Last modified on 10 May 2014, at 07:47

Talk:resume

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Heading Dictionary notesEdit

The heading ===Dictionary notes=== is more than a little broken. I'd like to leave this alone until Hippietrail, Vildricianus and Brion see it, as they were so adamant that nothing was wrong, the last time I reported this as a problem. --Connel MacKenzie 16:32, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

See alsoEdit

For an extensive discussion on resume vs résumé vs resumé, see Talk:résumé. --Daniel Polansky 20:10, 12 June 2008 (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)