There are many words that can be spelled multiple ways, adding to the confusion that surrounds the English language. Usually, one version is preferred over or used more commonly than the other, making alternate spellings appear wrong. Most of the preferred versions are simply shorter, which is not surprising with today’s language trends to write with as few characters as possible due to texts and tweets.

Words with alternate spellings; which is correct?

Here are a few of the most commonly used words with alternate spellings, both of which are technically correct to use:

among vs. amongst:  among is preferred because it is shorter

flier vs.  flyer:  although both can be used pretty interchangeably, flier usually refers to flight and flyer commonly indicates a brochure for information or advertisement

gray vs. grey:  gray is more commonly used in the U.S.; grey is the preference in Great Britain

toward vs. towards: again, brevity is the trend; toward is preferred

judgment vs. judgement:  getting rid of the first “e” seems to be more popular, no surprise

canceled vs. cancelled:  by now, you should have guessed that losing the second “l” would be preferred, for brevity’s sake

benefiting vs. benefitting:  benefiting, of course, is more frequently chosen. I myself like the extra “t” because it leads to the correct pronunciation with a short “i” sound in the middle of the word, rather than incorrectly pronouncing it like “bene-fighting.”

Which versions do you prefer?

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