This is something I think I've noticed, but maybe I've just been noticing odd word choices and putting it down to a shift in language use. Has anyone noticed a shift from people using verb-derived nouns ending in -nce, to their equivalents ending in -ncy? Seems to be an American English thing.

For example, I've just read a scientific paper from a Washington-based research group, in which they use the word "resiliency", rather than "resilience". I'm sure I've noticed other words like this from time to time, but can't think of any more examples.

  • Definitely noticed it, and have for years. – Jim Mack Nov 21 '18 at 16:14
  • If you put that word into a phrase, you can use Google Books NGram Viewer to look at historical usage—which will suggest something. (But you'd need to look at many different words and many different contexts to conclude anything meaningful.) – Jason Bassford Nov 21 '18 at 16:20
  • Good point, just looked at the ngram viewer and "resiliency" seems to be much more common in American English. However, there's also a general increase in the use of "resilience" across the board – Tim Foster Nov 21 '18 at 16:22
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    Due diligency, one should also look at the opposite trend. As it happens, all of the -nce words I checked had obsolete -ncy variants. – Phil Sweet Nov 21 '18 at 22:18
  • ell.stackexchange.com/questions/41528/…; there are many words of this kind. – Ram Pillai Dec 17 '19 at 9:43

As noteed by Jason: An interesting way to investigate changes over time is provided by Google Ngram.



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