1. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Grey vs Gray

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Annûniel, Sep 15, 2010.

    I looked into this a little bit before posting, but I wasn't able to find a sufficient answer.

    It seems like both grey and gray mean the same thing (the color between black and white) but grey is used in the U.K. Gray is an American spelling of the same word.

    As an American looking to publish in America, should I be using the spelling "gray?" I've always spelled it "grey."
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, but more importantly be consistent in whichever you use. There could be many reasons why you've always opted for the UK variant - peers, education, the novels you read, simple mistake, but in this scenario it sounds best to use the US variant.
     
  3. Chudz
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    Chudz Contributing Member

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    I struggled with this somewhat as well. From a North American standpoint, I would use "gray" as the color as Gannon has suggested.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In agreement with both of the prior posters. I have also often favoured ;) UK spellings, but I have to admit it was more out of affectation than anything. Affectation is probably not a trait you wish to present to your publisher when, upon meeting you, they realize you are neither from the UK nor Canada.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    the color is gray and the colour is grey, unless do Canadians have the color grey? OK confused myself now lol For me because you had the spelling color, the spelling grey looked off in the same sentence lol
     
  6. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I was looking into the word, it seemed Canadians prefer the spelling "grey" over "gray."

    Silly Webster and his decision to make an "American" language. :p

    And thanks everyone. I'll change it to gray. I don't use the word all that often, but I'll be sure to stay consistent.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Both spellings are acceptable. Gray is in wider use in the US, and grey in the UK. It may be that the UK makes a stronger distinction than the US. A couple of UK dictionaries I checked listed gray as a US spelling of grey, but my US dictionaries simply consider grey and gray to be alternate spellings. It does appear that in the US, gray is more widely accepted.

    In this case, consistency is more important than which you choose.

    Especially if you use it as someone's name. :)
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    definitely at least when I was at school color and gray would be considered spelling mistakes and not alternatives.
     
  9. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    In spite of being on the melted pot side of the pond, I have always ... well, almost always used the 'grey' spelling. When in elementary school my teachers and I would have grand discussions on the appropriateness of the 'ey' vs. 'ay' spelling. One even threatened to lower my grade for each infraction on any paper where I 'misspelled' it as 'grey' so I deliberately wrote a paper and on three occasions therein, wrote something like, "The clouds turned a somber shade somewhere between black and white."

    Of course, in college I was also the one who deliberately skewed an answer on a final to 'sound' wrong because the professor phrased the question, "What do you think ...?" It was counted wrong and the prof and I ended up in the dean's office for me to plead my case. (I won!)
     
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  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You should have left a jar of Grey Poupon on that teacher's desk. :D
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... but your ms won't be rejected down if you use the british spelling, as long as you're consistent...
     

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