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Ageing vs. Aging

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Spelling differences between American and British English are enough to give writers fits. The same word is often spelled differently, depending on the background of the writer. There are many different spelling conventions between these two language communities, and none of them makes life simpler for writers. Aging and ageing, for instance, are two spelling variants of the same word. Americans often drop the final -e in words when adding a suffix, but the British are less likely to do so.

Continue reading to find out more about the differences between these words.

Origin:

The word ageing has the root word age which originated from Middle English: from Old French, based on Latin aetas, aetat-, from aevum ‘age, era’.

Ageing as noun:

Ageing is used as a noun to describe the process of growing old.

The external signs of ageing.

The process of change in the properties of a material occurring over a period, either spontaneously or through deliberate action is also called ageing.

The judicious use of oak ageing means the wines are capable of being confused with the great French Chardonnays.

Use of Aging:

Aging (spelled without the “E”) is the standard spelling in American English spelling. If you are writing to an American audience, this is the spelling that you will want to use.

Examples:

However much they quarreled over illegal immigration, political leaders in both parties used to agree that the U.S. needs more legal immigrants to sustain its aging labor force. (The Wall Street Journal)

We need promotional campaigns to make aging seem more appealing to young people. [Los Angeles Times]

Moncton officials say the city’s underground maze of aging water pipes were a factor in this week’s water main break that forced a boil order on roughly 30,000 residents. [CBC]

Like any aging starlet, Hollywood’s annual festival of self-congratulatory excess keeps getting nipped and tucked in an attempt to remain relevant. [USA Today]

Use of Ageing:

Ageing is a spelling variant of the same word. Where aging is used in American English, ageing can be used in British English. It has all the same meanings in all of the same contexts.

Examples:

The discovery adds to a wave of new findings hinting at the possibility of a future in which doctors can treat ageing itself, rather than trying to combat the host of diseases that come along with it. (The Guardian)

A doctor who gave her sister a massive dose of an experimental anti-ageing drug which triggered a fatal allergic reaction has been struck off. [Daily Mail]

The ageing of the population will increasingly shift the balance of power towards all employees. [Sydney Morning Herald]

The ageing American space shuttle Discovery has arrived back on earth after its last mission to the international space station. [BBC News]

Ageing or aging:

Ageing and aging are spelling variants of the same word. As an adjective, it means getting older. As a verb, it is the present participle of to age. Aging is the American variant. Ageing is the British variant. Choosing between these words is as simple as considering the makeup of your audience. If you are writing for primarily American readers, choose aging. If your readers are more likely to be British, use ageing instead, although British readers will still recognize aging. Since ageing contains the letter E, like England, knowing when to use this word should be simple.

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"Ageing vs. Aging." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/ageing_vs._aging>.

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