Last modified on 16 May 2014, at 02:00

Talk:résumé

Return to "résumé" page.

Résumé vs. resumé vs. resumeEdit

I've never in my life heard this pronounced RAY-zoo-MAY, only rez-ooh-MAY. The accent belongs ONLY on the second E, as the Englishizing of the French word carried over an accent to convey the correct pronunciation. A problem with a Microsoft Word spell correction in the mid 1990s (apparently) has propogated the incorrect spelling (with both Es accented.)

This whole page should be moved. The French word résumé (from résumér?) should be here, but for English, only a redirect to the correct spelling. --Connel MacKenzie

<Jun-Dai 19:12, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)>I disagree quite strongly. As accents are not really part of the English language, except for the case of borrowed words, I think it is only really appropriate to either retain both accents (helping to indicate its status as a borrowed word) or neither accent (bringing it fully into the English language). That said, given that there are definitely examples of it being used with only one accent (the second one), it is appropriate for a dictionary resource to have all three variations, though there's plenty of room for us to fight about which one should be emphasized and what the usage note should contain (it surely needs something to explain the phenomenon and what various dictionaries/styleguides recommend).</Jun-Dai>
Rereading my little rant, I see I was perhaps unclear. I do not wish to eliminate the two-accented variation, but I feel very strongly that is should be cautioned against prescriptively. Way back in the 1980s, when computer access was rare in the mainstream, the single accented variation was the only varient I ever saw. As a result of computer proliferation, combined with misunderstanding, the French word began to pass spell check programs (incorrectly) and the new spelling variation became common. I don't think the method of its (the incorrect spelling variation) introduction validates its improper use. Therefore, it should (IMHO) be cautioned against, and the original spelling (with one E accented) emphasised as the recommended spelling. --Connel MacKenzie 20:03, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 20:25, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)>That does clear things up, but I still disagree with your recommendation. I would actually caution against the single-accented variation, because I think it is an inconsistent and undesired approach to the use of accents in the English language. Given that retaining diacritical marks in borrowed words (and only in borrowed words, as far as I know) is an established convention, however, I stand by the recommendation of the doubly-accented version as an alternative to the unaccented version (though for descriptive purposes we should have all three, of course, but there's no disagreement in that quarter).
Also, I've never heard anyone pronounce the word with the accent on the third syllable. Always on the first. I can believe that some people pronounce it with the accent on the third syllable, but I do not believe it is the norm, making the retention of the single accent doubly bad/misleading.</Jun-Dai>
Sorry for not adhering to a standard AHD form for pronunciations. I wasn't showing the accent, I was trying to SPELL the pronunciation (in particular, the first sylable.) It is NEVER pronounced "RAY" only "rɘz". "RAY" rhymes with "MAY" was what the very first sentence above was trying to illustrate. That is why historically, in America, the single accented version was for decades, the only acceptable spelling. This has only changed as a result of popular word-processors "auto-correcting" it to the incorrect spelling. --Connel MacKenzie 06:05, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 06:36, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)>I think my confusion has to do with the fact that I've never observed any precedent in the English language where accents dictate the way a vowel is supposed to be pronounced (as opposed to cases where accents are inconsistently retained to illustrate that a vowel is in fact to be pronounced--e.g. café--or that it is to be accented). Thus, seeing an accent over the first e would not indicate to me that it was supposed to be pronounced "RAY..." rather than "rɘz...", and so I don't understand your confusion regarding that issue.</Jun-Dai>
You say you've never observed any precedent, then cite an example that proves it!? Thank you for proving my point! Artisté is perhaps another example. --Connel MacKenzie 05:32, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I do not understand what you are confused about. The single accented spelling was for many decades, the only correct spelling. That has only changed recently (in the last 20 years or so.) --Connel MacKenzie 06:40, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 05:04, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)>My confusion has to do with the connection you've made between the accent mark(s) and the pronunciation.</Jun-Dai>
Well, it's hard to assert that it's a connection I've made. It is an aspect of the language. And the fact remains, the double accented word (prior to word-processing programs) was only a French word, while the single accented spelling has been adopted by American English for much, much longer. The double accented version is being accepted only because of a mistake, that has propogated. --Connel MacKenzie 05:32, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 07:07, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)>It is a connection you've made. You seem to think that an accent over the first e would indicate that the first syllable should be pronounced "RAY", and I've never seen anything in the English language that would be consistent with that theory. That the doubly accented version came to be accepted due to a mistake (I'd love to see a citation for this, by the way), isn't really relevant -- probably the bulk of the spellings in the English language came about due to mistakes of one form or another. That said, the main things that concern me are: (1) How is it used/accepted today? and (2) what is the best spelling for the consistency of the English language? I believe that the answer to the first question is: all three; with the added note that using either the singly accented version or the doubly accented version could cause you to be corrected by someone, and that the only apparently uncontentious spelling is with no accents at all. The answer to the second question is, IMO, that the word should either be spelled with two accents (preferably in italics, like à la), to retain the borrowing, or with no accents at all. Using a single accent falsely indicates that the final syllable should be accented (I've never heard the word pronounced that way--the accent is always on the first syllable). More importantly, diacritical marks don't really exist in the English language, except for borrowed words, and it seems strange to me to borrow one accent and not the other. But this is all related to the second, prescriptive point; in the descriptive view, clearly all three spellings are correct, and the use of any accents is contentious. If you think I've proved your point above, then you've misunderstood my posting.</Jun-Dai>
<Jun-Dai 07:13, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)> Incidentally, I don't know why I haven't checked until now, but my Webster's Seventh Collegiate (the only physical E->E dictionary I own) lists only the doubly accented version (résumé) and the unaccented version. I had to check twice to be sure. This would indicate that the notion that it is correct with two accents (and the corollary that it is incorrect with only one accent) has at least some support from decades ago, and it would seem pretty strong evidence against the notion that the propagation of the doubly accented version was due solely to a mistake in a computer spelling checker. Keep in mind that this is a fairly liberal and descriptivist dictionary -- they even have the word irregardless. </Jun-Dai>

