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What is the difference between catalogue and catalog? I cannot really decide which one to use for a product catalogue for a shop.

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  • 1
    Similar to "analog" or "analogue".
    – GEdgar
    Nov 11, 2011 at 18:26
  • I think I have not seen enough of "analogue" to recall that it even exists! (eventhough we officially use Bristish English in my country)
    – Jake
    Nov 14, 2011 at 7:25

2 Answers 2

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They have the same meaning. Catalogue is used in British English whereas catalog is mostly used in American English. I've also seen cases where catalogue was used by some American friends, though.

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    In the US the British spellings, along with some older archaic spellings like "shoppe" are often used in store names to make the shop look a bit classier.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 21, 2014 at 1:25
  • 1
    @T.E.D. No, catalogue is not in the same category as shoppe. Nobody actually uses shoppe, not even the English.
    – tchrist
    Jun 29, 2014 at 0:34
  • 2
    I expect to find the pricier items in a (US) Catalogue. Dec 29, 2014 at 18:38
-1

Although both spellings originally referred to the same idea, it's my personal experience--in the U.S., at least--that these two forms have diverged over time to encompass separate domains based on the locus of ideas evoked by the word in question.

Example 1: "Dialogue" refers to an undefined, dynamic exchange between two active parties (e.g., dialogue between two characters) whereas "dialog" will typically refer to a one-sided exchange--as with a computer prompt with a deterministic output (e.g., dialog box).

Example 2: "Analog" (adj) almost exclusively refers to "non-digital" technology (e.g., analog amplifier), while "analogue" (n) is used almost exclusively to describe things in figurative/metaphorical domains.

Example 3: "Catalog" and "catalogue" are a good example of this. Catalog often seems relegated to static, physical objects (e.g., the Sears catalog) while catalogue may refer to a more abstract (non-physical) concept of grouped elements (e.g., the Beatles' catalogue of music).

In all three cases, both spellings are used heavily in American English, to different effect; I cannot speak to British (or other regional) English.

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    I down voted as the answer is wrong. All the pairs have the exactly the same meaning. It is a question of British and American spelling. -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… - "...in August 1876,[...] the American Philological Society adopted a list of eleven reformed spellings for immediate use. These were are→ar, give→giv, [...] guard→gard, catalogue→catalog, (in)definite→(in)definit, wished→wisht." -- Not all caught on, but several did including the -logue -> -log suffix.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 3, 2020 at 16:16
  • I have been accused of taking a "prescriptive" approach to language for denying "linguistic evolution" (by refusing to accept improvised terminology), but I also would not enforce 145-year-old morphology on what is clearly a persistent (and conceptual) difference in vernacular--AKA evolution. I respect your opinion, but it seems short-sighted and lacking in depth; the same phenomenon I describe here can be found in multiple Anglophonically-influenced languages & would differ equally based on their respective conceptual frameworks/etymologies. Thank you for the feedback and info, sincerely.
    – Darrell
    Mar 4, 2020 at 13:15

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