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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Is it percent or per cent?

In business using percentages is very common. However when writing, do you use the spelling per cent or percent?

Both the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries list the Australian spelling as per cent. The Oxford dictionary lists the spelling percent as the American spelling and the Macquarie dictionary lists percent as a secondary spelling.

A quick check of Australian sites using Google, reveals around 35% of pages returned, use the secondary, or American spelling percent.

The preferred spelling in Australia is to spell per cent with a space. 

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Is the spelling defence or defense?

At first glance this is appears to be an easy one. The spelling in Australia is defence. Both the Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries have defence as the Australian spelling, with defense being the American spelling. No ambiguity there.

However, a check using Google for sites ending in .au, shows the number of pages returned for defence as 5.12 million and defense as 1.33 million. With so much usage of the American spelling in Australian sites, we see some usage is correct, (referring to American defence organisations), there is quite a lot is laziness, (American news articles not edited for Australian consumption), some incorrect usage, then some sites using the two  different spelling variations in the same article. 

Australian defence companies with Australian sites are faced with the same dilemma as Australian authors when marketing to a global audience. Do they use Australian English, or do they use American English? Perhaps different editions for different markets may be a better approach.

For Australians creating content for Australian usage, the spelling is defence.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Is it licence plate or license plate?

A recent trip to the Queen Victoria Market showed us even government organisations get spelling wrong. As you approach the car park you see a sign displaying the parking rates. The bottom of the sign read: “LPR LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION. LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY IS USED IN THIS CAR PARK”.

Signs like this are read by hundreds, if not thousands of people per day. Viewers of the sign may consider the Melbourne City Council to lack care in their signs, or perhaps give an insight the supplier may be an American based company. Neither of these messages would be intended.

Interestingly, in Australia, according to a Google search of Australian sites ending in .au, the term number plate is used four times as often as licence plate. Using the phrase number plate recognition could have avoided the incorrect spelling license plate.

In Australia, it is good to remember licence with a ‘c’ is the noun and license with an ’s’ is the verb. The American spelling uses license with an ’s’, for both the noun and verb.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Is the spelling cash flow, cash-flow or cashflow?

If you refer to Wiktionary where all variations based on worldwide usage are listed, you could be excused for being confused. The Australian Oxford dictionary only lists cash flow as a noun. The latest edition of the Macquarie dictionary lists cash flow as a noun and cashflow as the verb.

In general, if according to the Macquarie dictionary definition you’re referring to, “the amount of cash generated by a company”, or “the overall pattern of income and expenditure of a company, organisation, or person, and the resulting availability of funds at any given time”, then the spelling would be cash flow.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Is the spelling comradery or camaraderie?

Two words with quite different spelling and yet they have the same meaning. The spelling comradery is the North American spelling and camaraderie, the Australian spelling. The spelling comradery isn't included in the Macquarie or Oxford dictionaries, even as a secondary spelling variation.

The spelling comradery can catch people out who use Microsoft Office products, as the American spelling is incorrectly included in the Australian spelling dictionary.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Is it doughnut or donut?

Now this is a tricky, or perhaps I should say, a sticky one. According to the Australian Macquarie and Oxford dictionaries, the spelling should be doughnut.

The problem is with usage in Australia, there is roughly a four to one ratio of donut to doughnut. Coles and Woolworths use the spelling donut, but Krispy Creme uses the spelling doughnut. Based on usage alone you’d have to go with donut, but it’s best if you stick with the guidance offered by the authoritative references and use the spelling doughnut

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Is the spelling judgment or judgement?

A discussion of the spelling judgement/judgment will often cause an argument. In the legal community the spelling judgment is predominantly used, but for the general community, the spelling in Australia is judgement.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Is it spellchecker or spell checker?

Have you ever typed spellchecker into a document and found it’s marked as an incorrect spelling. You’re then offered the suggestion spell checker as two words, which most people would then accept as the correct spelling.

In Australia spellchecker is a single word, and in America, it would be hyphenated. The problem is the word processing software we use doesn’t know about the word spellchecker and thus marks it as an error. When an error is found in a single word, the spellchecker will try various substitutions, with one being to insert a space. If by inserting a space two correct words are found, the spellchecker then returns the two words as a suggestion. In the case of spellchecker, the suggestion spell checker is wrong and causes people to create a spelling error in their document.

Spellcheckers are a great writing aid, but sometimes we need to keep in mind they aren’t perfect.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Is it enquiry or inquiry?

I read recently businesses need more inquiries. I thought the last thing a business needs is an inquiry. Whilst in America there’s only the single spelling inquiry, in Australia the words are different and are used in slightly different ways. The word inquiry is used more in a legal sense, such as the government held an inquiry. The spelling enquiry, is used in a less formal situation, such as when you go to a store and wish to make an enquiry. Businesses want more enquiries, but shouldn’t be so keen for an inquiry.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Is the spelling co-operation or cooperation?

Over time our language changes. It is hard to imagine anyone spelling the words today or tomorrow as to-day and to-morrow, but if you read an early copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, to-day and to-morrow is how Lewis Carroll spelt today and tomorrow.

If you read a dictionary from the 80s you’ll see cooperation spelt as co-operation with a hyphen. Times change, styles change. Today the preferred spelling of cooperation is without a hyphen.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Is the spelling Organisation or Organization?

In this post we discuss the words Organisation and Organization. I’ve capitalised the words for a particular reason. First we need to consider the ise versus ize spelling. Both spelling variations are valid in Australia. The most commonly used and thus the preferred spelling, is Organisation using the ise spelling .

A common error made by media companies is to use the ise spelling when referring to the World Health Organization. In this case to use the ise spelling is incorrect. WHO, the Word Health Organization, spells its name with a z. It isn’t correct to change the spelling of the name of an organisation.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Is the spelling practice or practise?

The words ‘practice' and ‘practise' are very tricky for many people to master. Practice with a ‘c’ is the noun and practise with an ’s’ is the verb. As an example, 'you go to practice to practise'. The idiom “practice makes perfect” doesn’t quite look right, but is correct. A common error is the use of 'Accounting Practise' to refer to the firm or company, which should in Australia be 'Accounting Practice'.

When reading articles on the internet keep in mind the American spelling is always ‘practice”, for both the noun and the verb. You’ll sometimes find incorrect usage as articles may be sourced from overseas, or the journalist themselves may originally be from America.

Kelvin Eldridge
The preferred Australian English spelling.