These pronunciations don't look like what I've heard anywhere in Australia. The possibilities would be /ˈrezjəmeɪ/, /ˈrezəmeɪ/, and /ˈreʒəmeɪ/. I'm not sure about the 2ary stress so I left it out. Nobody pronounces the 2nd vowel as /ʊ/ (the sound in "book") but always as /ə/ (the sound in "the"). The 3rd pronunciation (with /ʒ/) may well be considered incorrect. The 2nd probably sounds American to some Australians. — Hippietrail 04:25, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Oh my. I was spelling out that fake pronunciation to illustrate the absurdity of spelling the word with two accents. I haven't a clue what the second syllable's IPA symbol should be. I was trying to emphasise the first syllable, particularly in contrast to the last. I do not recall hearing any difference in the British pronunciation of the word, but UKers might hear a subtle difference in the American pronunciation (but I doubt it.) I still can't read IPA symbols, and I am too burnt out at the moment to find the IPA table(s), which I never seem to have handy. --Connel MacKenzie 05:32, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmmm. Here's a pronunciation soundfile test. --Connel MacKenzie 06:02, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 06:46, 1 May 2005 (UTC)> That seems to be in accordance with how I've heard it pronounced. </Jun-Dai>
Oh #$^%%$! It should have been Media:en-us-resumé.ogg. --Connel MacKenzie 21:33, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
My enquiries have produced:
  1. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary, 11th edition, 2004: résumé /'rɛzjʊmeɪ/
  2. The Oxford American Dictionary of Current English, first published 1999: résumé /rézomay/ n. (also resumé, resume)
  3. The Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd edition 2003: same as 1.
  4. The Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1963: résumé ['rɛzju(ː)meɪ], French: [rezyme]
All of these are Oxford ones; will try to check others. My personal opinion is (which I have already had when I checked the dictionaries) that "résumé" is the only correct spelling. Ncik 02 May 2005
I do not see how citing current editions refute the fact that the error that started "recently" (<20 years) is propagating. And of course the French instruction book would use the French variation. --Connel MacKenzie 06:34, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

