The UVic Writer's Guide


Canadian/English/American Spelling


The slightly simplified spelling introduced by Noah Webster in 1828 replaces the original English spelling of honour with honor, and theatre with theater; Americans will be technical with words that end with -ize, while English jargon thrives on -ise. Canadians tend to accept free trade so far as color and -ize are concerned, but stick to metre, perhaps because of the influence of French. Canadians seldom use plow, and thru appears only on street signs where space is limited,

There is, however, no absolute rule about Canadian spelling. The main thing is to be consistent with whatever you choose.


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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated May 13, 1995