Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How Do Ya Spell Rezoomay?

I suppose we could all just use the plain vanilla


spelling, right? The problem with this, though, at least amongst us Canadian English-speakers, is that we have been trying to read the French sides of cereal boxes from early childhood and that word just looks kinda naked spelled like this.

So for years I wrote rezoomay as résumé and felt a lot better about it.

Then for some reason I became a little self-conscious about this. It might have been because I was seeing both résumé and resumé in other people's stuff. I decided that two accented characters in a single word must be overkill.

So I started spelling rezoomay as resumé. But my old confidence was now gone.

Isn't it extremely annoying to get advice about your own language presented in another language? Well, that's how I feel anyway. Here's what Wiktionnaire says: "Mots de la langue anglaise comportant des diacritiques, ce qui est inhabituel." (English words don't usually have accented characters.) Or, in our case, rezoomay needs no accents!

Fine, but what should we tell all of the eccentrics in English Canada who insist on using them?

The answer is ... if you really must put French accents in words then the spelling is résumé! (Don't believe me? Just follow the link to check the French Wiktionary.)

PS: What about the other spelling variations? Wiktionnaire wonders aloud about where they came from: "Si vous connaissez l’étymologie manquante de ce mot, merci de l’ajouter conformément aux instructions décrites ici." (If you know the missing etymology for this word please add it, according to the instructions provided here.)


John FitzGerald said...

I wish organizations would look up what "liaison" means in French. They might not have so many liaison officers then.

Bill Bell said...

John, I'm not looking up any more French words today.