Yesterday I spent some hours in bookshops but without taking too many obvious notes. I looked up "resumé" in the latest edition of the largest version of each publisher's dictionary. Only one contained "resumé". I think it was Houghton-Mifflin or American Heritage. I think this alone is enough for us to include it. More interesting was the style-guide, The Cambridge Guide to English Usage by Pam Peters, published by Cambridge University Press in 2004. ISBN 052162181X. It recommends "resumé" as the best spelling of the three variants. It cited the "New Oxford" as also giving this spelling. It seems the "New Oxford" was not amongst the dictionaries I looked up. (Google Print makes some of this book readable from the internet, including an entry on accents and diacritics, but not the entry on "resume" and its variants.) — Hippietrail 08:15, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 06:51, 6 May 2005 (UTC)> I think we need a space to vent our prescriptivist concerns (something like "What English should be"), and from there we can carefully think about how much we want these concerns affect the Wiktionary content. It seems pretty clear at this point that resumé is the less common of the three spellings, yet it exists commonly enough to deserve mention. I am currently trying to let the ideas on this page, particularly Connel's, percolate in my head before I take a stab at doing a draft of a Usage note for this entry. Or maybe we should have a Usage page for this issue, since it does involve three separate articles, and it delves into issues that involve whole sections of the English lexicon (i.e., the rôle of funny letter-markings in the English language). We clearly need a place to include the various arguments for and against certain usages, like a Wikipedia article (but I fear that we would get laughed at if we tried to pollute the Wikipedia with these articles). I think that we managed to do a pretty good job of microcosmically representing all sides of the Large Wave issue, and it's a shame that little to none of those points are visible outside of our talk space. Another way to put this is that we need to begin representing prescriptivist notions of language, and we should present them as such. </Jun-Dai>
I strongly disagree that "resumé" is the less common: OCR'ed texts will also have this auto-mangled to "résumé" even if the text itself correctly has "resumé." So all historic texts referenced need to be physical texts, not on-line (suspect) converted texts, or images of the pages, if you wish to proffer them as evidence to your claim that "resumé" is less common. Note: I would define "less common" in this situation as a count of all occurrences in printed, published texts particularly including the last century or two. --Connel MacKenzie 16:26, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Each of my three paper dictionaries list résumé as the primary listing and _both_ resumé and resume as alternate spellings. This is consistant with the etymology of the word, so I see no reason why wiktionary should deviate from that precident. As for the pronunciation, Jun-dai: an example of where an accent makes an e into an '-AY' sound? résumé. - TheDaveRoss

Part twoEdit

<Jun-Dai 19:56, 6 May 2005 (UTC)> Connel, you are right in pointing out that my Google evidence is not strong. But I'd also like to point out it happens to be the only evidence outside of the dictionaries (which also stands in favor of my argument, and which is substantially better evidence). You seem to be the only person here arguing that resumé is as common or more common than résumé, and you haven't put forth a scrap of evidence for it. This is not to say that I am 100% convinced that I am right and you are wrong, but what evidence we do have seems to be pointing in the same direction. So maybe like 90%
TheDaveRoss, I recognize that it is pronounced that way and that there is (sometimes) and accent there, much like café and the erroneous latté, but there are many words with accents over the e that do not have that -AY pronunciation (the first é in émigré, protégé, okay, maybe not that many, but enough to discredit the notion that é indicates a particular pronunciation of the e) </Jun-Dai>
Touché, Jun-Dai. I have not done my homework adequately - I shall try to make it to the local library today before it closes. (But why do you keep proving my point about pronunciation, with each of the examples you cite!?) --Connel MacKenzie 21:33, 7 May 2005 (UTC)
<Jun-Dai 00:26, 8 May 2005 (UTC)> :) 1. I'm not trying to prove a specific point so much as arrive at what seems to me a plausible description of the truth. I have an idea of what that is, but if it's wrong, I'd very much like to be corrected. 2. I haven't really proven your point as far as the first é in résumé is concerned. It's true that in all the words I've come up with an é at the end of the word, those é's are pronounced -AY, but it's also true that in the two words I found that contain an é before the final position are not pronounced -AY, and that would be a better model for what the first é in résumé signifies. In addition to the two words I mentioned before, there is one pre-final é that I know of that is always pronouned "AY", and that is in élan. Another that is sometimes (I would say occasionally) pronounced that way is élite, but it's usually pronounced with something much closer to a schwa. What is clearly beside the point is that I just saw a car drive by with "Protegé" printed on the back. But now you're just going to tell me that I'm proving your point again.  :)
Well, that's obligatory now, isn't it?  :-) --Connel MacKenzie 06:53, 8 May 2005 (UTC)
As usual, we are dealing with multiple forces in the English language. One is a relatively recent trend to retain accent markings in borrowed words, even if those markings are meaningless in English. Another is to use accent markings to indicate that a final e is to be pronounced where it would otherwise be silent. This pretty clearly explains the resumé phenomenon, and it also terms like saké. The problem lies in the fact the latter mechanism has only spotty support, and that to advocates of the former approach, it seem odd to retain just one accent in a borrowed word. Along with this goes the notion that English doesn't have any accented letters, and that the accents in words like résumé and café are extra (unnecessary) and merely indications of the term's origin. This idea is supported by the fact that accents in English are always optional. All of these conflicting prescriptivist notions that I have so greatly simplified explain why we have had such a difficult time nailing this one down neatly. Clearly résumé, resumé, and resume all belong in our dictionary. It seems fairly clear to me that résumé and resume are the dominant forms, and that resumé is pretty common. It also seems to me that the only one entirely non-controversial is resume. I would go a little further and say that one is a bit less likely to be corrected for résumé than for resumé ("resumé? That's not in my Webster's!"), but that neither is all that likely to raise any eyebrows (as compared to misogynic, which despite being in American Heritage and Webster's has been marked in red by two of my professors). </Jun-Dai>
I think it is appaling to call the addition of accents a recent trend. I don't understand how you can say that the accents are meaningless in English after proving several times their importance towards pronunciation. But I think there is something very amiss with your line of reasoning: the only phenomenon I'm trying to refute is Microsoft's gratuitous addition of accents where they don't belong. (They were the first that I encountered to force the additional unwanted accents with their "autocorrect" feature.)
I have informally asked several people how they would spell the word. So far, all have said "resumé." When I've explained then, why I was asking, the technical writer's comment was "that [the double accented version] would look odd to me." The employer's comments were "I'd circular file that [a cover letter saying that a résumé was attached]." Perhaps it is an age thing? Perhaps anyone over 50 thinks resumé (only) is correct, and twentysomethings think only résumé is correct? (I'm somewhere between the two.)
To say "resume" is entirely non-controversial is absolutely wrong. That word means to begin again. For a job application, where one is being as formal as absolutely possible, "resume" is not acceptable.
To spell misogeny, misognyic, misanthropic, etc., I am of absolutely no use to you! I was recently corrected on my spelling attempts by the resident British cabal. (Oh shit, am I going to have to research that spelling too?) All kidding aside, I think they were correct in correcting my spelling there, so DON'T ASK ME ABOUT THE SPELLING OF MYSOGENY.  :-) --Connel MacKenzie 06:53, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

