A Seriouse Lacke of Judgement

Okay, I’ve gotten used to the use of the misspelled word  judgement on Iron Chef.  However, now it’s also being used on ESPN Sports Center.

I did a little dictionary research to see if judgement, the misspelling, has gained acceptability.  The answer is yes and no.  One dictionary lists the "e" spelling as an alternative, but then goes on to illustrate the use judgement by citing sentence examples using judgment, the correct spelling.  It also defined judgement narrowly, saying it was "the legal document stating the reason for a judicial opinion." 

Bottom line–judgment is the only spelling, deriving from the French word jugement (which does use an "e," curiously).

2 thoughts on “A Seriouse Lacke of Judgement

  1. Verbivore says:

    G’day, Grammarblogger.

    I find your assertion, in “A Seriouse Lacke of Judgement” (30 June 2008), that “judgment is the only spelling” somewhat US-centric and overstated.

    That may be okay within the confines of US English, but your site nowhere (immediately obvious) declares its national linguistic flavour.

    The US is not the only English-language nation on Earth, and US standards and styles are far from universal (despite the culturo-linguistic imperialism inherent in the spread of Microsoft Word and the like).

    You claim to have done “a little dictionary research to see if judgement, the misspelling, has gained acceptability”.

    Your research must indeed have been confined to a little dictionary. Here are some other dictionaries’ pronouncements on the word’s spelling/s:

    * Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate (10th edn): judgment or judgement (with no commentary on the difference);

    * Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (5th edn): judgement (also judgment – the usual form in legal use);

    * Oxford English Reference Dictionary (2nd edn, rev.): judgement (also judgment);

    * Chambers Dictionary (new 9th edn): judgement or judgment;

    * Macquarie Australian National Dictionary (rev. 3rd edn): judgment or judgement;

    * Macquarie International English Dictionary (rev. 3rd edn): judgment or judgement;

    * Collins English Dictionary (7th edn): judgment or judgement;

    * Collins Australian Dictionary (5th edn): judgment or judgement.

    The “e” spelling is standard British English and is also standard in most former British colonies – the main exceptions being the US and Australia (in the latter either spelling being accepted, though the “e-less” version is now in the ascendant).

    Do you still maintain your assertion that judgement is a misspelling?

    If so, then I shall have to insist that “center” is also a misspelling.

    Happy 4 July! (Irrelevant to us Aussies.)

  2. grammarblogger says:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *