The Correct Spelling: Jewelry vs Jewellery
July 18, 2017 – Published in: Jewelry Blog
For those who have a fondness for fine adornments, one of the most puzzling aspects is the correct spelling of the word itself. In this piece, we will provide you with both variations and enlighten you about their disparities. Spoiler Alert: Both Jewelry and Jewellery are legitimate spellings.
"England and America, two nations divided by a shared language" – George Bernard Shaw
When Shaw uttered those immortal words, he had no inkling of the extent to which he was speaking the truth. English stands as the most widely spoken language on our planet. British English reigns supreme as the dominant variant. However, we also have American English, which is distinctive to North America, or at least most of it. Depending on your whereabouts in Canada, you may encounter either version being utilized.
The straightforward answer is that both spellings are correct. Jewelry is the preferred spelling in the USA and Canada, while Jewellery is favored in the UK (and in most parts of the English-speaking world).
But let us ponder: Spanish and French have a significant presence worldwide, yet we rarely hear phrases like 'Mexican Spanish' or 'Madagascan French.' So, why is American English necessary? The explanation lies in the fact that Americans endeavored to simplify the spelling of numerous words. Over time, these simplified versions have gained acceptance in our nation. At times, English scholars insinuate that we simplified things due to our perceived lack of intelligence. However, the truth is not as demeaning as that!
British English represents a curious amalgamation of Latin, French, and German, with remnants of these influences persisting to this day. When America was still in its infancy, many of the settlers had limited education. Consequently, they opted for literal spellings, which, upon reflection, is perfectly logical. Webster's Dictionary, published in 1831, solidified this practice in the nation's lexicon, thus giving birth to American English.
Jewelry is a word that flawlessly exemplifies this phenomenon. Or Jewellery, if you prefer.
The double 'L' in numerous words in British English serves as an indication of their French origins. Grammar rules dictate that any inclusion of a double letter must be followed by a vowel. Hence, the requirement of an 'E' in jewellery.
In the United States, we are not burdened by excessive rules and regulations, for we are the land of freedom. We have cast aside this archaic concept—very foreign in every sense of the word—of adding extra letters without necessity.
This discrepancy between single and double letters carries over from the noun to the verb, with "jeweled" being standard in the United States and "jewelled" used in Britain. The British will always assert that they are right and we are wrong because it is their language (as indicated by the name). They may indeed be correct about being correct. However, American English spellings are routinely employed by 325 million individuals, so how can that be regarded as incorrect?
Here are the nations that employ distinct translations:
- USA: Jewelry
- Canada: Jewellery and Jewelry
- UK: Jewellery
- Australia: Jewellery
- India: Jewellery
- South Africa: Jewellery
In truth, language is a complex and highly subjective entity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the disparities between British and American English. Theater or theatre? Meter or metre? Colorize or colourise? Advertize or advertise? Wait, we do not use "advertize"?
"Advertise" is one of the rare words that we all agree upon, although nobody really knows the exact reason. It is probable that since the term has only recently become commonly used, there has always been just one version, thus leading to its universal adoption.
Nevertheless, we are content to stick with jewelry, jeweled, and the like because we are just as correct as anyone else.
Are you in search of exquisite jewelry or merely indulging in some window shopping? Here is a splendid selection of jewelry for you to peruse!
Hays Ring. Dating back to 1920 (Antique, Art Deco Era)
Paradis Ring. Dating back to 1900 (Antique, Edwardian Era)
Kirkwall Ring. Dating back to 1900 (Antique, Edwardian Era)
Diamond can be quite a perplexing term. It is transcribed as "diamond," which, when decomposed into individual letters, becomes D I A M O N D. Phonetically, it is articulated as dˈaɪəmənd.
Are you in search of exquisite adornments? Feel free to reach out to a specialist in the field of jewelry and expect a prompt response within the span of a single working hour.
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