Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Program or programme?

with 8 comments

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An entertainments program? What, some kind of new software? Sadly, no.

The owner of the social club in question meant to refer in their ad to the ‘entertainments programme’.

A ‘programme’ is a series of planned events (or TV/radio programme): a ‘program’  is a series of coded software instructions.

I know, I know, Americans spell ‘programme’ ‘program’, but this is Blighty, dammit.

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Written by Wordwatch

03/11/2009 at 3:55 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Indians always Programme unlike Americans! 🙂

    By the way, you should not leave your email like this as a live link; spam bots will read it and you will get spam mails!

    Make it like: deborah(dot)bennison(at)writinginc(dot)co(dot)uk

    Or use a mail image [see a post on One Cool site]

    • Hi! Thanks for your comments – and for your wise advice about email addresses. I’m going to rectify this.

      By the way – do you mean that Indians use ‘programme’ and ‘program’ in the same way as the Brits? Best wishes from Blighty!


      11/11/2009 at 8:00 am

  2. Thanks – that’s really interesting to know. Best wishes.


    11/11/2009 at 8:09 am

  3. Official, scientific, peer-reviewed studies (I have the cites if you’re interested) show that Americans annually get an extra 3.7 days of leisure due to the time saved by not typing the “-me.” We also save an average of 21.5 acres of old-growth redwoods by reducing our paper consumption in the same fashion. If the British wish to work more and enjoy the sight of redwood stumps as far as the eye can see, then I guess that’s their prerogative.

    Michael Farrell

    23/03/2010 at 7:44 pm

    • …we use up loads more keyboards too. Current equally scientific and credible studies show that the Brits’ use of extra vowels and consonants in words such as programme, humour and vigour annually result in the disposal of 0.9 per cent more keyboards per ten British households per year as compared to the number purchased per three families in every 12 per decade in America. Statistics never lie.


      23/03/2010 at 8:13 pm

      • Well, if you want to talk about the time we save by not adding the French-parfumed U everywhere…. It’s surprising we have to work at all. Fortunately, we fill our free time with studies.

        Michael Farrell

        23/03/2010 at 8:32 pm

        • Would that be scientific studies?


          23/03/2010 at 8:44 pm

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