Did You Know? Canada has its own English and French which includes its spelling and even words.

For those who already knew that, the following is usually the next question to come up: Should I use the Canadian spelling when writing to an American? The answer is a definite Yes!

The biggest culprit to Canadians by far, besides not knowing how to spell in our own English, is their Windows based computer. In an attempt to correct this situation, there are three places in Windows where you will need to make changes:

  1. Changing the Windows Keyboard Language (English, French and the placement of the keys)
  2. Changing the Windows Regional Settings (date/time. currency and other formats)
  3. Changing the Windows Time Zone

Canadian English and Canadian French

Here is a list of some of the differences in how to apply punctuation in Canadian English and French.

Quotation marks -- English: " and ". French: « and ». In French only, add a non-breaking space on the inside of each quotation mark.

Punctuation marks -- In French only, add a space in front of: "!", "?", and ":". Don't put a space in English.

Telephone Numbers

Many people write a telephone number in the following format:

(999) 555-1212

The "(999)" used to be written that way because it was optional. Today, the area code portion of the telephone number is no longer options in many locations. If it isn't optional in your town/city, write it instead as:


Also, 800 numbers should always have a "1-" in front of it because it is never optional. Example:



Sometimes the difference between the way Canadians write a word and the way our American neighbours to the south spell can be minor. But at other times, we use completely different words. For example, in many words we use -ize and -our like the British whereas Americans would just use -ise and -or. Here are a few:

 U.S. CanadaNotes
NicheNicheIn Canada, we say "niche", in the U.S. it's "nitch" as in itch
ZZIn Canada, we say "zed", in the U.S. it's "zee"

While I could go on and create yet another site on Canadian spelling, there are already some really great ones out there like Dave VE7CNV's Truley Canadian Dictionary of Canadian Spelling.

More to come including…

  • Address format
  • Opening and closing of a letter