Submitted by chas on June 24, 2004

Resume, resumé, or résumé?

What is the correct spelling of the thing that gets you a job and what is the name of the funny thing on top (grave or acute) of the the letter e?

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I typed badly but I'm not in a mood to care about it right now because I'm getting a new kitten as soon as I get off work. :)

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Yeah. To get the plural, just add an S to your favorite of the three forms.

Incidentally, the plural of "CV" is "CVs," but the plural of "curriculum vitae" is "curricula vitae." Hooray for Latin.

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Haha, I stumbled across this page while trying to determine the correct form of resume. i no longer care, i'm more amused that this argument has been going on for 4 years! Cheers!

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I meant to also post the appropriate paragraph from the link posted below, in case it went down:

"The Latin plural of "curriculum vitae" is "curricula vitae". Some people who know a little Latin think it should be "curricula vitarum" (since _vitae_ means "of a life" and _vitarum_ means "of lives"); but to an ancient Roman, "curricula vitarum" would suggest that each document described more than one life. This is a feature of the Latin genitive of content, which differs in this regard from the more common Latin genitive of possession."

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The word is French. The original spelling is "résumé", and this is the preferred spelling in English as well. However, since no English keyboard has a key with "é" on it (I type it via Alt-130 now) it has become accepted to simply say "resume". "Resumé" is not here not there -- if you know how to achieve the accent-aigue, then type the word correctly with both Es accented, if not, well, then use the un-accented version. The plural is "résumés" (or "resumes", depending on how you prefer to deal with the accents.) It is so both in English and in French.

The term "CV" is used too, quite a bit. In fact, it may be preferred because it's no less foreign than "resume", while being shorter and having no accents :-) ...

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Surely the accent is used to indicate the pronunciation of the word. I pronounce this word "reh-zhu-may", not "ray-zhu-may", so I spell it with only the second e accented. I consider the first spelling (no accents) a convenience for English keyboard users and the second (both e's accented) as incorrect.

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The first and last spellings are both entirely acceptable and correct, but please avoid the middle one. The mark in question is an "accent", and in this case, they are all acute.

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Jun-Dai is strictly correct, but I should add that in most of the US the unaccented form is preferred; the accented form is thought of as a sort of affected overcorrectness.

One might think the accented form is foreign, However, I see many resumes from overseas (since I'm in the "oilngas bidness" in Houston), but 99 times out of a hundred they're just called C.V.'s (for "curriculum vitae").

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While "resumé" is acceptable (i.e., it is in the dictionary), I would recommend against it, because I don't see the value in retaining one of the accents and not both. The only function that accent marks have in the English language are to maintain the accented spelling in borrowed words, so it doesn't make much sense to me to retain the second accent and not the first.

There may be a reason in that the final "e" is spoken and not silent as you might normally expect, but that would be giving a new function to the accent mark in the English language. Anyways, there are plenty of heteronyms in the English language, so there should be no reason to fret over "resume" (I don't think there are any contexts in which this could be confused with the other word "resume," which is a verb). The argument between "résumé" and "resume" is about the same as between "café" and "cafe."

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I always learned the middle one. Resumé is how it's almost always spelled around here.

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To those who said that curriculum vitae is not used in American English:

That is not really true. Certain industries use CVs while most others do not. In particular, professionals in academia, medicine, law, and also music and art, typically would have a curriculum vitae rather than a resume.

Furthermore, at least in in American English usage, a resume and a curriculum vitae are not necessarily the same thing.

Usually, a resume is a short, recent, relevant list of accomplishments and qualifications, tailored to a particular job, or even a particular prospective employer. It is generally limited to two pages or less (some employers will intentionally discard any resumes longer than two pages without even looking at them).

By comparison, a curriculum vitae is a complete and comprehensive list of all activities encompassing one's entire professional life. It would include every job, school, award, seminar, performance, etc. and is not targeted to a particular job. It is usually much longer than a resume.

see:

http://www.acinet.org/resume/resume_cv.asp?node...

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9sum%C3%A9

Oh, and according to several dictionaries, all three spellings/accent combinations for resume are correct.
MarkB, as to leaving out the first accent because YOU (and most English speakers) pronounce the first syllable as "reh-", not "rey-" really misses the point. The FRENCH always spell it with two accents because THEY pronounce it "rey-"! It's a borrowed French word, hence the two accents in English. One of my dictionaries, the oldest, actually lists "rey-" as a proper (not preferred) pronunciation. You might find this interesting, Speedwell, the same dictionary shows accenting the last syllable instead of the first as being correct (not preferred). After all, that is how the French say it.
To Full Stop: every dictionary I checked shows the spelling with no accents as the preferred one (all others are correct though).

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Ivy, there is a difference of opinion on whether and how words borrowed into English from other languages become part of English or remain part of their original languages.

Obviously, since we do not use accent marks in English, any words so adopted as English words will lose their accent marks.

Since the word "resume" is ubiquitous in English (we don't say CV, nor do we use a construction such as "statement of employment history"), I would argue (and I'm not alone) that it is now an English word and needs no accent marks.

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The punctuation marks on top of the letter 'e' in French are for pronunciation, not for 'accenting' the sound (as I presume you mean, in the sense of stressing or inflecting it differently).

Without any punctuation, the word is identical on the page (and nearly identical in French pronunciation) to the English word 'resume' which has its own distinct meaning. Although printed puns are a good source of cheap hilarity, we've got plenty in English already. Let's not make more if we don't have to.

I think we should resume using résumé in order to avoid confusion.

It might be harder to type, but are we not human beings???

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OK, take and spank me with a saguaro.... In the last post I was (naturally) assuming American English. OF COURSE all other English speakers on the planet, practically, say CV.

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that was a great remark speedwell.

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A brilliant, sophisticated discussion. Thanks everyone. I still have no idea how to spell "resume" properly, but was entertained and pleased to find a web posting without excessive bashing.

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Wow, what a discussion. I noticed that I wanted to accent the second "e" in resume, so (as an editor) I thought I'd see what the usual practice is on the web. And I found this highly engaging conversation. (Yes, I do start sentences with conjunctions, a practice for which I refuse to apologize. I have also been known to end sentences with prepositions if they are clearer and less awkward that way. For my target audience, readability is usually a top priority. Obviously not in this comment, though!)

