Blog/Grammar tips
21 November 2023
3 min read

Spelling Guide: 'Modelling' or 'Modeling'? Know the Difference

In the diverse world of English spelling, certain words often pop up as sources of confusion, particularly when it comes to the differences between British and American English. 'Modelling' is one such word. Is it spelled with a double 'l' as in 'modelling', or with a single 'l' as in 'modeling'? This article aims to demystify this spelling dilemma, ensuring your use of the word is accurate and appropriate for your audience.

Understanding 'Modelling' vs 'Modeling'

The word 'modelling' (with double 'l') is the preferred spelling in British English, while 'modeling' (with a single 'l') is the standard in American English. Both spellings refer to the act of representing something in a physical or digital form, or the profession involving fashion and photoshoots.

Remember, the number of 'l's in 'modelling' can be thought of as a reflection of the word's British origin, which often favours double consonants.

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Examples in Different Contexts

Let's see how 'modelling' and 'modeling' are used in sentences:

  • British English: "She's pursuing a career in modelling after her success in London."
  • American English: "His skills in 3D modeling are exceptional."

These examples show the regional preferences in spelling while conveying the same activities.

Common Spelling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

A common mistake is using 'modelling' in American English contexts or 'modeling' in British English contexts. To avoid this, align your spelling with your intended audience. If you're writing for a British publication or audience, use 'modelling'. For American readers, 'modeling' is the way to go. A helpful tip is to remember that 'modelling' in British English is like 'travelling' – both have double 'l's.

Conclusion

Whether you're writing about the fashion industry, creating a resume, or discussing 3D design, knowing the difference between 'modelling' and 'modeling' is crucial for clear and regionally appropriate communication. Remember, 'modelling' for British English and 'modeling' for American English – a small spelling difference that reflects the nuances of the English language.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 'modelling' with two 'l's ever correct in American English?

In American English, the standard spelling is 'modeling' with one 'l'. 'Modelling' with two 'l's is generally considered a British English spelling.

Why does British English often use double consonants like in 'modelling'?

British English tends to preserve more traditional spellings, which often include double consonants, reflecting their etymological origins.

Can the spelling of 'modelling'/'modeling' change the meaning of the word?

No, the meaning of 'modelling'/'modeling' remains the same regardless of the spelling. The difference is purely regional.

Are there other words with similar British/American spelling differences?

Yes, words like 'travelling/traveling' and 'labelling/labeling' follow similar patterns of spelling variation between British and American English.

Is it important to use the correct regional spelling of 'modelling'/'modeling'?

While both spellings are understandable, using the correct regional spelling shows attention to detail and awareness of linguistic differences, which can be important in professional and academic writing.

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