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Canceled or Cancelled?

Where you live determines which spelling you should use.

By
Mignon Fogarty,
February 24, 2014

cancel

With so many storms this winter, you're probably seeing the word canceled a lotor should it be spelled cancelled?

Canceled is more common in American English, and cancelled is more common in British English, but these aren't hard-and-fast rules as you can see in the Google Ngram charts below.

The AP Stylebook recommends canceled.

British English Ngram

Cancelled is clearly the dominant form in British English.

British cancelled

American English Ngram

Noah Webster is usually credited with creating American spellings that have fewer letters than British spellings such as color and flavor, and canceled is the recommended spelling in a Webster's 1898 dictionary, but this Ngram appears to show that canceled only overtook cancelled in American books in the early 1980s.

American canceled

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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