<Jun-Dai 09:46, 8 May 2005 (UTC)> I'd always thought that it was non-controversial to use resume, but I guess not. Apparently none of them is non-controversial. I've never heard of anyone being penalized for not using accents, and certainly I've seen many people use the unaccented word to refer to a listing of their personal background and skills when applying for jobs, so to say that it is "not acceptable" is either an over-simplification or simply wrong. As for resume meaning "to begin again", well it's probably not necessary to mention that a single set of English letters can refer to multiple words (e.g. forte). I'm a little curious about what older dictionaries recommend. If you're argument is that résumé has only recently become dominant (as far as dictionaries are concerned), then we should see what the older dictionaries have. So far, the only mention I've seen is my Webster's from the early sixties. Does anyone else have any mid-century dictionaries?

As for "recent trend", I really meant within the last couple of hundred years. More importantly, I misspoke: I meant to say that it was only the case for words that have become English words relatively recently (are there any 300+ year old English words with accent markings?). I'm not sure how I managed to phrase it the way I did.

As for saying that accents are meaningless in English, the Wikipedia tells me that "Modern English does not usually have diacritics, which appear only in foreign and loanwords." We have no rules for what accent marks do to the letters they modify, and there existence is essentially etymological. Café has an accent mark because it did in French. Mole, on the other hand, has no accent mark (I am referring to the Mexican sauce with chocolate), even though the e is pronounced. Saké has an accent mark over the e, but like the é in café, it is entirely optional. No, Japanese does not put an accent there, but that's because they use a different alphabet. It was entirely the personal choice of those who first began transliterating the word that way (saké, by the way, is pronounced "sa keh" or "sa kee", but never in my hearing "sa kay").

I do not know of any English word that cannot be acceptably spelled without accent marks. That said, I recognize that what people you know would consider acceptable is bound to be different from what people I know would consider acceptable. They are always optional--in my experience--and when they are present, there is generally a lot of confusion as to how they are supposed to be used. </Jun-Dai>

