Thursday, February 19, 2015

Canadian Spelling Foibles

Blog Post by: Kali Willows

Canadian Spelling Foibles

I’ve been writing since I was a kid in Canada. Since the beginning of grade school, we learned our nouns, verbs, adverbs, spelling, grammar, and so forth, according to the school curriculum and trusted we were taught everything we needed to know for appropriate literacy. Having a dramatic flair in my story and poetry writing, I suppose it was the natural course for me to eventually pursue the written word in a more dedicated way.

Something I took for granted was in general, how great I was at spelling. Now, being proficient on the laptop and more dependent of spell check and auto correct as the years go by, it never occurred to me, that my mastery of the English language would pose such complications when pursuing my passion!

As an employee with the social service sector in Canada for twenty seven years, report writing, computer proficiency and so forth, these skills became notable assets. The further I delve into the world of literacy and publishing, the harder I fall, with the impending realization how Un-Canadian focused the romance/fiction literacy market really can be.

Why, after being published for almost a decade has this become so pronounced for me, you may ask? After taking the plunge and self-publishing for the first time in recent weeks, I came across several potential “typos” in my print copy proof that made me pause and re-evaluate my so-called knowledge.

Being with American publishers for ten years, I’ve relied heavily on the skills and craftsmanship of my content and line editors, to catch any foibles of my Canadian education, and converting my manuscripts into perfection for the romance and fiction world. It wasn’t until I became fully responsible for the quality of my own project being put out there, that this reality came crashing down.

I’m sure many readers have come across the hybrid books by renown authors across the world that have demonstrated this very point. It’s the entire English speaking literary community that this quandary impacts, including America, Canada and Britain.

In my search for hard-fast rules, I came across a wonderful resource.

 Culips is based in Montreal, Canada and so we follow Canadian spelling rules.

Differences between Canadian and American spelling
Did you know that there are some differences in spelling between America, Canada and Britain? They are small differences that do not affect the pronunciation. Here is a list of the differences in spelling common words and the general rules to follow.

Canadian (and British)


–RE Ending
–ER Ending
–OUR Ending
–OR Ending
colour/favour/behaviour/ neighbour /honour/humour
L is doubled in –ED or –ING form
L is not doubled in –ED or –ING form

Differences between Canadian and British spelling

In some cases the Z is replaced with an S in British spelling. This is often the case when the S/Z follows an I or Y, like in the examples below.
Canadian (and American)
(and all variations of these word)
(and all variations of these words)
Short for mother with O
Short for mother with U


Once I had a chart to reference, I didn’t feel so bad about the frequent confusion that befuddles me in the late night rounds of edits with an antiquated word program!

Canadian living, at it’s best.


Just a quick little ditty about the book that spurned this rant, 
I am so pleased to share my very first, self-published, completely Canadian release,

As Angels Weep - Supernatural Penance

Available in eBook and Paperback Now!

“It’s not the time we have in life. It’s what we do with it & the impact we have on others.

That is our true legacy.”

                                                                                                Kali Willows

What Critics are saying

as angels weep-supernatural penance - "Tumultuous, passionate & exhilarating." - Author, Kacey Hammell

"As Angels Weep charms its reader with a tarnished hero they come to cheer for. His tumultuous journey is thrilling & exciting." - Author, Kacey Hammell


A smooth talker with the ladies, Luther Evans has all the right moves and all the wrong motives. Swindling wealthy women and making shady business deals, he strings along his girlfriend with promises of commitment and a flashy diamond engagement ring, despite his playboy antics. Karma cashes in when he gets an outrageous wakeup call from a messenger of death. Soon after, he’s plagued by a bizarre string of deadly accidents he narrowly escapes until the final incident. His narcissistic ways must suddenly change—when he dies! Faced with the prospect of spiritual exile, our hero finds himself on an urgent mission to save his soul.

Matched with his ethereal guide, Gabrielle, a disinclined archangel who is a bit of a prankster, Luther faces temptation and obstacles no mere mortal can overcome. On this perilous journey for his pursuit of salvation, she tries to teach him the value of humanity. Will Luther strike out and lose his soul on the road to redemption? Can Gabrielle save him from eternal damnation despite the forces that try to stop them?


