As we all know, Americans typically use dialed, canceled, councilor, cruelest, modeling, traveler, and traveling. However, British English usage is dialled, cancelled, councillor, cruellest, modelling, traveller, and travelling.

  • See ell.stackexchange.com/q/162/32 – StoneyB on hiatus Mar 31 '17 at 21:16
  • As an American, I use cancelled, councillor, modelling, traveller, and travelling the way I was taught 50 years ago — but also dialed and cruelest. It is, after all, one's own language to spell as one will. – tchrist Mar 31 '17 at 21:30
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    Double final letters are used to spell historically "short" vowels in the final syllable. But all the words given above are after unstressed ones, which can never be long, so there's no point in doubling the final consonant after such a vowell. – John Lawler Mar 31 '17 at 21:52
  • Really? I've been reading American fiction, anyway, for 50 years and never once noticed that… – Robbie Goodwin Apr 12 '17 at 21:26

Noah Webster appears to be responsible for the sigle l spelling in AmE in words like travel, cancel, fuel etc:

  • “Traveling” and “travelling” shared the same fate as many other words in the English language that have two different spellings.

  • The person who’s usually credited (or blamed) for this is Noah Webster—the Webster of Merriam-Webster dictionary fame. He was a linguist and lexicographer who greatly influenced American English. Webster preferred the shorter versions of many words that had multiple spellings. He included the shorter versions in his dictionaries, and, over time, they became dominant in the United States.

  • At the same time, the rest of the English-speaking world gravitated toward the longer spellings. So, while both Americans and Brits can travel, the former can enjoy traveling while the latter can enjoy travelling.


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