travelled or traveled?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by panjandrum, May 18, 2006.

  1. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Which of these sentences are right?
    <<This post and a few others are copied from a thread that begins with lots of sentences including:
    ..... traveled ...

    We then discovered that few of us knew about travelled/traveled being BE/AE.
    Hence this thread.>>

    To be honest, none of them ...

    ... because they all spell travelled incorrectly:D
    - or do some of you really spell it with one l?
  2. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    You're joking, right? Surely you know that "traveled" is the correct spelling in American English (yet another one of the American-British differences we seem to be stumbling upon at an exceptional rate lately! ;)).
  3. You little ripper! Senior Member

    Australian English
    Most dictionaries give both spellings as correct.

    P.S. You cheated Panj! You've only just added that last sentence. :D
  4. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    This is surreal.

    There is no editing comment, so you must have added this line within four minutes of submitting your post - yet both Charles and I had already answered your original message!

    Anyway, the answer is a resounding yes. In American English, the rule is that a single final consonant preceded by a single vowel in a two-syllable word is doubled only if the stress falls on the second syllable - hence, "traveled," "marveled," and "canceled" but "forbidden," "deferred," and "referred." There is at least one exception: "kidnaped" can be spelled "kidnapped" because "kidnaped" looks as though the "a" should be pronounced long.
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I had no idea. I was totally confident that traveled was simply wrong until I realised that you'd all let it pass without comment AND some had actually typed it, not copied from the first post.
    So I went to check after posting and, as Charles points out, edited in my little reservation when I realised that some people somewhere are one-l people.
  6. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Australia English
    BE: jewel, jeweller, jewelled, jewellery
    AE: jewel, jeweler, jeweled, jewelry
  7. Tatzingo

    Tatzingo Senior Member

    Where on Earth??
    English, UK

    I admit it. I hadn't the foggiest.

  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    OK, now I have unravelled or unraveled the threads and isolated this topic from fruxi's question.

    I'm still reeling from this. How come you have been doing this all the time and I never noticed before?

    And all those times I have written travelled - you all thought it was a mistake and never said:eek:
  9. maxiogee Banned

    Any travelling jewellers out there?

    I immediately thought back to the McCarthy era and did a Google-fight.
    I got…
    2,910,000 for "fellow traveller"
    9,380,000 for "fellow traveler" - which looks really wrong to my smiling Irish eyes!
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    By the way, could anyone remind me what is the spelling rule used in BE?
  11. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    I don't know what the rule is, but I know in BE we double much more than in AE. If anything, take it that you should double consonants when you add an ED because otherwise the sound changes.

    What I don't understand is why spellcheckers don't like focussed or targetted which you see all the time. A single consonant for me implies the preceding vowel is long so traveler to me looks like travEler, comited would rhyme with smited, focused would rhyme with used and so on.

    I wonder whether this is just me?
  12. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    No, it's not just you.

    As to spellcheckers, I am usually careful to set mine to either AE or BE, depending on the text I'm working on. Our friends in Gatesville may set the application default to AE, but it's easy to change that.
  13. cirrus

    cirrus Senior Member

    Crug Hywel
    UK English
    This is even with the spellchecker set to British English.
  14. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    No, we didn't. We knew you were spelling it wrong that way on purpose.:cool:
  15. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English
    Careful! AE is "comitted" - the accent, for us anyway, falls on the second syllable. But, of course, I would write "smitten" for the past participle and "smote" for the simple past of the other anyway.:D (But, like most Americans, I also write "dove" instead of "dived" "He dove in..." We like strong verbs!).
  16. maxiogee Banned

    Surely we all know, from the ten commandments, that there are two Ms in commit, and therefore also in committed?
  17. french4beth

    french4beth Senior Member

    Um - er - lots of web sites show both "traveling" and "travelling", etc.

    And I can't seem to find a rule...

    So I say, do what you want!

