Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right?
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The past tense of cancel is strictly cancelled in British English (BrE). In American English (AmE), however, it is spelled (BrE spelt!) canceled. Note that cancelled is also acceptable in American usage. There are many other verbs whose past tenses and present participles follow a similar pattern:
- worship: worshiped (AmE)/worshipped (BrE) • worshiping (AmE)/worshipping (BrE)
- travel: traveled (AmE)/travelled (BrE) • traveling (AmE)/travelling (BrE)
- label: labeled (AmE)/labelled (BrE) • labeling (AmE)/labelling (BrE)
- libel: libeled (AmE)/libelled (BrE) • libeling (AmE)/libelling (BrE)
- devil: deviled (AmE)/devilled (BrE) • deviling (AmE)/devilling (BrE)
There are some notable exceptions in which the last consonant is always doubled in the past tense and present participle. Examples:
- compel: compelled • compelling
- corral: corralled • corralling
- repel: repelled • repelling
- refer: referred • referring
- occur: occurred • occurring
- demur: demurred • demurring
- whip: whipped • whipping
- fit: fitted • fitting
And there also those words whose last consonant is never doubled when forming the past tense or present participle. Examples:
- differ: differed • differing
- succo[u]r: succo[u]red • succo[u]ring
- solicit: solicited • soliciting
- gallop: galloped • galloping
A special example is the verb program[me]:
- (AmE) program: programed/programmed • programing/programming
- (BrE) programme: programmed • programming
The American system for forming the past tense of these verbs usually follows these rules:
It can be both, 'canceled and 'cancelled'. But to me, 'cancelled' looks way better than 'canceled'.
P.S.-Nice play on the words 'canceled' and 'cancelled'!!!!! Seems quite a tongue twister!
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