Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grey vs Gray

I didn't really think about this until I was spell checking a previous entry where I typed grey. It got me to thinking about which is correct, grey or gray and if there is a difference in how they are to be used in context.

I am a Canadian ex-pat, transplanted to Texas, USA. I have now been here for 15 plus years and have definitely linguistically assimilated. (somewhat to my dismay) I suppose I have retained some of my Canadian accent, but a lot has been lost. I must qualify that I am from Western Canada, where the accent is not as strong as Eastern Canada - think Bob and Doug Mackenzie from SCTV. I do still drop a lot of "oh yeahs" and "oot and aboot", but the famous "eh!" was dropped from my vocabulary after living in the States for approximately six weeks. I was routinely savaged for using it and quit promptly. But, truth be known, I still think it in my head when I am speaking.

I digress...

Spelling required some re-training as well. It took me some time to drop the "our" and the "re" from words like colour and centre. I noticed recently that I still write cheque if I am in a hurry and not thinking. Also, I will have an occasional Canadian moment when writing the date for example, October 13th would be written as 10-13-11 in Texas, but 13-10-11 in Saskatchewan. Old habits die hard, as these things occur when I am busy, rushed, distracted or tired. (apparently also when I have been drinking)

So back to grey vs gray. After doing a bit of research I discovered what I thought to be true. Grey is the UK spelling, thus Canadian spelling, too and Gray is the American spelling. There was some historical explanation as to how this evolution occurred, but I am not going to get into that. If you are truly that interested, Google it, lots of info out there in cyber land.

Bottom line...

Grey is a colour.


Gray is a color.

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