Americans differ from British spelling, such as in the case of nouns like
, which in British English are spelled
. Words such as
are usually spelled with
. The etymological convention that verbs derived from Greek roots are spelled with -ize and thosefrom Latin with -ise is preserved in that practice.
while verbs take
. Canadian spelling also retains theBritish practice of usually doubling a final single
when adding suffixes to words even when the final syllable (before the suffix) is not stressed. CompareCanadian (and British)
(always doubled) to American
(only doubled whenstressed). But both Canadian and British have
Canadian spelling rules can be partly explained by Canada's trade history. For instance, the British spelling of the word
probably relates to Canada'sonce-important ties to British financial institutions. Canada's automobile industry, on the other hand, has been dominated by American firms from its inception,explaining why Canadians use the American spelling of
and American terminology for the parts of automobiles (e.g.,
A contemporary reference for formal Canadian spelling is the spelling used for Hansard transcripts of the Parliament of Canada. Many Canadian editors,though, use the
Canadian Oxford Dictionary
, 2nd ed. (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2004), often along with the chapter on spelling in
Editing Canadian English
, and, where necessary (depending on context) one or more other references. (See Further reading below.)The first Canadian dictionaries of Canadian English were edited by Walter Spencer Avis and published by Gage Ltd (also Gauge. Toronto. The
(1964) and, finally, the
(1967) were milestones in CanE lexicography. Many secondaryschools in Canada use these dictionaries. The dictionaries have regularly been updated since: the
Gage Canadian Dictionary
andexists in what may be called its 5th edition from 1997. Gage was acquired by Thomson Nelson around 2003. Concise versions and paperback version areavailable.In 1997, the
ITP Nelson Dictionary of the Canadian English Language
was another product, but has not been updated since.In 1998, Oxford University Press produced a Canadian English dictionary, after five years of lexicographical research, entitled
The Oxford Canadian Dictionary
. A second edition, retitled
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary
, was published in 2004. Just as the older dictionaries it includes uniquely Canadianwords and words borrowed from other languages, and surveyed spellings, such as whether
was the most popular choice in common use.Paperback and concise versions (2005, 2006), with minor updates, are available.The scholarly
Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles
) was first published in 1967 by Gage Ltd. It was a partner project of the
(and appeared only a few weeks apart from each other). The
can be considered the "Canadian OED", as it documents the historicaldevelopment of CanE words that can be classified as "Canadianisms". It therefore includes words such as
mukluk, Canuck, bluff
, but does not listcommon core words such as
. It is a specialist, scholarly dictionary, but is not without interest to the general public. After more than 40 years, asecond edition has been commenced at UBC in Vancouver in 2006.Throughout most of the 20th century, Canadian newspapers generally adopted American spellings e.g.
as opposed to the British-based
. The use of such spellings was the long-standing practice of the The Canadian Press perhaps since that news agency's inception, but visibly the norm prior to World War II.
The practice of dropping the letter
in such words was also considered a labour-saving technique during the early days of printing in which movable typewas set manually.
Canadian newspapers also received much of their international content from American press agencies, therefore it was much easier for editorial staff to leave the spellings from the wire services as provided.
But reader complaints regarding the American spellings continued, given thewidespread usage of the British variants in Canada which were particularly taught in the school systems. Eventually, Canadian newspapers adopted the Britishspelling variants such as
endings, notably with the
The Globe and Mail
changing its spelling policy in October 1990.
Other Canadian newspapersadopted similar changes later that decade, such as the Southam newspaper chain's conversion on 2 September 1998.
adopted this newspelling policy on 15 September 1997 after that publication's ombudsman discounted the issue earlier in 1997.
In summary, there is then neither a national standard nor even provincial level standards for the education of, or consistent usage of, the written form of Canada's first language, English.
The pronunciation of certain words has both American and British influence.The name of the letter Z is normally the Anglo-European (and French)
; the American
is not unknown in Canada, but it is often stigmatized.
In the words
, the emphasis is usually on the first syllable, as in Britain.Canadians side with the British on the pronunciation of
livər/, and several other words;
is pronounced bymany speakers as /bin/ rather than /b
n/; as in Southern England,
are more commonly /
ðər/ and /
can sometimes be /
are sometimes pronounced /
s/, and /
is often /
are often pronounced /ə
n(st)/ rather than /ə
n(st)/.The stressed vowel of words such as
r/ rather than /
r/.Words such as
are pronounced as /fræd
l/, and /mo
l/. The pronunciation of
/ is also becomingsomewhat common in Canada, even though /f
l/ remains dominant.Words like
tend to be pronounced as /s
mi/, /ænti/, and /m
lti/ rather than /s
/, and /m
/.Loanwords that have a low central vowel in their language of origin, such as
, as well as place names like
, tend to have /æ/rather than /
/ (which is the same as /
/ due to the father-bother merger, see below); this also applies to older loans like
. The word
issometimes pronounced /k
rki/, the preferred pronunciation of the Canadian Army during the Second World War.
The most common pronunciation of
Words of French origin, such as
, are pronounced more like they would be in French.The word
is commonly pronounced /
"leader of a provincial or territorial government" is commonly pronounced /
primjər/, with /
r/ and /
r/ being rare variants.The herb and given masculine name
is usually pronounced /
bæzəl/ rather than /
zəl/.Many Canadians pronounce
as "ash-falt" /
This pronunciation is also common in Australian English, but not in General American
English or British English.