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Is the correct spelling travelling or traveling? I’ve seen both in common usage, but I can't find an authoritative source that says one way or another.

Is this a difference between British spelling and American spelling?

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Interesting graph –  Jim Sep 2 '12 at 0:04
@Jim Wow, that's cool. I didn't know you could do that with Google Books. –  Brian Willis Sep 2 '12 at 0:07
possible duplicate of When is "L" doubled? –  GEdgar Sep 2 '12 at 0:26
@Jim, interesting graph, but you used the 'English' corpus, which will be weighted towards US spelling due to the number of books published in the USA. –  Roaring Fish Sep 2 '12 at 3:29
@RoaringFish- Yes, my point was not to discern an AmE/BrE difference but to note the difference over time. –  Jim Sep 2 '12 at 4:02
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closed as general reference by tchrist, GEdgar, MετάEd, FumbleFingers, jwpat7 Sep 3 '12 at 0:05

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There is no hard-and-fast rule that is universally applied, but in general, many and perhaps most writers of American English use just one single L there.

Other varieties, including British, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, South African, and (usually (but not always)) Canadian, almost invariably use two Ls there.

I draw your attention to the first bullet point under "Doubled Consonants".

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Canadians and some Americans also use two L’s. –  tchrist Sep 2 '12 at 0:41
Yeah, Canadian English is not American English, so it fits into my sentence about "other varieties". Should I have said "United States English", so that it was clear that I didn't mean "North American English"? But some Americans? @tchrist, are you sure? –  user16269 Sep 2 '12 at 0:49
Yes, I’m quite sure. Would you like a copy of my book? :) –  tchrist Sep 2 '12 at 0:50
@tchrist Do you mean the book that was co-authored by a New Zealander? –  user16269 Sep 2 '12 at 0:51
No, I mean Programming Perl, which is 100% American. Anyway, my just-previous boss is also American, and like me also uses double-L spellings on things like marshalling, travelling, signalling, and levelling. It is far from unknown here, no matter what newspaper editors would have you believe. –  tchrist Sep 2 '12 at 0:53
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British English Ngram

American English Ngram

It looks as though it is a difference between British spelling and American spelling, as the OP suspected.

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