  18. AWhiteFlame Senior Member

    American English; United States of America
    AFAIK, They're both correct. It's one of the ones the rule could go either way on. Same thing with tunnelled/tunneled. From my interpretation from the polysyllabic suffix rule from my English class, I understood it to have 1 l, but it could go either way.
  19. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Welcome AWhiteFlame:)

    Just to be clear:
    only the ll version is correct in BE - British English.
  20. boonognog Senior Member

    Charlotte, NC
    English (U.S.)
    In the U.S., there is no fixed spelling rule for most two-syllable words whose emphasis falls on the first syllable. You can use either single or double consonants before the ending. That's why no one has said anything to the contrary before, when the double consonant was used.

    What I would like to know is why no one brought this up until now, if you thought everyone from the U.S. was spelling things incorrectly all along on this board! ;)

    ...who prefers doubling the consonant, anyway
  21. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    When I searched the EO forum, there were 15 examples of traveled. I simply ignored them as typos if I noticed them at all.
    [25 examples of travelled]
  22. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Actually the spelling rule is normally the same in BE and AE. The final consonant is doubled when the word ends in a single consonant after a single vowel and only in stressed syllables:

    stopped but seated and sounded

    committed but visited

    The difference is that in BE -l- is doubled (as long as it comes after a single vowel) even if the final syllable is unstressed:

    cancelled but revealed

    I think -l- is also doubled in AE when the final syllable is stressed: propelled.

    EDIT: Words like kidnapped, handicapped, worshipped are exceptions to the "rule"
  23. ChiMike Senior Member

    Chicago USA
    USA, English
    Well, my attitude is: If Christ died for my sins, I want him to get his money's worth.

    He could probably even overlook a typo or two, but on the other hand, he might wield the jawbone of as ass. One can never tell.
  24. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    Collins Robert French-English Dictionary provides a handy summary on the cases when a verb's final consonant is doubled.
    1) Verbs ending in c change to ck (frolicking, trafficked)
    2) Verbs ending in l or p preceded by an unstressed vowel double the consonant in British English but not in American English (BE grovelled, travelling, worshipped; AE groveled, traveling, worshiped)
    3) Verbs ending in a single consonant preceded by a single stressed vowel double the consonant (sobbed, wedded, preferred) (but if the vowel is double the consonant is not doubled (cooked, fearing)
  25. Robbo Senior Member

    Both "focused" and "focussed" are generally accepted as correct in BE, but "focused" is prefered by both the Cambridge ALD and the Oxford ALD.

    I believe that only "focused" is generally accepted as correct in AE.

    Word processor dictionaries (eg MS Word) even in the British market usually only accept "focused" (one "s") by default but you can easily add "focussed" (double "s") if you really want to.

    One advantage of Microsoft's singularity is that a document author is automatically warned if they commit the heinous crime of being inconsistent within the same document. But that still leaves plenty of other opportunities.

  26. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    I would´only agree that the double p spelling is correct.
  27. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    I think focussed is an alternate spelling, but targetted is an error.

    Judgement can also be written either way: judgment. I think the one with the second e is preferentially a BE variant
  28. Txiri

    Txiri Senior Member

    USA English
    You inadvertently left off the second t in committed, right?
  29. moodywop Banned

    Southern Italy
    Italian - Italy
    Thanks for pointing that out, Txiri. I'll edit my post.
  30. JohnPaul New Member

    Spanish- River Plate
    I liked very much this post. I have told my daughter to correct her spelling of travelled (doubling the "l") as I supposed she had made a mistake. I am not native speaker and in my childhood I used to learn BE. Now I see it was only she uses the American variant.

    As the Irishman does, I sometimes use the "google rule" for spelling (also in my native spanish), but that rule has the problem that the number of american citizens surpassed that of britons in the XIX century.

    I also pronounce the word direct as "direct" and not "dairect" and have been corrected by my peers many times, but I do it as an act of ressistance since I read in the Oxford Dictionary that the former is the BE pronunciation.

    Would any native speaker be so kind to confirm if this is right?

    I suppose BE is also used in ex-colonies, so as more people in those countries become "google-literate" I suppose the number will change.
  31. maww041 New Member

    traveled = US English
    travelled = UK English

    It's not a question of grammar but just spelling.
  32. edwardw

    edwardw Member

    double "L" often used in British English.
    Both are ok.
    double "L" would be natrual to me in vision.

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