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Defence aftermath

The day after I defended, I went over to SGS because I'd been informed that I would have paperwork to do there. It wasn't much, but it was important - a sheet wherein I committed to when I would be graduating and what my mailing address would be around that time. They also gave me the sheaf of papers which must be submitted along with the dissertation when it's turned in, including my assertion that I have permission to reproduce everything included in the dissertation. This is why I'm stripping out all the images for the final version.

SGS also gave me a sheet of paper telling me when my dissertation was due, a helpful thing since until then I didn't know if "a month of corrections" meant a calendar month or a month of business days. It's the latter, which, factoring in Christmas and New Year's, means my dissertation isn't ultimately due until nearly the end of January. But it sure couldn't hurt to have it in sooner, and I'll save on tuition if I do so.

Statistics Canada is also polling all PhD recipients at the moment. Giving me the questionnaire was part of the chair's duties. It's an extremely non-anonymous poll, asking for details like the title of my dissertation, what all my other degrees are, and how much I expect to earn by working in what sector in the coming year. But it's hard to be anonymous when the available data pool is so small.

It's all well and good to have corrections generously proofread on paper copies of my dissertation, but four copies of the thing adds up to a fair amount of weight. I went through two of them before we left, page by page, stripping out all pages with no marks on them and throwing them out. I probably saved a couple of pounds of luggage weight by doing so.

I find I'm being inconsistant on how I spell defence/defense. "Defense" is the U.S. spelling, "defence" is the British spelling, and offhand, I can't even tell you how it's spelled in the country where I'm earning this degree. (And I'm disoriented enough on this particular point of spelling that I erroneously swapped the two when initially posting this.)


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 20th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
Other way round, isn't it?

http://www.mod.uk/ versus http://www.defenselink.mil/
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
That seems so wrong to me... I was certain British words tended to swap -se for -ce, but, as the OED confirms, it's the other way 'round entirely. "pretense" is US and "pretence" is British. Just when I think I have it all down...
Dec. 20th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
I find I'm being inconsistant on how I spell defence/defense. "Defence" is the U.S. spelling, "defense" is the British spelling,

Surely it's the other way around? In my experience, Canadians usually use British spelling unless they work for the Globe and Mail which has a very odd definition of 'Canadian'. i.e. NFL football is 'Canadian" but the Canadian national rugby team isn't.
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes it is the other way around. Sometimes I think I have down comparative international English spellings, and then it turns out I've entirely swapped sets between countries. I must have been taking my case studies from -ize/-ise.

Generally, yes, it's safe to generalize that Canadians use British spelling and American vocabulary, but every now and again it surprises me.
Dec. 20th, 2005 03:59 pm (UTC)
I want to spell it "defense," but when I see it already spelled that way in the French field above it on the form (I have to enter a lot of bilingual military construction contracts into the database) I feel I should make the English version "defence" for maximum contrast (although I suspect the version shown to clients doesn't even have the French & English versions anywhere near together)...
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's good to see that there's a consensus that it's spelled "defense" in Canada. British English has much more in common with French than American English does. Although it doesn't always affect Canada, the Brits have some of their veggie names straight from the French, e.g. aubergine and courgette (eggplant and zucchini).
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
The latter of which, of course, is straight from the italian.
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:15 pm (UTC)
A fine language, Italian, underused in British English, clearly.

Another fine example of the same phenomenon is autumn/fall. But with no obvious Italian influences.
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:31 pm (UTC)
I wonder if the zucchini vs. courgette has to do with the (relatively?) greater number of Italian immigrants to the US than to the UK in comparison with the French influences thereon. But that's just conjecture. I still think "zucchini" in my head and have to correct it to "courgette."

And even more off-topic I need to learn Italian, period.
Dec. 20th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
The earliest instance of zucchini in American cited by the OED is from 1929, so you may well be right. It also says it's the usual word for the squash in question in Australia as well, leaving me to wonder what it's called in New Zealand. There are a number of charming and informative references:
1929 Sunset Feb. 58/2 Wash the succini and slice thinly into a baking pan.
1960 Guardian 15 July 8/7 The miniature vegetable marrows called courgettes in France and zucchini in Italy.
1960 House & Garden Aug. 72/3 We..will grow..those exquisite little Zucchini marrows.
1967 Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 4 Nov. 8 They were all charged with having stolen four cases of zucchini melons.

Zucchini melons? Was that a passing confusion, or are they still referred to as melons in Australia, I wonder?

Do you like fluffy pop music at all? (Speaking of trivial ways I could assist you in learning Italian.)
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
I think that the commenters above are correct. It's confusing because the opposite holds true for "practice"/"practise" when that word is used as a verb; the "se" ending is British, but "ce" is used in the US for both noun and verb.
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
In other words, I should be leery of generalizing at all on this point! I was thinking I'd just been thrown by -ize/-ise, but the differences run deeper.

English is such a complicated language.
Dec. 20th, 2005 04:39 pm (UTC)
Mine is every bit as wobbly. I rarely use 'ou' rather than 'o', but the s/z or s/c differences? hopeless. Everything I read in Englis these days is Brit-English ...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )