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Modelling or modeling?

Asked by [ Admin ]

Is the word modelling allowed?

Is it British English vs. US English?

The Wiktionary entry for modelling says:

Alternative spelling of modeling.

There is a whole Wikipedia article named Scientific modelling. And one named Data modeling. Both of them are about making models. Should the first article be renamed?

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1 answer


donald remero [ Moderator ]

Yes, this is a difference between British vs. American standardization. But, the double-L spelling is, nevertheless, "allowed" even for American-only publications, despite the fact that the single-L spelling is "preferred."

When adding a suffix:
The British usually double the 'L' when it is preceded by a vowel, and the Americans do not.

Additional examples include: counsel, equal, excel, propel, signal, travel, and quarrel.

It is noteworthy, that neither the American Heritage nor Merriam-Webster dictionaries list the alternative spellings for these words as specifically British, thus allowing for a higher degree of acceptance for these variations for standardized American use than, say, the word pair check/cheque.

According to the Wikipedia guidelines regarding national varieties of English:

The English Wikipedia does not prefer any major national variety of the language. Within the English Wikipedia no variety is considered more correct than another. Editors should understand that the differences between the varieties are largely superficial.

Furthermore, the Wikipedia explicitly states that "edit wars" over such issues are unacceptable and further states (in an article on dates and numbers) that:

Where Wikipedia does not mandate a specific style, editors should not attempt to convert Wikipedia to their own preferred style, nor should they edit articles for the sole purpose of converting them to their preferred style, or removing examples of, or references to, styles which they dislike.

Ultimately, it appears that inconsistency in the spelling of words such as modeling/modelling fall into a gray (or grey) area of "accepted usage" that we should probably, at least for the time being, simply tolerate.

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