I agree that an accent over the second e is helpful in distinguishing the word from the other word, but it's usually pretty clear from context what is meant. The part of the discussion that got my attention was the whole notion that CVs and resumes are interchangeable, when they are most decidedly NOT. I've worked in science, education, and health care, and I actually need both a CV and a resume. The difference is quite vividly outlined in this little online advice column:
http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_dev...

As a "souithern bumpkin," I'd like to point out to BOS that "southern" does not normally contain an "i"--on either side of the pond--so I'm not sure how much spelling expertise we can rightfully expect from him. Perhaps he is a "yanqui ignoramus," but I still appreciate that he bothered to look up the word and share his findings with us.

Thanks for some fun reading, and may the debate continue!

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I always though eliminating accent marks in borrowed French words represented the heighth of laziness in English words and hints a little too much of Americans' xenophobic nature ...

... which is why, for some reasdon, even though I was educated in Georgia public schools which are always either 49th or 50th on nationwide testing scores, always defer to the original British spelling of wods like "honour" and "catalogue". The people I work with make fun of me, but hey ... I'm using classical English, so what do they k now?

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As an Australian I have always used resume, and if you really don't know whether to put in the accents or not then type the title of your document in capitals - the French usually leave off accents in capitals.

I agree that it has been fully assimilated into English and think that people should be able to tell by the context whether it is 'to recommence' or 'CV' - like wind and wind. The 'é' often gets mangled in online transit as mentioned.

The French pronounce acute accents more or less as 'ae' like in hate (as pronounced by an American), grave accents are a straight 'eh' like in hair and e with no accent is flat like in 'hurt'.

As an apostrophe advocate for the annoyance of all I am going to point out that 'it's' equals it is/it has, 'its' is possessive (the cat bit its tongue) and one might have '30 years of experience' or '30 years' experience' if the experience is a result of the years. Nonetheless, I do not intend to criticise (Australian spelling), language is evolving and one is resistant to change...

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For what it's worth, the current edition -- the Fourth -- of the American Heritage College Dictionary needs to go back to school.

résumé is a summary

resume signifies a continuance

resumé is a botched spelling of the French word

résumé is pronounced "ray-zoo-may", rather elegant

resume is pronounced "ree-zoom"

resumé is pronounced ruh-zoomay or ree-zoomay which to my ear means the spelling was probably coined by some souithern bumpkin or midwest hog breeder

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For what it's worth, the current edition -- the Fourth -- of the American Heritage College Dictionary describes the current accepted spellings of the word. If you're saying this dictionary is wrong, I'd like to know what special powers you have that tell you how the word is really spelled.

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You people are too smart for me. But for anyone who didn't already know, the keyboard shortcut to add an accent is Ctrl + ' or`, then the letter (e or a).

Best of luck with your resumes, hope everyone finds a job!

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Just to answer your other question,

é has an 'acute' accent ('accent aigu' in French)

and

è has a 'grave' ('accent grave' in French)

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WE don't. American speakers--I mean U.S. speakers (OK, OK, Canadians, get off my case already).

I'm a secretary and I know these things. :P

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In general I think all three spellings are fine, though résumé looks pretentious to me (just my opinion). I usually write resumé, as I think resume looks like the English verb "to resume," as in, to continue doing something. But after BC's warning, I will make sure to exclude accent marks when sending in a resumé online! Also, I would like to thank Speedwell. "Spank me with a saguaro." That is probably the most brilliant expression I have ever heard.

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Whether the accents are appropriate or not I wouldn't recommend you use them. I've submitted several resumes thru job sites and just found out that they convert e's with accents over them to i's. So everywhere I spelled resume with accents came out as risumi. That looks really dumb when you're applying for professional level positions!!

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Now you just need to convince other people to use real English. That, and I'm rather hoping you don't apologise for any of it.

(incidentally, Australian English uses résumé)

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Hey Robin, what exactly is a professional Resume writer? Do you write resumes for people or are you just perpetually unemployed?

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If you're going to put accents at all, put both (résumé), because this word is borrowed from French, and in French it has both. And, no, the first accent would not be grave. The difference between é, e and è is in the pronunciation, and they all sound different (think of the words "le," "théâtre," and "liège.") If you drop the accents, you're already anglicizing the word, so you might as well drop both. Or, keep both if you want to preserve the original French spelling. "Resumé" just looks like an incorrect hybrid.

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'we don't say CV'??

Who doesn't?

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I visited this page to see the plural form of
resumé

Can I get any help ?
Regards,
Ram.

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Ummm, I'm not like some great English Major or anything. I have a degree in Fine Art/Graphic Design. However, it has been my experience that one always uses the accent over the LAST "e" for this purpose. The accent is used to show which way the final "e" in "Resumé" is to be pronounced in the English (American) language.

"Resume", can be confusing in that you would "Resume your position". The First "e" is pronounced "eh" like in "epiphany" or "effort" while the last "e" is simply silent.

However in the word "Resumé", I was taught that while the first "e" with no accent stays the same like in "resume" with the "eh" sound, the accent over the SECOND "e" tells one to pronounce the last "e" as "ay", as in "Ape" or "grApe". If this rule is true, then to me, "Résumé" would be pronounced "Ray-zoom-ay", rather than the correct English (American) pronunciation of "Rez-oom-ay" or "Rez-ü-may"....if you prefer ;)

Thoughts? Opinions? I mean I definitely trust those who have studied English and other languages, MS Word Spell checker, & Webster's dictionary over me or anything I was taught any day....but just curious..... Thanks!

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u are all wrong, its actually rezoomay

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Jun Dai is right. Resumé is a french word. The accent that goes up is the acute accent. the accent that slants down is the grave accent. They produce difference sounds.

The grave accents give sounds that are close to "er" than "e" :P

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And now for something (not entirely) completely different -- that I'm pretty sure we can _ALL_ agree upon:

"Résume" is not an acceptable spelling of the word in question, anywhere, anytime.

:^)

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A good number of English words are French. I prefer résumé because I have a Mac and 'é' is very easy to type. I do get crap for it from time to time but I like to show that I'm educated. For people that are determined to make it an American thing, like Freedom Fries, I would suggest spelling it 'rezuhmay.' If you're in the U.K. avoid 'resume' all together as it spells yank with a capital 'W'. And I don't know why one would bother with one 'é'. Truly, unless you subscribe to the priciples of the Oxford English Dictionary that language should follow set rules, you can spell it however you like. 'Resume' by the way does have it's own meaning.

