Zee or Zed: A Different Kind of Language Politics

I am up early (mostly because I have to be in at 9 for the Big Office Move but also because of the sun) working on a revised document that explains dissertation proposals in Communication Studies. The old document has Canadian spellings. Now here’s the question: do I change them to American spellings? If not, how do I know I’m spelling correctly? Am I Director of the “Graduate Program in Communication Studies” or the “Graduate Programme in Communication Studies”? Will the student have a “defense” or a “defence”? Are these ethicopolitical questions or merely practical ones?

Language is so much part of the political culture here, but I’ve learned all my Canadian language politics through the interface between French and English. What happens when it’s about the relationship American vs. Canadian English (acknowledging that there is more than one “English” practiced in each country but also acknowledging that there are some national differences as well)? Do people notice? Do they care?

2 replies on “Zee or Zed: A Different Kind of Language Politics”

  1. after a heated deabte at the Daily, we (though not I) voted to officially make a change to our style guide and we spent an entire semester copyediting z\’s to s\’s in words like \”organization.\” Now, both spellings look somewhat wrong and awkward to me. yeah, eh?

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