Mnemonics: licences and licensing

Where I work, a lot of our news stories concern licences and licensing. In British English, as I'm sure you know, the former is spelt with a 'c' after the 'n', while the latter is spelt with an 's' after the 'n'.

(American English simplifies the whole affair by plumping for 'licenses' and 'licensing'.)

Some of our writers were having trouble remembering the spellings of the two words – so, bearing in mind that 'licences' is a concrete noun while 'licensing' is an abstract noun, I came up with a mnemonic for them:

If it's something you can see, then you spell it with a 'c'.

Of course, while this works with 'licences' and 'licensing', it doesn't apply to other things that our writers might see around them, such as calami candwiches. Still, one step at a time.

1 comment:

lynneguist said...

But you can see both practices and practising, can't you? I suppose it depends on what you're practising...