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For what it's worth, the current edition -- the Fourth -- of the American Heritage College Dictionary (which, as suggested by its title, gives preference to American usage practice), lists resumé first, followed by resume, and then résumé.

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@JC same thing happened to me :)

I'm actually French and I was looking for the exact way Americans spell this word... And I still don't know after reading all this. But I can tell you how to pronounce it:

it's not Ray-Zoom-May
it's more like Ray-zuum-may

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/resum%C3%A9

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>> If you're saying this dictionary is wrong, I'd like to know what special powers you have that tell you how the word is really spelled. <<

Spelling of résumé: For what it's worth, 30 years experience writing résumés (plural) for top professional and executive level personnel. The format I helped design is still offered by a majority of the on-line "resume" services.

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Add me to the "Country Bumpkin" brigade. I had NEVER seen it spelled résumé before until today.

also, since I (and everyone I know of) pronounces it reh-zoo-may, I still prefer the resumé.

right or not :)

former Ohioan
current Floridian
USA...

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unfortunatley, I typed in what my mind was telling me too...
:(

I had never seen it before. Until today.

there.

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To quote Kent Brockman: here's my two cents.

Spell it either without any accents at all ("resume") or with both ("résumé").

Depending on your particular English accent, say REZ-you-may or REZ-zoo-may.

I am a French speaker but I can tell you that you are not obliged to pronounce this word as if you were an énarque hunting for a position in the fonction publique!

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"The accent above the last IS needed, without it the e would not be pronounced in English."

This is the epitome* of nonsense. Of course the "e" at the end is pronounced, with or without an accent. You're confusing the written representation of the language with the spoken language itself.

* So, should this be pronounced "epi-toem"?

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I prefer to use resumé. One accent.

Wikipedia does a good job of explaining why :

"A number of loanwords are sometimes spelled in English with an acute accent used in the original language: these include sauté, roué, café, touché, fiancé, and fiancée. Retention of the accent is common only in the French ending é or ée, as in these examples, where its absence would tend to suggest a different pronunciation. Thus the French word résumé is commonly seen in English as resumé, with only one accent (but also with both or none)."

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Heighth? Sorry, it rhymes with shite. Go Georgia!

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sorry to correct speedwell, but the plural of curriculum vitae is "curricula vitarum"

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I don't see how your job is relevant to how a certain word is spelled. Dictionaries report on the common spellings of words. What other authority do we have, besides the usage of the English-speaking and writing community?

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Yes, of course I know resume is an english word. Just trying to tell u it's borrowed from the French hence suggesting that French grammatical rules still apply if you choose to use the accent.

And just adding on to jun-dai's accent tutorial there with acute/grave.

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"rodrios says:
April 4, 2008 at 9:05 am
Here here Zirt...."

that comes form a contraction of "Hear him! Hear him!" and so is "Hear, hear," not "Here, here."

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JC | Jan-15-08 6:42PM--I feel the same way!

I personally think that the accents should stay (perhaps I'm biased, I speak French). We still write the accents for things like "crème brûlée."

But then again, what aren't we willing to do for some burnt cream? ;)

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The CV is most often used in academics and medical professions, and it virtually non-existant in the business world.

The résumé is properly pronounced REZ-oo-MEY. That is, the emphasis is on the first AND the third sylable. (Which is why it has accents there.) Other spellings are often found, but are not correct. Other pronounciations are not correct.

In business, many people ignore the accents in correspondence because they are lazy, or unable to figure our how to make an accent mark. Even though there is a high tolerance for the mispelled "resume" version, and it will probably not make a difference between getting the job or not, it is nevertheless, incorrect. It would be properly pronounced "REZ-oom".

I am not judgmental. Spell it and pronounce it any way you choose. But, if you want to know the correct spelling, that is it.

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Out of curiosity I passed Résumé though the Word spell check in the Queen's English (UK and Canada), Australian and American. Résumé passed all 4 spell checks.

"Résume" failed all 4 English spell checks, likewise "Resumé" failed all 4 spell checks. It would seem that Résumé correct in all 4 languages and the other permutations are errors in spelling. Resume of course means to take up a course of action that you had previously stopped.

I think the American aversion to the "é" is xenophobia. I have discovered over the years that Americans tend to avoid that which is different and belittle it. Trying saying "zed" in the US and the abuse you take. Anything that seems foreign is automatically insulted and deemed to be inferior. I have lived in both Canada and the United Kingdom and Résumé works - of course CV is the standard in the UK. In Canada CV tends to be limited to academic and medical circles.

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What a fantastic debate!

4 years worth of advice and I am still undecided as to which spelling to use. Therefore, capital letters it shall be. :)

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" 'The accent above the last IS needed, without it the e would not be pronounced in English.'

"This is the epitome* of nonsense. Of course the 'e' at the end is pronounced, with or without an accent. You're confusing the written representation of the language with the spoken language itself.

"* So, should this be pronounced 'epi-toem' ?"

It seems to me that you are overstating the case. There is an English word "ree ZOOM" but there is no word "EH pih tohm." The accented "e"s make it much clearer (no context required) that the word is "REH zoo may."

The assertion that it was rewuired was probably too stout of an assertion, but your sweeping it aside seems to me to have been too far in the other direction.

Without the accent, it is pretty sure that context will clear things up without a hitch, but the accent is very helpful as well.


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Ctrl + alt plus "e" gives me € from within MS Word, nothing outside it. (Those shortcuts, such as ctrl + ' followed by e or a are unique to the program being used as well. They work for me in Word, but not outside it.)

If you know the ASCII value for any character, you can create that character by holding the alt key while typing zero folowed by the code, then releasing the alt key. (You must use the number pad, not the number keys above the letter keys.)

è 0232 | ò 0242
é 0233 | ó 0243
à 0224 | º 0186 (degree)
á 0225 | ¢ 0162
ç 0231 | × 0215 (multiplication)
¥ 0165 | œ 0156
€ 0128 | æ 0230
® 0174 | ™ 0153
º 0186 | ¹ 0185
² 0178 | ³ 0179
£ 0163 | § 0167
± 0177 | ÷ 0247
ƒ 0131 | ¿ 0191, ¡ 0161
µ 0181 | ß 0223
¼ ½ ¾ 0188 – 0190

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"Grumpy mama: My God! Don't you people have anything better to do?"

