Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A licence to practise

Practice, practise; licence, license.

This one is for Canadians only. Americans, I really don't understand your use of the two words, but I do know that you, through your printed and computer dictionaries, don't help the matter north of the border.

Up here, I see it wrong more often than not. Many of the young writers I've seen seem to have just given up and play the odds -- they know they have a 50-50 chance of getting it right.

For Canadians, though, it's pretty simple: use the 's' version for the verb form and the 'c' any other time.

My hockey practice is at 6 a.m. In order to get better, you must practise.

A doctor's practice. He practises quack medicine.

Driver's licence; licensed to kill.

Got it?

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