  1. When you say you do not know of anyone being penalized, how on Earth would you know? How do you know why someone is passed over as a job applicant?
  2. No you do not need to mention forte. {Sigh} Yes, I acknowledge the incorrect spelling "resume" is sometimes used. Is it acceptable? Depends on whether you are applying at a bank or at a hamburger joint, I suppose.
  3. Did I say that? I refered to actual usage of the word, in the US. (The Brits only refer to CVs.) You pointed out the lack of evidence, and so requested dictionary citations (which coincidently all happen to be predomanantly of UK origin.) I've cited several below for your amusement. I'd love to see older ones also; perhaps I am completely wrong about the origin of the phenomenon.
  4. Wikipedia is as reliable source as Wiktionary. That is to say, a decent reference, but not an authority. As for what it actually says, why yes, this *is* a loanword.
  5. I disagree that their appearance is, as you say, essentially etymological. You have proffered quite a few examples of their addition for the sake of forcing pronunciation. (Generally acceptable only for borrowed words.)
  6. I do not recall ever seeing Sake spelled with an accent. It's been a few years, but I have consumed plenty - perhaps it blurred my vision?
  7. The accent really is not optional in this case. Hmmm, lemme take that back - if someone asks for me to send me my resume in an e-mail, I will understand their meaning...many Americans do not have multinational keyboards and very rarely know their keyboard shortcuts. But a resumé itself is a formal writing, as is a cover letter. It is a very bad recommendation to tell people it is an acceptable spelling variation, when the only possible context is a formal context.
  8. I'm sorry that you and the people you know find accents confusing some of the time, but this one is well established. (Hmmm, that sounds rude but I do *NOT* mean for it to sound rude - just aping the wording you used above.)
--Connel MacKenzie 10:37, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

I just returned from the library, but I'm off to a concert in a short while. I found several supporting dictionaries that I'll cite later tonight. But my overall impression from that initial forray is that the British references are to be entirely discounted. This is an American English word, the British equivalent is CV, and the only time they use this form as a direct borrowing from French, as the French word. The British references I found showed a progression from acknowledging resumé in earlier editions to abandoning it in later ones. In the earlier editions they were nice enough to flag the correct spelling as US or AmE. In British English, this term simply does not seem to exist now. So perhaps the double accented version being recommended could be chalked up moreso to British arrogance, than a pervasive computer glitch. Or more likely a combination of the two? --Connel MacKenzie 23:32, 7 May 2005 (UTC)


Regarding the point made by Connel, that the doubly accented 'résumé' would encourage mispronunciation, he is correct. Based on the French lineage of the word, the accent mark is more precisely an acute accent and should appear only on the last 'e' in the word. Acute accents are not simply ornaments in French, nor are they meant to suggest syllable emphasis. Instead, acute accents are commonly used in French words and their borrowed American-English versions with the specific purpose of illustrating the pronunciation of the vowel 'e'. When an acute accent appears over the 'e', the vowel is pronounced as a long 'A'. Therefore, Connel is correct in his original assertion that placing the acute accent on the first 'e' in resumé incorrectly implies that the first syllable would be pronounced like the word 'raise'. The correctly accented version is resumé, not the doubly accented version. However, considering popular usage of the word in contemporary American-English, I would contend that the unaccented 'resume' is the most widely recognized and accepted version of the three variations. HowardTexas 2 July 2006 (revised)

HowardTexas, what is your basis for, er, any of this? The French lineage of the word would kindly request that both accents be used, and common English would generally accept a non-accented version of any English word (e.g., cafe). As for the acute accent specifically dictating the pronunciation of the e (other than to indicate that the e is to be accented), that's already been debunked above by showing contrary precedents. Dictionaries will varyingly approve one, two, or all three of these. As for where the bank managers and academics lie on the issue, well we lack reliable sources for that, but I suspect it will vary as well. I really don't think anyone here has produced a proper way for us to implement a usage note with satisfactory evidence, except to indicate at a minimum that there are three major spellings of the term, and that they are all fairly common. We should probably hold off on mentioning which is prescribed against/for by whom, and in which situations one is more common until we have more reliable data on the matter. Some citations should help--I'm sure articles have been written on the subject. Jun-Dai 19:34, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Citations and conclusionEdit

