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Canceled or Cancelled?


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  • 2 weeks later...

hi there

As far as I know, both are possible: canceled OR cancelled. Canceled is supposed to be American English and cancelled is the correct form in British/Canadian/Australian English.

The American Webster dictionary gives you the following for the verb to cancel:

1 can·cel verb \ˈkan(t)-səl\

can·celed or can·celled  // can·cel·ing or can·cel·ling

However, I also know some people from the US who prefer to use cancelled. Maybe it is a "regional thing" in the US.

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It's definitely an American versus British convention. I spent my formative years in Malaysia and the English we learned was definitely very strongly based on UK pronunciations and spellings. Even now, Malaysians never pronounce "can't" in the American way (rhyming with "scant") but always according to RP pronunciations.

We definitely spell "cancelled" with two "Ls".

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This is interesting, I've always spelled cancelled with two "L's". However, I do not think the one "L" version is incorrect either. You're right, it's probably a regional preference. It's interesting how those things develop and are passed through generations. The English language is confusing, isn't it?!

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This is interesting, I've always spelled cancelled with two "L's". However, I do not think the one "L" version is incorrect either. You're right, it's probably a regional preference. It's interesting how those things develop and are passed through generations. The English language is confusing, isn't it?!

I am not a native speaker of English, but I have been studying English for about six years. Now and then I come across words that I realize I have spelled the British way, although I lean more towards the American English myself. These different spellings can be very confusing sometimes!

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  • 3 weeks later...

English is very confusing especially when you are looking at the "British" way versus the "American" way. It is at many times a pretty contradictory language and easy to make errors. I say don't sweat it too much, there's lots of refinement done towards the end of your initial studies. There are countless English speakers (Americans at least) that can't speak or write 100% correctly  :tongue:

I also thought this was cool:

“Ough” can be pronounced in eight different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.

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“Ough” can be pronounced in eight different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.

Wow, that's interesting! I am sure I would not be able to pronounce this sentence correctly :=) I would love to hear an audio file containing this sentence  :wink: If there is none, maybe you could record one pojokers, hehe.

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I am also always messing this up and having my spell checker correct it.  I can never remember which is the proper way to spell the word. 

It is the same with traveling and travelling.  I never remember which is right!  I also have the problem with words with two letters at the end.  Like student marshall.  I always thought it had two L's but there is only one l in student marshal.  Imagine having to remember how to spell those German names that have double N's at the end.  Ugh.

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In British English, "cancelled" is the more common spelling while "canceled" is more common in the United states.

It's similar to the "-ise" versus "-ize" difference. British English uses "-ise" as in "hospitalise"and American English uses "ize" as in "hospitalize".

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Both words are correct. However, I prefer to use "Cancelled".

Indeed! This is much about what type of English you are talking about.

In British English it's common to duplicate the consonant in verbs that end in "L" such as to travel (traveling/travelling) and to cancel (canceled/cancelled)

So grammatically both are correct, but the choice depend on the context you need to write the word down.

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When learning english pick out which english language you are trying to learn because American and British english are very different. Like color and colour which is the american spelling first and then the british spelling second. More examples are favorite and favourite and harbour and harbor.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I somehow do not find it comfortable when it comes to using US vs UK English. We are being taught in one form right from our young age. It is kind of difficult to adapt to these subtle changes all of a sudden!

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I was going to add and limon beat me to a few of the other US versus British (or Canadian) spellings in English.

Center - centre

humor- humour

I lived in the US near the Canadian border and you would see ads and commercials using these alternate spellings quite frequently.

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I actually had to research this just the other night. From what I've read, both are acceptable spellings. I've found this to be the case before, sometimes it's based on the country and other times, the word began being spelled one way before another spelling became preferred, resulting in two forms being acceptable.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Good thread. I never know some words it's true, I can write color or colour and both be right, isn't this correct? The thing is my spellchecker gives me colour as wrong, maybe it's an UK one?

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Glad you brought this up. Before I came into this thread, I could swear I was just going crazy, as my auto correct is making me spell canceled instead of cancelled, but I could have sworn I learned it as "cancelled" as a child. :D I thought I was imagining it, but I just never thought to look it up. At least now I have some clarity.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If talking of American English, canceled is the correct word to use but when it comes to other English varieties outside US like British, Canada and Australian cancelled is the best spelled word. And believe that the reason why our teacher told us that it’s cancelled instead of canceled.

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