Totaled/totaling vs. totalled/totalling

In American English, the participles corresponding to the verb total are totaled and totaling—with one lTotalled and totalling, with two l‘s, are the preferred spellings in varieties of English from outside the U.S. This has been the case since the early 20th century, when many verbs ending in went through a similar transition in American English.

3 thoughts on “Totaled/totaling vs. totalled/totalling”

  1. “Early 20th Century”? Try since the dominance of Microsoft Word and their spellcheck function which followed ignorant journalistic faux pas. When I was in school in the 70s and 80s, we were still taught to
    follow double consonants after a vowel in such situations: totalling,
    programming, travelling, etc.

    That’s not a natural transition but the lazy impact of one corporation asking the wrong people for guidance.

    • Can you provide evidence that MS Word is responsible for this? It seems like there’s a bit of a metanarrative informing this whole comment that I just can’t quite place my finger on, but is definitely (definitely) shaping what I’m seeing.

      What too is the allusion to some journalistic change/decision? I’m curious about it. (I say this genuinely. Take me on my word.)

      Further, though, your final point largely disputes an element you’re adding: the naturalness of this transition. The original text doesn’t use this, so while on the surface you really bring the hammer down, I’m not so sure that it can be said that you actually hit the nail.

      As far as your point, it’s perfectly fine, and I too double my l’s, but what is with all the editorializing? It actually diminishes this effort at providing a (potentially) more accurate understanding of the change that is being described here.
      I’d actually love to see a supported argument that shows the impact you’re describing, but there’s just a swirl of fist-shaking here that stands in for a support.


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