  • (Note: I've tried to format these as true as wiki formatting will permit...<BIG> text was in larger font, not my emphasis.)
  • (Note: I found no two identical pronunciations.)
  • (Note: I have no idea why either Oxford or Fowlers think they should be considered an authority on American English.)
  1. ISBN 0-440-21861-6 The AMERICAN HERITAGE dic·tion·ar·y, THIRD EDITION (paperback), © 1994.
    • ré·su·mé or re·su·me or re·su·mé (rĕz'-o͝o-mā', rĕz'o͝o-mā') n. A summary of one's work experience and qualifications, often submitted when applying for a job.
  2. ISBN 0-19-511227-X THE NEW OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY, © 2001.
    • résumé |'rezə,mā ,rezə'mā| (also resumé or resume) >n. 1 a curriculum vitae. 2 a summary.
  3. ISBN 0-19-861320-2 THE CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY, Ninth Edition, © 1995.
    • résumé /'rɛzjʊmeɪ/ n. (also resumé) 1 a summary. 2 N. Amer. a curriculum vitae.
  4. ISBN 0-19-860263-4 THE NEW Fowler's MODERN ENGLISH USAGE, REVISED THIRD EDITION, © 1996.
    • résumé /'rezjʊmeɪ/. In BrE thus written (with accents, in romans) and normally meaning 'a summary'. In AmE, often without the first accent or with no accents (resumé, resume), used to mean 'a summary', or specifically 'a curriculum vitae'.
  5. ISBN 0-618-25619-9 The AMERICAN HERITAGE® Student Dictionary, © 2003.
    • re·su·mé or re·su·me or ré·su·mé (rĕz'o͝o-mā' or rĕz'-o͝o-mā') n. 1. An outline of one's professional history and experience, submitted when applying for a job.
  6. ISBN 0-19-861294-X The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Third Edition, © 1992.
    • ||Résumé (rezüme). 1804. [Fr., pa. pple. of résumer RESUME.] A summary, epitome.
  7. ISBN 0-949757-63-2 The Macquarie Dictionary, Second Edition, © 1991.
    • résumé /ˈrɛzjəmeɪ/, n. 1. a summing up; a summary. 2. Orig. US.curriculum vitae. [F, properly pp. of résumer RESUME]

Perhaps there should be a page for résumé that indicates it is the Bitish-ization of the American word resumé, for which the British normally use instead curriculum vitae?

--Connel MacKenzie 06:53, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Compromise attemptEdit

The edit war here is getting a little silly. In trying to bring stability to this one I've done this.

1. I've never been too keen on this template, but in the absence of a better idea I've left this issue alone. In this particular case the {{Fr.}} template does not work; it should be {{F.}}
2. I'm removing the synonym section since it merely duplicates what is in the definitions; that's a needless complication in this disputed word.
3. I agree that the CV meaning is a North American one.
4. The one and two accent versions are both common, and I take note of the tendency in the US to disregard both accents, and we do try to be descriptive. My New Oxford Dictionary of English is inconsistent in its own entry, which has "resumé ... a summary: I gave him a quick résumé of events." (sic!) If they are confuse it should come as no surprise that we also are.
5. I've divided the translations according to our usual practices.

Eclecticology 09:22, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

From WT:RFVEdit

Sense: A summary or synopsis.

Sense entered long ago, disputed. Dispute resolution was to label it as UK, then later UK/commonwealth. Now that we have the RFV process, citations, please. --Connel MacKenzie 00:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

  • There's some here: [1]. Kappa 01:32, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I added one cite that I knew of. Finding good ones will be tricky (due to the necessity of filtering out all the hits for resume the verb and resumé the CV), but Kappa's idea is a good one. (BTW, the right resolution to the dispute, I think, may be to label the usage obscure or archaic.) —scs 03:18, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
    • And three more. (It wasn't so hard, after all. And the usage is not as archaic as I thought.) —scs 04:04, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
      • So after some digging, it stays. OK. Should it be marked as "rare" or "uncommon" or do you think the current listing is accurate? --Connel MacKenzie 22:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
        • It's hard to say. I don't think we have firm policy on when to use tags like those, nor can we. I wouldn't argue too strongly against labeling it "rare", although I would ask that we make sure we understand exactly what the label would be intended to accomplish. —scs 23:17, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
          • Well, do you agree that that meaning (in the US) is very rare, compared to the understood meaning of "CV"? Or does that need to backed up numerically somehow? --Connel MacKenzie 16:38, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
            • I agree that it is rare. Not sure about "very rare". (I'm not trying to be contentious. If the question is whether to leave the contested sense 2 as-is, or to tag it with "(rare)" or some such, I don't much care either way, except to again wonder what tagging it as "(rare)" actually accomplishes.) —scs 16:50, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
              • Good point. Does (rare) mean that a particular meaning is rare compared with the other meanings of the word or does it mean that the word is rarely used to denote the thing described in a definition line tagged (rare)? Ncik 14:50, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
                • In this case, it means both. The tag is used for either (usually the former) from what I've seen. --Connel MacKenzie 17:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
              • Tagging it {{rare}} indicates to English learners that they probably don't want to use the term with this meaning. It indicates that you shouldn't use the term with that meaning outside that limited context. --Connel MacKenzie 17:35, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
                • See, this is why I'm leery of tags like "rare". Using words like "shouldn't use" strikes me as prescriptivism, and that's something I believe we shouldn't engage in. (But with that said, I'd be fine with a Usage Note, perhaps along the lines of "The doubly-accented spelling résumé, and the usage synonymous with summary, are both rare and can be considered affected.") —scs 16:36, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
                  • I did qualify it (the "shouldn't") pretty narrowly, didn't I? I'll add your sentence above as a usage note then. --Connel MacKenzie 06:35, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Rollback Connel's "incorrectly"Edit

