel – traveled vs. travelled.  The single ‘l’ is American, the double ‘l’ is British.  Like many people in the region, you may have grown up attending an American school, an international school, an English school or some combination of them.   Unless a professor or teacher has a particular preference, you can use either.  Here’s the trick to follow  – be consistent.   If you decide you’re more familiar with British spelling or word choice, go ahead and use it.  Same for American.   The thing not to do - is mix them.   This is a pet peeve for some teachers and certainly for  test-makers.   The best way to avoid this is set your word processor (office, or whatever you use) – to either British English or American English.  You’ll get the automatic correction that way.

image: Will Ashford

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