The fact of the matter is that we have plenty of things we have to do, must do, should have done, will do, and should do but we absolutely don't have anything BETTER to do .Hey, we are exercising our minds, twisting, spinning, turning them inside out and there is nothing morel exciting and fun to do in this whole world.

For my own part, I heard people mention a "thread" on the Internet but I have never been on one before. When I signed on, all I wanted to know was the difference between the French accent signs, acute and grave. And here I am, 2 hours later, , having read every single post going back to 2004 and enjoying myself immensely. I have also learned many fascinating things about words that I never knew before, the least of all being the difference between acute and grave.

There was one short post from about a year ago that I agreed with completely but I haven't seen anyone pick up on it. The writer pointed out that in the word resume/aka "what you hand in when you want a job"-----the first syllable consists of three letters , not two, i.e. res--uh--may and the "res" rhymes with the word "fez". When the word is being used in conversation, not even native French speakers would pronounce the first syllable to rhyme with "may". The tendency when speaking would be to concentrate on the consonants, not the vowels: thus, rez-(short "e")-uh(schwa)-may. This pronunciaiton follows the same principle that governs words like "resolute", "resonant", and "resurrection." When looked at this way, the first accent is irrelevant and serves no purpose but the accent on the final "e" tells the reader that the word is of French origin and thus the final letter----and syllable----a single "e" is pronounced like the sound of a long vowel "a" in English.

I don't recall ever seeing resume written with two accent marks; I have always written it with one. But the operative word here is "written". When I used it in letter writing, I wold put an accent over the final "e". Back in the day when I used a typewriter, I would add the accent with a pen after the document was completed. From all the posts I have read on this thread, I am beginning to think that the only reason "resume" with no accent came to be accepted as de rigeur for "the thing you hand in to get a job", is because it's a pain to do accents on a computer.

Let's keep this thread going----what the heck, we don't have anything better to do, right?

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No <i>more</i> foreign, I meant.

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Grrrrrr! Rrrrrrr! Ruh!!!!! Aaaaargh!
I have tried to post three times!
If this one works, I apologize
For thrice the amount of cheesy rhymes!
To resume my former critique,
Regarding the proper form of resume with y'all seek,
To Grumpy mama, she of the "pooh-pooh",
As to
If we had anything better to do,
I must pursue
The question: don't you?
Now I mean no disrespect at all,
In fact, I'm glad you posted,
I just wanted to bring your attention to the fact
That the thread you roasted
With such perfect tact
Is the same one wherein you posted,
So what's up wit dact?
Re: 's u and me
the cat of jade and her poemie,
man, my first two posts were so much BETTER than this!!
But they're forever gone, sniff, they will be miss'd,
But now I must be on my way,
To resume working upon my resume!

hee hee!!

nice thread.
'nuff said. :P

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I'm with MarkG. The spelling, resume', represents the pronunciation "reh zoo may," which is how this word is pronounced in English (in practice, it may also be pronounced that way by the French). I avoid writing resume because it can be confused with "ree zoom," and I don't write re'sume' because this spelling does not reflect the way the word is actually pronounced in English (it is also very hard to write with an English keyboard).

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And for nerdy completeness, it is "curriculum vitæ", not "vitae" ;)

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In American academia, I've only seen "CV." Perhaps "resume" is too identified with getting a job.

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i seriously cannot believe I read this whole damn thread - FML

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Atomaton, regarding:

"The résumé is properly pronounced REZ-oo-MEY. That is, the emphasis is on the first AND the third sylable. (Which is why it has accents there.)"

I'm sorry but I have to disagree. The acute accent in French has nothing to do with emphasis. It affects pronunciation. The sole purpose of the first accent is to change the pronunciation to "REY..." Without the accent it would be "REH..." as you have indicated. By the way, I agree with you; in English, the common and correct pronunciation is "REH-zoo-MAY". Perhaps that's why the spelling with only one accent on the second "e" is also considered correct.

By the way, somewhere along the way, I was taught that when spelling phonetically, a consonant sandwiched between two syllables is nearly always considered to be part of the second syllable. For example, in the very word we're discussing, it should be phonetically spelled "REH-zoo-MAY", not "REZ-oo-MEY". Does anyone have a similar recollection? Of course, dictionary.com spells it "REZ-oo-MEY".

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Note that an even easier way to get é (at least with a Brit English keyboard, feel free to try it on yours!) is ctrl-alt-e, combine with a shift for capitals. Similarly á, í, ó, ú.

And FWIW, my opinion on the original question: while as a Brit I use "CV" for the document in question, if I were using the American word I would spell it with accents as otherwise it is too easily confused with the existing English verb meaning to pick up where one left off. (I was writing my CV but was interrupted. I am now going to resume writing my résumé).

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@TruthWhisperer - I caught your intentional self-referential wordplay immediately, found it quite clever, and was amazed and disappointed to find that at least one (humorless?) person managed to completely mistake your wit for what would otherwise be a ridiculously lame comment. ;)

@all others: At 37, I still find myself (from a young age to present) to be someone somewhat more concerned than the "average bear" with proper usage of grammar, syntax, context, spelling, etc...so naturally when I sort of stumbled across this thread like so many others have noted, I was at times enthralled, bemused, disgusted, etc....perhaps simultaneously. This thread represents the combined time and efforts of dozens of different people from different countries and different walks of life with differing views for different reasons....that in itself I found absolutely awesome (literally and figuratively). ;)

As for my opinion / or argument about the central word in question, I shant presume (as others in this thread have to a sometimes disconcerting disagree) to think that anyone reading some or all of this thread should be particularly swayed by any opinion or argument I might offer in favor of any of the three forms cited. I will simply say that I am a fan of George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language" in that Orwell argues for the preservation of certain standards and observances lest the English language devolve into a muddle of misappropriated groups of alphanumeric characters appearing to possess at least some of the characteristics typically associated with a formal language but being so poorly or lazily composed as to be irksome at best, and incomprehensible at worst. That being said, I think that this may be one of those "pick your battles" situations in which the frequency and environment in which the word in question is most often used or misused means that an evolution of simplification (regardless of the oft-argued potential for heteronymous complications) rather than preservation of what many might consider to be affected nuances of written or spoken English.