I rolled back Connel's insertion of the qualifier "incorrectly" in the usage notes since that is his personal POV. There are obviously various views on what is correct and what is not. The spell checkers make their view known by what they suggest, the other views are stated in the usage notes. We do not need in addittion Connel's view inserted in the spellchecker view. — Hippietrail 07:26, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

edit to N.America/AustraliaEdit

user:JackLumber said that outside the UK screwed up categorization. I'd like to understand how that works. Can you direct me to the appropriate help page or explain it to me? I'll pull my head in on ZA and NZ, even though I know many people there and from there, because I just haven't spent enough time there to weigh in on this with great certainty. Thecurran 11:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Tea room discussionEdit

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

resume vs résuméEdit

The resume entry contains in the noun section a redirect of sorts to résumé instead of a definition, and the following usage note:

The spellings résumé and resumé are to be preferred over resume as this last spelling could be confused with the verb of the same spelling.

Googling finds 182,000,000 hits for resume while 40,300,000 for résumé. Is the reason stated in the usage note more important than the more than 4 times higher hits? Although some of the hits are for verb occurrences. A review of search results for resume shows many hits in the meaning of CV.

Also, is the kind of prescriptive information in the usage note worthy? Great many English words have the same spelling in their noun and verb forms.

I would prefer the resume entry to have a definition instead of just being an alternative spelling. What do you think? --Daniel Polansky 14:01, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be a UK/US difference. Educated Brits often retain French spellings and have been doing so for centuries. Especially since Webster, my fellow Americans have voted with their fingers to drop most orthographic traces of foreign influence, including accent aigue. I think a usage note might mention the advantage of retaining the accent to avoid confusion in some cases, but many of my fellow citizens find almost all educated foreignness affected, which merits a mention in usage notes as well. DCDuring TALK 16:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
How many hits for resumé?
I'm skeptical of Daniel's interpretation of the Google search results. I would expect many online pages to be resumés, so based on their headings and titles they will sort to the top of the list. But forms of the verb to resume would certainly show up in more results overall than all spellings of the specific noun resumé. I could be wrong too, so let's rely on published lexical research rather than drawing conclusions based on our own speculation.
NOAD gives the main headword as résumé, with both alternate spellings. From memory, the CanOD gives resumé, with both alternate spellings shown. Michael Z. 2008-06-11 19:26 z


I would focus on b.g.c. and news and groups and take a sample of 100 from each for rough relative frequency until such time as someone comes across with the official lexical research. I don't have access to such research. It is welcome input, but absence of it just means that we have to rely on what we do have access to: other dictionaries and the various free corpora and associated software, for which orthography is not a strong point.
Groups is particularly valuable because it reflects the future, in which I would predict that English typers would dispense with accents for the one of the reasons that that they use IM-style abbreviations (even b4 IM).
MW3 shows 3 spellings résumé "R2", resume "R0", and resumé "R1" in that order, as does MW3 online. If we are a dictionary that reflects actual usage by the worldwide English-speaking, Internet-using population, my money would be on R0. If we reflect those with some tertiary education, R1 would get my money. I'm not sure how to characterize the population that would use R2.
Fowler (3rd) says that R2 is "BrE", with "AmE" preferring R1 and R2.
All of this would support DanP's suggestion. Maybe the R0 and R1 spellings need US tags, but I'd be interested to know Canadian, Indian, Australian, and NZ usage too. DCDuring TALK 20:10, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
The dictionary reflects both the present and past, but it must never try to predict the future. We have to use the available resources, but let's not use that to put undue weight on resources which simply don't help answer the question.
I would also disagree that informal writing in public forums, where writers are hampered by the QWERTY keyboard, should be given more weight than professionally written and typeset publications. The typewriter was already "the future" in 1829, but your pate is still not pâté (cf. exposé, öre, piqué, etc). In this age of globalization, English can also add its own diacritics, as in maté, and the non-standard latté. But this belongs to a different discussion.
CanOD's headword supports R1 as the preferred Canadian spelling (from memory, I will double-check in a few days), and in my experience all three are used. Michael Z. 2008-06-11 22:27 z

