I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the spelling of words such as "pavilion" and "canceled." Logic would dictate that they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they?
Thanks!

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I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the spelling of words such as "pavilion" and "canceled." Logic would dictate that they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they?

Because although logic is not explicitly
avoided in the rules of English spelling it
does not rank high, cf. enough and through
and similar words. This is one reason English
has for 150 years had movements for spelling reform. They fail as if people simply preferred the irregularities and ornamentation of traditional spelling.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
LinuxSaves wrote on 04 Dec 2004:
I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the spelling of words such as "pavilion" and "canceled." Logic would dictate that they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they?

Logic and language are not old friends. Logic and orthography are sworn enemies in the English language. Why are (jus) and (juz) both spelt or spelled "use"? Vanity (in the Biblical sense).

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LinuxSaves wrote on 04 Dec 2004:

I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the ... they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they?

Logic and language are not old friends. Logic and orthography are sworn enemies in the English language. Why are (jus) and (juz) both spelt or spelled "use"? Vanity (in the Biblical sense).

Most non-US users do use "cancelled"; though I could make a good case for "canceled" too.
Spelling reform wouldn't work because there isn't a single standard pronunciation. If you're interested, there's a bit about it in the FAQ, at:
http://alt-usage-english.org/intro e.shtml#Isntsp00

Mike.
The first thing (and perhaps the only one) Id do to reform spelling is to eliminate all apostrophes except when absolutely necessary.

"Its" and "It's", for example, are perfectly understandable in their contexts without apostrophes.
All the apostrophe accomplishes there is to reveal, when misused, the writers ignorance.
Ditto for the grocers "apple's".
Bob G
I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the spelling of words such as "pavilion" and "canceled." Logic would dictate that they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they?

They can be.
Examples of and abound in OED2, which labels the double 'l'as mostly a 16th-18th century spelling. The single 'l' spelling dating from the 13th century and the double 'll' spelling from the 15th century.
British spelling 'rules' call for , US rules for . The spelling is not that rare in the US, though. One of the seven OED2 citations for is from a non-US source:
1548 Gest Pr. Masse 93 Canceled owte of the masse boke, as heresye toGod and disobeysaunce to the King.
The spelling of 'masse', 'boke', 'heresye', and 'disobeysaunce' do not suggest this as an example to be followed in modern UK English.
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LinuxSaves wrote on 04 Dec 2004: Logic and language are ... both spelt or spelled "use"? Vanity (in the Biblical sense).

Most non-US users do use "cancelled"; though I could make a good case for "canceled" too. Spelling reform wouldn't work because there isn't a single standard pronunciation.

What language has a single standard pronunciation?

Opening her own letter Dorothea saw that it was a lively continuation of his remonstrance with her fanatical sympathy and her want of sturdy neutral delight in things as they were—an outpouring of his young vivacity which it was impossible to read just now. -, "Middlemarch"
I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the ... they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they?

Because although logic is not explicitly avoided in the rules of English spelling it does not rank high, cf. enough ... years had movements for spelling reform. They fail as if people simply preferred the irregularities and ornamentation of traditional spelling.

I use the spellings "dialogue" and "catalogue" for "dialog" and "catalog" so I guess I'm into ornamentation.
I use Mozilla Thunderbird for email and newsgroups and checked the spelling. With the AmE dictionary, dialogue and catalogue were "misspelled". When I installed the BrE dictionary and rechecked the spelling, dialog and catalog were "misspelled". ;-)

Nell
I'd appreciate an explanation of the English rules governing the spelling of words such as "pavilion" and "canceled." Logic would dictate that they be spelled "pavillion" and "cancelled." So why aren't they? Thanks!

(MWCD10) For "pavilion":
Etymology: Middle English pavilon, from Old French paveillon, from Latin papilion-, papilio butterfly; perhaps akin to Old High German fIfaltra butterfly
You can see that the earlier version (Latin) has the single "l".

As for "canceled", it can be spelled either way (MWCD10):

Main Entry: 1can·cel
Pronunciation: 'kan(t)-s&l
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): -celed or -celled; -cel·ing or can·cel·ling /-s(&-)li(ng)/

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