Penance was inconsequential to me once upon a time. For the first time in my life, it means everything. My soul depends on it. For years, I swindled wealthy women, made shady business deals that caused harm to others. In just seven days, I face spiritual exile. Doomed to purgatory for my past deeds and failure to live my humanity. My one chance at salvation? I have one assignment to complete, with rules, very strict rules, and unspeakable consequences if I fail. Whoever said good guys finish last was sadly mistaken. I'd never been a good guy. Now, I have to be one if I want redemption.


Is this night ever gonna end?
“Sooner than you think,” a woman’s whisper filled his ear.
Luther spun, but the hallway was empty. Great, he could add a little auditory hallucination to top the evening off. The phone buzzed in his hand again.
Sorry, buddy, Beth’s home so you can’t come here tonight. Jazz told her everything. She’s pissed off. You should stay at the Plaza. Let me know when you get there, I’ll pop over.
“Perfect,” he grumbled.
No way would he go back to the house tonight, not while she packed to leave. He didn’t want to deal with the aftermath. Getting out of pinches was his forte, not facing them.
To go to his father’s was out of the question. Even if Jasmine hadn’t already told him everything, the need to explain why he had to crash overnight held no appeal and no reprieve for Luther.
Marvin was right. The Plaza seemed like the only viable solution.
Sure, I’ll head there. Should be a half hour or so. Gonna have a bite to eat and hit the sack. I’m wiped out. Luther finished the text then tucked his phone into his coat and took his keys out. He pressed the elevator button with a heavy sigh.
The clanking metal door dragged open with an irksome ding. Empty. At least he didn’t have to paint on a smile. He inched into the grimy box and pressed P5. A bed was all he needed tonight, and no people to mingle with. The door scraped along the frame as it closed then got stuck only six inches before shutting.
Gimme a break.” He shoved his hand through to push it open. Immovable, the cold metal resisted. Anger flooded him, and he kicked the door while wrestling it back and forth, trying to get it to move. Without warning, the elevator door slammed shut. He yanked his hand back in the nick of time, saving his fingers from getting crushed. Luther’s chest pounded, and a rush of sweat covered his forehead.
That was close.” A sharp jolt shook the elevator. Rattling sounded overhead, like a loose cable. The air grew thick. He couldn’t breathe. Am I about to meet my maker? He snagged at the collar of his shirt then clicked the button again and again for the main floor, but the death trap door didn’t budge. He stilled, terrified to shift in case something broke in the dilapidated wreck.
The quiet besieged him and rang in his ears. He waited, his pulse raced, his heartbeat thrummed behind his ears.
Luther sidestepped slowly to the console. He pushed the open button once again. It still didn’t work. “I can’t believe this,” he hissed. Pins and needles filled his toes, traveling up his legs, followed by a prickling along his skin.
Desperation mounted and he pressed every button on the board, hoping something would free him. Then, a grinding sound, followed by the sudden plummeting, and his stomach bottomed out with the weightlessness.
No! The elevator plunged downward. Images flashed through his mind and words filled his head: If you wrong another person, you will die.
Is my nightmare crossing into reality?
With a frightful jerk, the elevator stopped and the door slid open. Stunned, he fixed his stare at the number P5, glowing above him. Luther bolted out of the elevator, and the door eased closed behind him with the tactless chime sounding again.
Speechless, even in his own mind, he fumbled with his keys and pressed the alarm button, triggering piercing chirps and flashing lights down at the end of the row. The commotion revealed his car in the sea of metal and wheels. Clicking the alarm off, he walked down the concrete path to the respite of his trusty BMW.
The sudden screech of tires ricocheted throughout the lot. It grew louder and closer as he walked the length of the parking garage. Luther spied the fast approaching car and jumped out of the path of the oncoming vehicle. The car full of teens sped away, with only the bass of blaring music sounding with rhythmic thuds, muffled by the closed windows.
Great. On top of the rest of the night, I’m paranoid, too. Weariness washed over him. He reached his silver car and climbed in.




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Happy Reading!!!

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