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Gray or Grey?

Gray or grey? One spelling is British and one is American.

By
Mignon Fogarty
September 3, 2013

gray or greyHave you ever wondered why you see gray spelled two different ways? Grey is the preferred spelling in British English, but gray is more common in American English. 

Who Was Earl Grey?

I'm American, but I enjoy Earl Grey tea (named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl of Grey, the British prime minister from 1830 to 1834), and I regularly look at my tea box, so I was confused about the spelling until I came up with this memory trick:

Quick and Dirty Tip

Remember the difference by associating the a in gray with America. If that's too US-centric for you, associate the e in grey with England (but don't tell anyone in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada).

The Grammar DevotionalGet more tips like this in The Grammar Devotional:

Print: Amazon, Barnes & NoblePowell’s

E-book: Amazon KindleBarnes & Noble NookApple iBook

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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