Now, I realize I have tread dangerously close to actually offering an opinion (which I said I would not do), but I hope that those who've managed to read this far into this somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment will recognize any such seeming contradiction as a tightrope act on my part that I like to think is not unlike the aforementioned comment by the ever-clever TruthWhisperer.

Ok, I'm done putting in my "deux centimes" on this thread. ;P

Here's hoping this thread will continue unabated and unabashed for another decade or two! :)

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After taking 7 years of French and spending years as a copywriter, I am applying for a job with an internationally renowned company. While I'm certain my "Resume" would be acceptable, it will be transmitted as a "Résumé" in deference to the company's international ties. Incidentally, I did a spell check using only one accent on the final "e" and Word (2003) spell check corrected it with both accents!

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Not sure how it'll render in this comment, in case anyone is interested, the correct way to get an acute e to show up correctly on a Web page is with what's called an HTML entity. The incantation for doing that is this (without the spaces):

& eacute ;

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I like this article's response to the question of how to spell resume: http://www.writeworks.biz/newsletter/archives/m...
which gives the basis for each common version, and the best rule of thumb: be consistent or be wrong for sure!

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As for transmitting résumé electronically, AP style demands both acute accents, and news stories must be able to be transmitted over the wire. Therefore I think you will generally be OK with both accents. Using only the one seems like doing it only half-way, like someone else said. Use both or none, not one.

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The accent above the last IS needed, without it the e would not be pronounced in English.

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@RedRocks - seems you have ignored this entire, 8-year thread by assuming to sum it up with a curt jab in favor of French, to the exclusion of everything else. I speak French and English, but am able to be flexible to recognize several spellings of the word, all of which are considered correct in the US. I believe the key is to select one spelling for a particular document or communication, and use that spelling consistently throughout. To everyone else, very enlightening discussion. Thanks!

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The French word has acute accents on both letters e. It means summary. It is the correct way to do it, there is no other. Sadly I do not know how to type these on this keyboard so I cannot quote. The good lady who didn't care what the acute accent is for because she was getting a new kitten was confused by kitten = cute = acute accent = what was i saying?
Curriculum vitae means course of life. The plural should mean course of lives? or courses of lives: so curriculum vitarum, or curricula vitarum. This thing about curricula vita means courses of life - how many courses can a life have?

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Since English does not use accent marks, I do not use accent marks in words that have been fully assimilated into English.

I've never heard the word pronounced "re-zhu-may." Every time I hear people use it, I hear "reh-zoo-may" or even "reh-zoo-meh" (accent always on the first syllable, never the last one).

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Jim,

Thanks so much for the keyboard tip! This will save me so much effort, as I frequently deal with accented words.

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>> Does anyone can help me? When we pronunce the word "resume" meaning CV, is it pronunced as "résumé" or we just maintain its "original" pronunciation meaning recommence, begin again, etc? <<

Despite the controversy over correct spelling, "resume" as in CV is still pronouned "résumé" or "ray-zoo-may" fast, or, perhaps more popular, a fast Reah-Zoom-May.

It won't make a good impresion at the personnel office if you hand the person behind the desk your "CV" with the words, "Here's the ReeZoom you requested . . . "

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Everybody get ready for the 10-year reunion on Tuesday! Is chas still around?

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I am the one who originally asked this question, five years ago. It amazes me that it is still getting comments. For the record, I use résumé and I type "é"s with alt-e+e on a MacBook Pro (or as &eacute; in HTML)

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Frieda, If I' not mistaken, the French pronounce the e with grave accent exactly the same as the e with no accent. The exact pronunciation depends on the surrounding consonants.

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You like Resume
I like Résumé
You like Resumé
I like Résumé
Let's call the whole thing off :-)

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Here here Zirt. Fascinating. I do appreciate the info from BC 4/11/07 about e-mailing with accented "e" turns it to "i." It takes the pressure off my entire predicament ;)

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Yeah I agree with BC. The spell checker did something weird! Someone wasn?t on their personal computer. They didn?t see it until later. Don?t blame it on your assistant because it wasn?t her . Now Mr.Porsche, Do you really think that she?d address you by you?re first name on such a formal document? No, it wasn?t her... it was me! So spank me!
Typo Negative

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As a professional resume or résumé or resumé writer - I note in filling in this comment, the "resumes" with accents are noted as spelling errors.

Some Résumé organizations insist on using the two-accented Résumé as the correct version. Dictionaries say all three versions are acceptable.

As a former computer professional from many years, I now simply use "resume" without the accents. I have seen too many systems make the accented "é" into something which is not a valid character. Also, since Word rejects Resumé as a spelling, I would never use it - why add a flag that does not need to be there.

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This is a great explaination why 'resumé' is the accepted spelling (taken from above URL):
The spelling with two accents follows the French spelling, but in the case of “résumé,” that spelling is problematic when used by English-speakers, for reasons given below. Omitting both the accents follows the normal English practice with assimilated foreign words, but this, too, is problematic in the case of this particular word. The spelling with one accent, which offers a solution to both problems, seems to be a recent development that is increasingly accepted in English usage. Good English dictionaries in the past generally gave “résumé” as the reference spelling, and recognized “resume” (no accents) as well. For instance, “resumé” isn’t found in the first edition of the Random House Dictionary (unabridged, 1966) or the full Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed., 1989). More recent editions of authoritative dictionaries (Random House Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1987; American Heritage Dictionary, 3rd ed., 1992; and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th ed., 2002) also recognize “resumé.” The fourth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary (2000) gives “resumé” as the reference spelling.

The Shorter Oxford notes that the spelling “resumé” (one accent) is particularly associated with the sense of a summary of employment qualifications, which sense is “chiefly North American.”

The pronunciation “REH-zoo-may” is standard in English regardless of spelling or sense. (French also places the primary stress on the first syllable.)

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I finally looked it up in Websters and noticed the definition/pronunciation key included both accents because the word was originally was pronounced with two long "a" sounds for the accented "e." I think the confusion for us is that in current usage, people pronounce the word incorrectly, using "rez" as the first syllable instead of "ray". It is really fun to say with a French accent. 'Here is my ray-zu-may!'

