Improvise vs. improvize

In an instance of agreement, the proper spelling is the same everywhere in the English-speaking world: improvise. It means to speak without preparation or invent something using the materials at hand. Examples However, the actress says that the western dance helps her to improvise and fine tune … [Read more...]

Flip one’s lid vs. flip one’s wig

To flip one's lid and flip one's wig mean to suddenly lose control to some emotion, either anger or excitement. Flipping your wig is more commonly found in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an old phrase, but was born in North America in the 1980's. Examples Momma Dee … [Read more...]

Rancor vs. rancour

Rancor is defined as bitterness or resent. It is spelled rancor in the US, and rancour outside the US. Examples It of course also left "a legacy of political rancor and racial hatred so intense" that it guaranteed the world war that would follow 20 years later, which by Keegan's calculation was … [Read more...]

Rejig vs. rejigger

Both rejig and rejigger mean to rearrange an object. Rejigger is the preferred form in the US, and outside the US the standard is rejig. Examples UTI Asset Management Company is keen on a rejig in shareholding so that the mutual fund can become an independent asset management company. [Calcutta … [Read more...]

Baptise vs. baptize

Baptise is the preferred spelling outside North America; as well as: baptised and baptising. For North America the standard is baptize, baptizing, baptized. However, baptism is used everywhere. Examples in North America: On Sunday, the Romano family was on the brink of a new life - they had … [Read more...]

Smokey vs. smoky

Smokey is a proper noun and first name, whereas smoky is an adjective referring to an object being filled with or smelling of smoke. Until recently smokey was an accepted spelling of smoky in the Oxford English Dictionary. However, it is now thought of as … [Read more...]

Orthopedic vs. orthopaedic

Orthopedic is the Americanized version of the word orthopaedic. Both refer to the medical specialty focusing on the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Orthopaedic comes from the Greek orthos (straight) and paidion (child), which … [Read more...]

Enrol vs. enroll

The verb meaning to sign up or to register is spelled enroll in the U.S. Enrol, with one l, is the preferred spelling outside North America. The more American spelling is now preferred in Canadian news publications, but enrol was traditionally more common and still appears in many contexts. The … [Read more...]

Agree

agree-british-english

Where the verb agree means to come to an agreement (on something), Americans and Canadians make it intransitive, meaning it takes a preposition, usually on or to, when it has an object. For instance, opposing parties might agree on a compromise. Outside North America, especially in the U.K., the … [Read more...]

Appal vs. appall

For the verb meaning, primarily, to dismay or shock, appal is the standard spelling outside North America. Appall is standard in the U.S. and Canada. This has been the case since the late 1800s, though the old double-l variant---which was the prevalent form everywhere until around 1800---had long … [Read more...]

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