Well, restricting consideration to “his r([eé])sum(\1|é)”:

so I think we should say that the accents are usually dropped, especially in colloquial contexts; and that the hybrid version, with only the second accent, sees some currency but is not as common as either other approach. —RuakhTALK 22:54, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the discussion. I understand that what is now at issue is whether dictionaries should be given more weight than Googling results.
Whatever the case, what do you think of me replacing the note: "The spellings résumé and resumé are to be preferred over resume as this last spelling could be confused with the verb of the same spelling." with "The spellings résumé and resumé are preferred by dictionaries, while the spelling resume is more likely to be found on the web."?
--Daniel Polansky 14:14, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
How descriptivist of you! Nicely put. DCDuring TALK 15:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Looks good. Perhaps the note and dictionary citations should be at one entry, with "see note" links at the others, to keep it all synchronized. I'd put it at résumé, which I presume is the oldest spelling. Michael Z. 2008-06-12 18:39 z
I have inserted the bit about web usage at the extensive Usage notes for résumé. I will insert DanP's test and a link to those usage notes in the others.
The changes look good to me; thanks. I have now also redirected Dictionary notes of resume to those of résumé. --Daniel Polansky 20:10, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to bring more context, for me and for a casual reader of this thread: there has been an extensive discussion on the topic of resume vs résumé and resumé at Talk:résumé.--Daniel Polansky 08:11, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out that discussion.
I have a couple of reservations about the usage note.
I'm leery of the statement about "the usual justification"; I'd rather cite some sources than imply that this is the result of some research.
Also, the note is rather US-oriented: to me as a Canadian, resume has two syllables, and cafe, emigre, and nee just don't look right. Many Canadians lack the US aversion to diacritics, and are more likely to pronounce é as /ej/ (just as we may Francify Italian al dente /al 'dente/ into /æl 'dantej/).
By the way, the acute accent is a native English diacritic. Not only does it differentiate words in normal writing (e.g. expose/exposé, lame/lamé, pate/pâté, pique/piqué), it is also standard in maté, from Spanish mate (cf. saké and nonstandard latté). Michael Z. 2008-06-13 16:09 z
It would not surprise me that the low level of use of no-accent spellings on the Web relative to on b.g.c. is a result of folks not knowing how to insert accents using their keyboards and not caring enough to learn. The relative prevalence of the spellings may end up depending more on the design decisions of the makers of edit-software components than on the decisions of users themselves. DCDuring TALK 16:47, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
But even on b.g.c., accent-users seem to be in the minority. —RuakhTALK 19:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Interestingly 722 (of 924) of the no-accent spelling hits on b.g.c. are in the last 10 years. DCDuring TALK 20:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Certainly, practically all orthography in informal web use (forums, comments, most weblogs), and much formal web publication is restricted by the QWERTY keyboard. It is effectively written in a different register from much print publication, which still involves professional writers, copyeditors, typesetters, etc.
I suspect practically all print publication about resumé-writing is written specifically in US office English, and mostly aimed at readers who can't find MS Word's "insert character" command. It may be that spelling résumé is considered to put one in danger of looking affected or British to a prospective employer. Even Canadian publishers would use Americanese, because it is acceptable to Canadian readers, while Canadian spellings look like errors to most US readers, and restrict their market.
Even a Google books search doesn't necessarily represent a broad section of usage. Michael Z. 2008-06-13 22:21 z
It is all the more remarkable that the accentless spelling seems to have no adverse effect on the three-syllable pronunciation of the word AFAICT. DCDuring TALK 00:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Of course we in the UK/Commonwealth deal with this problem by simply spelling it CV (;-) Robert Ullmann 15:21, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

But then you have the problem of curriculum vitæ or curriculum vitae ;) Bilky asko 13:38, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Two accent usage is not just recent.Edit

Trying to read through this tempest in a resume pot, it seems that there was a sort of consensus that the two-accent variation is a recent variation. My copy of The American Heritage Diction of the English Language was published in



























































The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, copyright 1969, 1970, has only the two-accent spelling. There is no usage note. (This, by the way, is the "notorious" dictionary that made a point of usage notes based on a distinguished panel -- though maybe spelling wasn't one of the foci.)Kdammers (talk) 02:00, 16 May 2014 (UTC)