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Either Way, Your Flight/Event/School is Canceled (or Cancelled)

2014 is the winter of canceled flights and school. (Photo Cred: en.wikipedia.org)

A recurring theme during this endless, brutal winter is that things are canceled. Schools, events, flights by the thousands…the TV news is now an endless scroll of things that aren’t going to happen.  I noticed the key word of this winter – canceled – is spelled either that way or as “cancelled.”  Every time I saw the latter version I felt a little frisson of smug spelling superiority.  “Ah, look at those amateurs misspelling canceled,” I thought. “Even in a TV newsroom they can’t get it right.”  (Hey, you take your pleasures where you can.)

But I kept seeing it so I looked it up. In fact, both spellings are acceptable, although according to the Grammarist, in the U.S. “canceled” outnumbers “cancelled” by about 5:1.  Interestingly, outside the U.S. the spellings and the ratio are reversed.

Still, this doesn’t pan out in recent media coverage.  A search for February 13+canceled turns up 77,000 examples, while February 13+cancelled finds 56,000.  Fairly evenly matched.  And of course any of this is not much comfort if you’re stuck in an airport or a train station.

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Dave Close

Dave Close

Managing Director at MSLGROUP

Dave Close has worked in technology and healthcare PR since the internet was a fishing accessory. His long view and appreciation of the absurd guide his opinions about business, life and coffee.

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