Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

Independence Day 2016

Date: 29 June 2016
Category: Current Events, History, Homophones

The words independence and dependence have been in the news quite a bit lately, obviously because of the upcoming 4th of July holiday commemorating the 1776 break from England by the 13 American colonies.

And, of course, the United Kingdom itself has declared its dependence upon the European Union as being no longer desired. Also, did you read where the latest version of the movie “Independence Day,” got panned by critics.

Lastly, in light of the recent terror attack in Istanbul, I noticed that Reuters news service, based in London, has reported that 670 American military “dependants” (sic) are being evacuated for security reasons. Guess that depends upon whether the reporter is from the U.K./Australia/Canada et al, or from the U.S., where we spell those family members as “dependents.”  The British use the dependent spelling alternative as an adjective, but switch to the rare version of dependant (sic) when using the word as a noun.

When you come across such an unusual variant as this one in an article, as well as the many others that exist between American English and what’s spoken across “the pond,” (click here) it’s almost enough to make you go off the “deep end.” 



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