Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Thu Oct 12 13:46:51 UTC 2000

Douglas Wilson spake thusly:

>>... Online retailers selling "grey-market" goods, which are outside
>>distribution agreements, are a lot more difficult to track down than
>>bricks-and-mortar stores.
>>    Why wouldn't the FT use "gray" market?
>Why prefer "gray"?
>I for one grew up thinking "gray" and "grey" were exactly the same, both
>fully satisfactory in all contexts.
>Only recently have I encountered the idea that one is "American", the other
>"British". [This distinction among others may be designed to provide a
>living for linguists. (^_^)]
>The M-W usage dictionary states: "Both spellings are correct and common. In
>American English, the preference is for _gray_, but _grey_ is also widely
>used. The British have a very definite preference for _grey_."

FWIW, my UK spellchecker on MS-Word does not accept "gray", but the
US spellchecker accepts both.  I've yet to see a British person spell
"gray", and I have had it claimed to me (years back) by an American
that my spelling "grey" was pretentious, but I don't think most
people notice.

M. Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 3AN    UK
phone:  +44(0)1273-678844
fax:    +44(0)1273-671320

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