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Dialog or Dialogue?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Breadstick, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Breadstick

    Breadstick Senior Member

    Mexico City
    British English
    Hi there,

    I'd always assumed that "dialogue" was the British English spelling of the word, and "dialog" was the American English spelling, hence me naming an event that I organized (in Mexico) Dialogs for XXXXX. The logic behind that assumption being that the final "-ue" is silent and thus not needed, and as a result had been taken out in American English.

    However, some of the American participants at this event pointed out "dialogs" as a mistake, and assured me that they would always spell it "dialogues". I must admit that this has left me in a bit of a sticky situation. Anyone out there that can shed some light on this?

    Cheers

    Breadstick
     
  2. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    I thought it was the same throughout both.
    I know on a computer window, the "dialog box" is consistent among both BE and AE.
    When it has the meaning of a conversation, I thought it was always with the -ue ending.

    Did anyone say it was correct? I don't think it's wise to assume the people who didn't comment also thought it was right, maybe they noticed it but didn't say anything.
    I'd be interested to see if dialog was an accepted form of dialogue in AE, in the conversation sense.

    I looked and found dialog only as an alternative to dialogue in the computing sense (like I mentioned before).
    It seems for dialog box some people write it out in full (something I've never seen before). The difference for me has always been between the two type of meaning, rather than geographical distribution.
     
  3. Cagey post mod

    California
    English - US
    The WR dictionary gives dialog as a US variant of dialogue. However, COCA* there are about two times as many instances of dialogue as there are of dialog. By far the majority of the latter are in the context of computing, as Alex says. I, myself prefer dialogue, and would certainly expect to see it in a formal setting. I fear that dictionaries sometimes oversimplify the situation.


    *Corpus of Contemporary American English.
     
  4. Breadstick

    Breadstick Senior Member

    Mexico City
    British English
    Thanks guys, I think I'd have to go along with that now, i.e. the difference between "dialogue" and "dialog" being based on the meaning, rather than on regional differences (I say rather glumly, as that's like closing the barn door once the horse has already bolted).

    Cheers

    Breadstick
     
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    The leading US dictionaries give dialogue and dialog as variant spellings, with no difference in meaning. (See dictionary.com, freedictionary.com, and Merriam-Webster online.)
     
  6. Breadstick

    Breadstick Senior Member

    Mexico City
    British English
    Thanks Parla. Would you find it strange to see "Dialogs for XXXX" as the title of an event?

    Cheers

    Breadstick
     
  7. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    No, not strange at all.
     
  8. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    Breadstick. I just stick with dialogue, even in computing..... :):cool: But then, who am I to pontificate.... ;)

    GF..

    If it is not broken why change it? Unfortunately I have often left off the ue from the right hand end........ :eek: Brainwashing allways wins and mind on infinity allways loses.... :warning:
     
  9. Breadstick

    Breadstick Senior Member

    Mexico City
    British English
    Thanks guys and gals, much appreciated. I did find it a little strange to have other native speakers "correcting" my English...

    Cheers

    Breadstick
     

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