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Would you presume to resume resume writing?

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I have to smile after reading comments suggesting that a misspelled "re/ésume/é" could cause one's re/ésume/é to be discarded. The word "re/ésume/é" doesn't appear anywhere in my "re/ésume/é" and I can't say I've ever seen it in anyone else's! By the way, y'all like my new solution to the spelling dilemma?

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I know for a fact that by eliminating the accents you will be left with the word rezoom My grand daughter and I just had an unnecessary fight about it. She wanted help with her rezoom. When I referred to it as a rez-ooh-may she became very offended and ended up storming out of the room. So just consider this when not using accent marks

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There is only one reason to spell the word "résumé" instead of resume, and that is to distinguish the two words that have different meanings. As F. David Bower noted, we are human beings, and as I'll note, we are generally thinking human beings.

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I love that this discussion has been going on for nearly 10 years!
I like the idea that there is often more than one right answer to any question, something I try to encourage my students to understand. Along with tolerance and respect for others' points of view.
So as long as it is spelled resume, résumé, or resumé I think we all know what the writer means. For what is the purpose of language? - to convey meaning.
So maybe we could use txt langauage and write rsme?

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This was all very good reading for me. Thanks everyone for the insights.

I have decided I will now use both accents for the purpose of my résumé.

Furthermore, in the process of learning keyboard tips...

"Jim | Oct-23-08 6:57AM

You people are too smart for me. But for anyone who didn't already know, the keyboard shortcut to add an accent is Ctrl + ' or`, then the letter (e or a).

Best of luck with your resumes, hope everyone finds a job!"

Thank you Jim.

This worked well in MS Word but everywhere else I tried using the same keystrokes and I was either opening different programs or resizing the screen.

So I searched and found the following link which has helped, and I thought for those that have reached thus far in reading up on how to spell résumé may also want to know how to type résumé with ease too.

http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/finetypography/h...

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@MarkG and @Andrew H. I write today to thank you both for advancing the American stereotype of classless arrogance. Let me see if I understand ya'll correctly:

• You use a language which obtained a full third or more of it's vocabulary from French.
• You use a language which DOES NOT use accents or any diacritical marks.
• Since YOU pronounce a word a certain way and formulated rules for the resurgence of accent mark usage in your language, you are now going to go ahead and recommend that WE ALL:
(a) change the spelling of another language's word which we borrow OR
(b) start using accent marks arbitrarily according to what some guy on the internet thinks is correct.


/// For the love of everything decent, please everyone use resume or résumé. ///


And this is very easy to type:

Mac: [option+E] gives you a hanging (´) accent aigu, then hit the "E" key again to get é.

PC's: GOOGLE, double click it to select, ctrl-C, ctrl-V into your doc OR learn the geeky alt codes OR, ideally, get a Mac.

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I stumbled on this because I just saw on our University's official website they used the "two accent marks" version. I thought it looked dumb, and assumed one accent was correct (but that the no accented version was also acceptable). I can't understand the people who say the accent(s) should be used to distinguish it from the "continuation" form of the word, when there are SO MANY words we use that have two meanings. It's all in the context. I lean toward doing away with the accents completely and ripping off the French language in our own provincial manner. I'm just glad I'm old enough I'll never have to use one of these again, no matter how it's spelled.

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Résumé is fancier looking! Go fancy, I say!

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WOW, this thread is crazy. Anyway, if you stop and take a minute to peruse a technical writing book that covers these sorts of things, you will find that it is spelled with two accents.

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The language nerd in me is absolutely delighted by this thread, which explains why I read 8 years' worth of posts on a Saturday night. Thanks all, by the way, for the respect with which so many of you treat language (English AND French).

May I share a few observations and recommendations for those currently in or soon to embark on a job search?

>> Packaging your resume as a PDF may help ensure that the document will view (fairly) accurately in Adobe Reader (though this is not always the case; I have observed inaccurate PDFs), but in this day and age your resume is most frequently scanned and analyzed into a database before a human ever sees it. And therein lies the problem.

>> These databases are called Applicant Tracking Systems - employers and recruiters use them to organize, store, and screen resumes because they are inundated by incoming documents and need a way to automate the screening process. Employers are also concerned about being able to defend themselves against potential discrimination charges; these systems help them to treat incoming resumes in consistent ways.

>> When you upload your resume into one of these systems as a Word document or a PDF file, there is NO guarantee that accent marks will "translate" correctly. Many of these datasbases struggle to interpret any non-letter characters such as accent markets, hypens, bullets, lines, and even question marks; this is why non-ASCII text files arrive at the employer's or recruiter's desk looking like gibberish.

>> Hence, I would only recommend uploading your resume to job board, employer, and recruiter websites in ASCII text format (save your Word and PDF formats for faxing, snail mailing, hand delivering, and emailing, as appropriate). I would also suggest omitting accent marks unless there is a way to translate them into ASCII text and guarantee recognition by all applicant tracking systems. Doesn't mean you can't use them in your Word or PDF formats, if you prefer that approach.

Hope these small details help one or more readers of this thread to land their next job much faster than the US average (12 months as of this writing).

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Seconding that dhraga. I have only seen it as resume or resumé.

'before until today'? Is that valid grammar?

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To Anonymous | Jun-12-07 6:17PM, an accented e in French is always pronounced like an American long a, although an unaccented e can also take that sound when surrounded, as you pointed out, with proper consonants...like er in French is also pronounced as a long a...
OP

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Wow. I am flabbergasted at the length of this discussion! If anyone makes it down this far in the conversation, I'm from New Zealand, where it is generally pronounced as "Reh-zoo-may". The 'ay' at the end sounds like the 'A' in 'Amy'. the 'eh' sounds like the 'e' in 'get'.
And I was always taught that syllables start with consonants and almost never with vowels, so to all those who are saying 'rez-oo-may', you might want to move the Z when typing out your phonetic explanation.
A fascinating discussion, but as it is an adopted word, I will continue with resumé as the spelling I use, as the 'é' is used mainly as a pronounciation guide - as in 'café' and 'fiancé' - when adopting french words.

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So this argument could go on forever. Literally.

