Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Licence or license? Practice or practise?


As today’s re-blog demonstrates, some spelling rules are “magnificently daft” :-)

Stroppy Editor

If you’re American, it’s simple: use license and practice and you won’t go wrong.

If you’re British, things are more complicated. Use licence and practice as nouns and license and practise as verbs. The adjectives formed from the verbs also have the s spelling.

Hence this passage from the UK’s General Medical Council:

If you want to continue to hold a licence to practise, then you will need to revalidate like every other doctor who is licensed. However, you may not need a licence to practise if you don’t carry out any clinical practice.

This is glorious in its precision, but also quite magnificently daft.

Let’s face it: this distinction is pointless. The Americans are right to reject it. It serves no purpose other than to make some people feel confused, to make others feel smug, and to waste everyone’s time. Precisely zero confusion would result…

View original post 1,681 more words

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