Spelling: Canadian Vs. American

I’m confused.

I’m a Canadian and spell Canadian. I’ve spent many hours proofreading my novels to make sure my spelling is consistently Canadian.

I read novels written by Americans and am used to reading American spelling. This can make writing in one or the other difficult. as both ways of spelling look correct. I have my spell checker set to Canadian spelling, but sometimes there is an option and so the spell checker won’t highlight if I’ve slipped into American spelling when both versions may be acceptable.

What I’m saying is I’ve worked hard to keep my spelling consistently Canadian.

Then – and I feel like I should play music here – I attended the Bloody Words Conference in Toronto and a Canadian editor said, “It drives me crazy when the first thing I have to do is change all the Canadian spelling to American. Taking out the ‘u’ gets annoying.”

I didn’t get a chance to talk with her about the comment, but it’s been bothering me ever since.

Do any other Canadian writers out there prefer one way of spelling to another?

Is there a standard in the Canadian publishing industry?

Have I done this the wrong way?

If you’re opinionated on the subject, I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for reading . . .


9 thoughts on “Spelling: Canadian Vs. American

  1. What kind of words do we spell different? I am not aware of different spellings for the same words. Momma Jean is no help with this either.


    1. Thank You Miss June. I haven’t traveled enough to know the particulars of the languages. I know that American English is difficult because it is made up of words from all languages and since all the languages have different spelling and sound rules it makes for a messy language.


    1. That’s what I thought too and since I’ve written four novels with Canadian spelling I’ll leave it as is. If I get lucky and find a publisher I’ll change it then of they ask or think it’s important.


  2. Not just the spelling, sometimes we use different words for the same thing, where Canadians use the UK version. I remember asking for a serviette in a US restaurant once and getting an odd look.

    But back to your question, I’m pretty sure all the Canadian authors I’ve read use Canadian/UK(/Australia/NZ) spelling.


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