Grammar police, here's a fun one.

A few weeks ago, the Triad had its first snow storm of the year. As we reported, several school districts called off class. School closings prompted a newsroom discussion -- what is the grammatically correct way to spell the past tense of 'cancel?' -- canceled or cancelled?


To VERIFY, you don't have to look much farther than the English dictionary.

The website Grammarly offers further explanation.


Grammarly explains dictionary creator Noah Webster decided a lot of British words didn't need all of their characters. That's why, in America, we dropped the 'u' in the British word 'colour.'

For the same reason, we spell the past tense of 'cancel' a little differently from the Brits.

In the UK, the word is spelled 'cancelled.' But, in the year 1898, the Webster dictionary dropped the 'l.' Almost a century later, canceled (with one l) was considered correct in the U.S.

But, there's an exception. Cancellation -- the noun -- is always spelled with two 'l's. So, in the U.S., we would write: school is canceled (with one l) or there is a school cancellation (with two 'l's).


In conclusion, we can VERIFY both ways of spelling canceled/cancelled are technically correct, but in America canceled is considered the rule.

So, the next time classes get canceled due to snow, you can be grammatically correct bragging about it on Facebook.


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