Using your judgment

Another grammar point today, and this time a word with particular importance to me as a former lawyer: Judg(e)ment.

It’s another place those pesky Yankees* have messed with, but this blog is about British English, so use Judgement in all circumstances EXCEPT in the legal sense, where it is definitely Judgment.

The Judge used her best judgement when preparing her judgment

The Americans, being lazy*, never bother with a silent e when they have the opportunity to spell words wrong (wrongly?) and use “judgment” for all circumstances. I even found a “Writing Tips” website, which reads “I suppose it’s because I’m an American, but I can’t see any reason to keep the e before a consonant if it’s not needed to soften the g.”

Well, my friend, how about this for a reason: Because that’s how it’s spelt. You can’t just change the spelling of a word because you feel like it.


*Yes, Janet & others, I’m deliberately goading you – it’s a highlight of my week these days!


Filed under Grammar Rules Simplified, Writing

9 responses to “Using your judgment

  1. Nice one. Never really understood why Americans have chosen to spell random words differently i.e. colour, tonight etc.

  2. john from Scotland

    Good for you as an Englishman we need to protect our language from the lazy folks who invest words and misspell them.

  3. HaHaHa… very funny post, while you are basking in the Bahamian sun, Jennifer. We Americans have always sought to improve on old ways… and the usage is actually called North American English… so judgment applies to our neighbors to the North (and I do not mean the Eskimos)… like you… so when you return, please get with it, and cease these scurrilous attacks.

    p.s. I would have spelled it with the ‘e’ anyway.

  4. Sorry both that I didn’t have time to read this as I’m crisscrossing the US from Chicago to Philly and back an a matter of days and that I’ve never spelled (spelt?) judgement without the “e”. I’ve also never seen it written that way. My bad, I guess.

    Off to unpack and repack so I can drive 7 hours tomorrow and miss more slings and arrows of outrageous Jen (who has the gall to do this sort of thing while sunny in the Bahamas!!) 🙂 I’ll try to remember to misspell (or not) it next time just to help pour fuel on the grammar/spelling fire. And while we’re at it, what about grey/gray, color/colour, etc.??


    • haha, glad you enjoyed it, Janet and deighted to hear you embrace the e! Color / Gray etc are just too easy targets. Believe it or not this isn’t actually an American English dissing blog, I just don’t want any yankees “correcting” me. 😉
      And I may or may not have set these posts to go up in my absence rather than writing about grammar on vacation.

  5. Sarah Ann

    Thanks for this explanation Jen. I just thought the Americans had dropped the e. Now I know the difference between using judgement and a judgment and have a new English word.

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