In reality, résumé, resumé, and resume are all correct. When companies (and magazines, etc.) brand themselves, they choose a dictionary to use and follow. When it comes to issues like this, they always defer to the first spelling listed in the dictionary. However, here's the catch: in the American Heritage Dictionary, it is resumé. In Webster's, it's résumé. There are discrepancies between every dictionary. So it all comes down to which dictionary and style you follow. Everyone is right.

If you work for a large company, chances are they have their own style guide that you should refer to, and when that can't answer your question they give you a style guide and dictionary to default on. Personally, I follow American Heritage because there's no reason for the first accent in résumé and there's no reason to pronounce the "e" at the end of resume if it doesn't have an accent. But that's just my style. So really, you're fine no matter what you use.

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This is a very interesting point and most enjoyable to address. From a linguiststic perspective and cultural point of view I will offer the definitive answer and then some commentary. It is a grammatical point that transcends all others in the strictest form of response and clarification. "Rèsumè" is the noun. "Resumè" is the verb. "Resume" is not actually anything. All of this is in French. The question arises from a conveyor's perspective to his respective audience. Apparently, there is quite a bit of debate over the matter and, obviously, subjective views based on a variety of factors. It is most clear that the noun, in French, is the most correct i. e. if one had to supply evidence and site or substantiate a position. The verb would be the most inefective in correctness. Americans can be excused, since their keyboards do not accommodate the appropriate accent. Afterall, there really is no American word for the document, so they borrowed a French word and modified it based on necessity and convenience. Sure, it ruins the flavour and disuades from the original tone and texture. That is the American way of resolution, evolution, and dissolution. So, if you are in the international sector with a learned group of educated professionals, the choice is obvious. If you are outside of that circle, most likely, no one may notice the inclusion or exclusion of one or two accents. There is argument for the use of any spelling. However, there is no argument for its correct use, according to rule. The linguistically correct is "RÈSUMÈ". That cannot be disputed. The localization process, the vernacular, the colloquial, et cetera, ecercises some latitude based on either the sorce, the object, or consideration of the two. Personally, I find the two remaining choices illustrative of unfamiliarity of culture, origin, style, and setting; and it speaks volumes of the author. Yes, an American, loud and clear! Hey, try the Frecnh. It is the original and will impress your friends at cocktail parties. They will think you know things that you actually don't. But about that employer, hmmm? You probably will either take a French class or really polish up your interview skills. That will be all. Resume with the writing of your CV. Probably better take a Latin class for that one........

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Maestro Sonata: Two quick points to add to your thoughts: it is résumé, not rèsumè, and the verb it comes from is actually résumer, not resumè.

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There is literally no etymological justification for American Heritage's choice of the single accented version, particularly given that they note that it comes from a verb with an accented first 'e'. I can only imagine they adopt that to help with phonetics, as (in my experience anyway, though others may disagree) the common pronunciation of the word places an acute accent on the last e but not the first. But adding accents is not a characteristic of English (or American English), regardless of convenience. If you wish to note that it is a word imported from French, accent twice; otherwise don't accent. To take the half-assed approach is to create your own rules of language rather than following those already in existence.

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How entertaining, I think I'll resume writing my resume.

Is anybody confused?

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Does it make sense to anyone else that if you are writing in English, then you should use the English alphabet as well as English writing and grammatical rules? I mean if we "borrow" a word from Japanese, you would not insert it into your paper in Japanese script. So if you borrow from a language that happens to use a similar alphabet to English, it should also be transliterated into correct English rules. Does anyone know or have experience with foreigners who use words borrowed from English in their writings and how they would handle it?

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Jack, I'm afraid I have to disagree. To be honest, I think you are even contradicting yourself somewhat. If you imagine that "they" adopt the single accent to help with phonetics, then why isn't that the perfect etymological justification? By the way, to paraphrase Walt Kelly, "they" is "us"! The editors of American Heritage dictionary didn't pull the spelling out of their ass and set a new standard for us to follow. They simply recognized the already established standard usage. If that's not etymologically justified, then what is? Furthermore, adding accents for convenience most definitely is characteristic of English. Resumé is an example. If it were the only example that alone would be sufficient. But consider a word like souflée as well. It makes particular sense in these cases since without the accent, there's no way to indicate the correct pronunciation (other than context). In spite of the many different ways to pronounce each vowel, the accented -ay for a final -e normally isn't one of them. As for borrowing a word from another language requiring its exact spelling, notation, or pronuncation, says who? Just isn't so. Once a word is adopted into a language it becomes that language's word and any version (or versions) that its speakers universally agree on becomes the word. Writing "resumé" with one accent isn't creating one's own rules of language. It's following the standard of language that's universally accepted (well, perhaps I should say nearly universally, or this entire thread wouldn't be here!), at least, according the the American Heritage Dictionary.

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résumé (Eureka)........

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You have been helpful in past comments concerning this topic. In fact, after reading some of your prior comments and doing some research, I decided upon "résumé". It is the most authentic and correct. One should not necessarily conform to the lack of understanding of others, nor cater to selfßimoposed fears of what might be pretentious. consider the environment and the applications. I am, specificallz, in a global and international environment. Most Europeans, if not all, are intimatelz familiar with their neighbors and have understanding of various nuances in intercultural activitz. Hence, one would appear forein, mazbe even sillz and uneducated, bz presenting the moderrized and transcriped adaptation. although it may seem like an obligato, the flowery version has the most flavour. What other people think about it is secondary. I enjoy the zest of origin and authenticity. Those who are confused can be on their merry way to eat at McDonalds as I dine with the chef! We weren't meant to be together in the first place addressing this term or any other.......

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After over six years, 156 replies, and a few tears of frustration, it appears this topic is still up for debate. This is certainly the most epic debate I have ever come across in all of my years on the internet.

This discussion seems to be open still. The question now is "Why?". Resume means to continue. That is the meaning. That should be the meaning. A résumé is a document that lists qualifications for a prospective job. A resumé is a proposed compromise that really shouldn't have a place anywhere in my humble opinion.

As many will say, and have said, résumé is a word with French origins. English adopted it. As English adopts words such as "cliché" or "café", they don't, and shouldn't, drop the accents. Résumé should be no different. It should be standardized and accepted for English-speakers across the globe. Let's get it right for our kids, as well as anyone learning the language. Again, this is in my same humble opinion.

