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Mold or Mould?

The differences between British and American English have been causing me some difficulties recently, specifically the words mold and mould.

Very soon after starting this blog I had to decide which to use. Mould is correct in British English, but American English and (so it seemed to me) the rest of the world use mold. Now, by a long shot, the majority of my readers are not British, so I went with mold. It didn’t sit well with me, and I really don’t know why I made that decision.  I’m British, so why wasn’t I consistent in my use of British English? I wouldn’t dream of writing color rather than colour.

Anyway, it was my mum (not mom 🙂 ) who drew my attention to the error of my ways. She just said, almost in passing ‘How do you spell mould?’ and I knew immediately what she was talking about. Once I got over the surprise realisation that she actually reads what I write (thanks mum!), I had a bit of a ponder, and did some googling.

According to the

‘American English has no mould, and British English has no mold. In other words, the word referring to (1) the various funguses that grow on organic matter or (2) a frame for shaping something is spelled the same in both uses, and the spelling depends on the variety of English.’

This much I knew.

However, it went on to say:

‘Australian and Canadian English favor the British spelling, though mold is fairly common in Canadian publications.’

This I did not know, and I was clearly wrong in my assumption that the rest of the world uses mold.

To cut a long story short, I will be using mould from now on, and thanks mum for prompting me to think this one through!

I’d love to know where you’re from and which spelling you use – please do leave a comment and let me know.

Oh, and because I know why people really read soapy blogs 😀 here’s some recent mould action:

Parisian Flora (Lavender, Rose Geranium & Ylang Ylang EO’s):

IMG_0533Magic Mojito (Spearmint & Lime EO’s):

IMG_0531and Jellybeans (FO):

IMG_0551Cut pictures to follow soon.

8 thoughts on “Mold or Mould?

  1. I use “mould” too. I am a Canadian, living in Europe and often have these English differences come up. My daughter had her “English” teacher at school mark the word “gotten” wrong on a paper… they favour British English here!!

    1. Forgot to say – nice looking soaps!

      1. Thanks Jennifer! Despite being a Linguistics graduate I genuinely thought that Canadian English was more or less the same as American English (sorry!) It’s all fascinating though 🙂

  2. I know ‘mould’ is the correct Australian way to spell it but it just makes me think of a ‘mouldy’ bathroom………mold seems so much more ……well, nicer (although I think those yeasty beasties that inhabit our bathrooms can also be spelt ‘mold’ – it is just word association)

    1. Hahaha, someone else said just the opposite to me, that ‘mold’ makes them think of the nasties! It is strange how we form word associations!

  3. Interesting post,Vicki!
    I was learning British English in school and even preffered hearing their accent,but we’re so flooded with American English from tv, that I start forgetting which ones would be British: center/centre, chamomile/camomile, etc. However, I prefer using ‘mould’, ‘colours’, ‘favourite’, and so on, whenever I’m sure which one is British,lol. I was taught any of got/gotten would be correct,though. In the last line,as long as native speakers understand me, I shouldn’t be much concerned! 🙂
    Soaps look fantastic, can’t wait to see them cut.

    1. Ha ha – do you know what Maja – you’re absolutely right, but your English is fantastic! I was brought up bilingually (English & Welsh), and have studied, at various times, French, German, Spanish and Russian, but the English speaking nations are generally not as good as they could be at embracing other languages 😀 I’ll be posting cut soaps soon – I just can’t seem to find the time to get them photographed at the moment!

  4. I’m American, and I wouldn’t want someone who uses the word “mould” to feel like they need to use “mold” for ANY reason. When I read “mould” in a blog, I know that it’s the same word as “mold”. Got/gotten, color/colour, they’re all the same to me, and I use them interchangeably. Quite frankly, I don’t really care–I just want to see the soap, which looks very nice by the way 🙂

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