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I'm from a country that has not yet decided which side of the Atlantic it is on when it comes to spelling. In Canada we use a mishmash of American and British spellings. Not even Canadians can figure it out and you can't blame them. We spell colour with the 'u' like the Brits do, but double our 'l's when we add 'ed' like Americans. For example, travel is travelling in the UK but traveling in the USA. And in Canada as well.


Then there are the words where there simply is no consensus. For example, in my second book, published by University of Toronto Press, the proofreader changed the spelling of 'ensure' (British spelling) to 'insure' (American spelling) but only half the time. I thought it was so charmingly Canadian that the proofreader couldn't decide which spelling to use that I was tempted to leave it as it was. Only the knowledge that few people would share my amusement and it would almost certainly boomerang back on me negatively, made me point it out to the press. 


The problem is this: I'm now an editor myself and I don't really have any idea how to spell words. So a work I am editing at the moment is by an American and uses the word judgment in his writing. Should I correct that? Or is it correct as it is? Beats me.


Of course I can check it out. And I do. But it's a bore and interrupts my editing and besides, the internet isn't always correct. One might have thought I'd already be on top of this one. But I'm Canadian so I'm spelling impaired, eh?

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