Anne (ajva) wrote,

Friday's English Language Lesson #7***

I was thinking earlier today about jhg's little intervention last week, when he defiantly insisted I had made a typo, on the somewhat imperialistic grounds that American spellings of words are de facto incorrect.

It rather put me in mind of the time his mother - a teacher - asked us both if we knew the difference between the words "license" and "licence".

"Yes of course," shoots back jhg: "the '-se' ending is the American version."

This seems to be something of an obsession for Mr. Griffin, but unfortunately in this case he was not quite correct.

The truth of the matter is that the difference is exactly the same as with the words "practise" and "practice" viz. the former is a verb, and the latter a noun. So one may license someone to do something, and give them a licence for it.

There may be some remaining confusion over the word licensee, since this is a noun. However, astute readers will notice that the noun derives from the verb i.e. a licensee is someone who is licensed. Hence the spelling.

Hmmm. This is reminding me that I must ask lolliepopp if our TV licence is up to date.
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