How Do You Spell Honours Ina Degree Classification?


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Joe McHugh answered
Honours is one of many words that has different spellings on either side of the Atlantic. In the United Kingdom it contains a 'u', whilst in the United States there is no 'u'. Any literature or awards from an American institution won't contain a 'u' whereas from a UK institution the word will contain the letter 'u'.

  • US versus UK English

There are many examples of similar rules when it comes to spelling, with American (English) recognized almost as a language on it's own. Clearly the British version has been established for much longer and will be viewed as the 'proper' way of spelling, although the American spelling of certain words is widely recognized - or should that be recognised!

  • S or Z?

The letter 's' is often substituted by a 'z' by Americans, whilst dropping 'u' from letters is equally as common. Just as the 'u' in honour is dropped to create honor, the same applies to color which is spelt with a 'u' by the British - colour.

Another common change in spelling is where the British use double letters. An example of that is in program, which is spelt as programme by the British. On both sides of the Atlantic these differences are recognized and respected, the differences are very minor and don't create any problems in understanding. Songs have even been made about the differences - 'You say tomato, I say tomatoe, you say potato, I say potatoe'.

By putting these matters to song it lightens any friction that could be created with people on either side of the Atlantic. When it comes to education, a degree with honors in the US is just as worthwhile as one gained in the UK with honours - despite being a letter short!

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