I'm sure this won't be the last post on this topic, as it definitely wasn't the first. I'm just happy to see so many constructive replies in a discussion of this magnitude. It's good to see that English, around the globe, is still a living, evolving language.

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An interesting and passionate thread, to be sure!

To those of you uploading documents on the Internet, I will tell you what I tell my clients: Convert it to a PDF first. Creating this "picture" of your document ensures that employers see them as you meant them to appear. There is otherwise no way to know what punctuation horrors might occur in other browsers or word processing software.

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Hairy, spoken like a man who isn't old enough to have ever typed one on a mechanical typewriter:)

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Does this discussion win some kind of award for longevity? Nearly 7 years! Resume (however you type, write or pronounce it) is either a French word or a word originating from a French word or an English word borrowed from the French (I thank the French for nothing except Champagne, Crêpes Suzette, Grand Marnier, Armagnac, brioche, soufflé, Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Tatou, Sophie Marceau, Emmanuelle Béart, Gigi and Le Tour de France and the cute accent). Curriculum Vitae is Latin. And the less said about the painful years during which I endured Latin with Miss MacGillivray, the better.

Since people in countries where English is the official language generally don't speak French except when they visit France (and when they do, they usually speak it cringeworthily badly, as demonstrated when people who learned French at high school travel to France are rewarded with blank stares when they ask directions to the nearest train station) and we also don't speak Latin (notwithstanding that the origin of many English words is Latin), I coined the term "Professional Profile" - an oultine of one's professional experience and achievements.

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Microsoft Word actually corrected my from resumé to résumé. So I guess I'll trust Bill on this.

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Let me see if I understand you all correctly:

résumé is incorrect because it (1) does not represent the way we pronounce the word in America, and (2) is pretentious to certain people.

resumé is incorrect because it (1) is not the way the word is spelled in French, (2) has an accent, something true English words do not have, and (3) therefore is the worst option to some people because it is neither an English word nor a French word

resume is incorrect because it (1) does not represent the way we pronounce the word in America, (2) represents the epitome of American laziness to certain people by demonstrating a complete lack of effort to find a way to type accents, and (3) does not distinguish itself from another English word.

Funny.

Personally, I feel that if all of the spellings are in the dictionary, they're all right. But on style preference:

I don't like "résumé" because it's not the way we pronounce the word. If you're going to put accents on a word, you should pronounce it like the accents dictate. To do differently demonstrates, to me, thinking that you're smarter than you are... in other words, pretentiousness. In my view, you're either French, and you spell it résumé and pronounce it exactly as the French would, or you're not French, and should leave that spelling (and pronunciation) alone.

I can also see others' points about "resumé" not making sense because it is neither the "correct" French spelling nor a "correct" English spelling. Despite seeing their point, I believe "resume" is a worse option because it does not represent the proper pronunciation, and, to wit, we never pronounce an "e" at the end of a word like that without putting an accent on it. Resumé is also an accepted spelling in dictionaries, so those passing judgment on it because it is neither "proper" French nor "proper" English appear to me both wrong and, again, pretentious. It is obviously a proper English word, or else it wouldn't be in the dictionary (or would at least have informal, slang, colloquial, or some such designation next to it). The arguments stating otherwise are specious.

When it comes down to it, it appears that the true problem is in our pronunciation. We should have either kept the original French pronunciation or dropped the accents altogether. Instead, we've kept a hybrid of English and French for our pronunciation (which, to me, lends credence to the idea of using a hybrid for the spelling, as well. Just think about it--what's the point in pronouncing it as a hybrid and then spelling it with the original French accents or with "proper" English convention. We say it as a hybrid, so spell it as a hybrid!).

That being said, the thought of my é getting converted to an i or any other character scares me, so, because "resume" is also an accepted dictionary spelling, I will likely use it for all of my business contacts.

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You are all the wrong the real word is pronounced 'Re-Zoom-A' and is spelt ReZomÀ

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No you are wrong 'The drop kick' it is a bad name to call your self and I have been told that the real word is Resumè

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Without the accent's it spells resume as in "I had to take a phone call but now I am going to resume the task of cleaning the garage."

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CV.

But if you want to be French and use resumé, go ahead and include as many acute accents as it takes to make you happy and your word choice unambiguous.

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I agree with Craig. Thanks for confirming what I already knew and use.

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Okay, I only just learned that the correct spelling has both accents from above. A lot of people, as I would assume, hear that the e at the end sounds accented, and only think that that e is the one necessary to place an accent on. The reason either accent would be kept with a word such as this is because people would otherwise read it as merely resume, which refers to the opposite of stopping. If you were to be using the word in a sentence where it could be confused with the word resume, then you would want to add the accents in order to clarify. The idea of language is to portray an idea from one person to another; if what you say gets the idea across, you need not look back on it.

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Craig, you have hit the nail on the head. The acceptance of the incorrect spelling with one accent, which is neither French nor English, is American. The joke is, of course, that it does not feature in the actual document which it describes, as it serves no purpose, does it? Is it the title? I have never made one, nor seen one.

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How about "Exécutivé Summary"? That way it can avoid being French, yet retain some of that lovely accented flavor. Like French Fusion cuisine meets alphabet soup?

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Sorry Nick, but I don't think you have a new argument here. There are justifications given previously for no accent, for one accent only and for two. *English basically doesn't use accents* and words that are accented remain hybrids, at the periphery. If we follow your rationale to the n-th degree, all languages will be the same and I think we'd have Diacritic Wars long before we'd get to that.

Language is intertwined with identity and national and regional pride. As such, many will continue to want to do it *their* way, as they always have, in *their* language, *their* culture, *their* region and *their* country. English isn't at all the only language to use the same word for different meanings and, in English, the tendency is to oblige the speaker to use context and memory to determine the specific meaning of a heteronym; not accents.

Those things said, there is quite a strong precedent in English for the use of the acute accent over a trailing 'e', as in café and as has been said previously. So, although reference to a good dictionary or two will reveal no compunction to go any particular way, my preference is:

resumé resumé resumé resumé resumé.

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I created an AutoCorrect so that when I type "xresume" it automatically converts to résumé and I don't have to figure out the ALT function.

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Ok, so I consider myself to be a grammar/punctuation Nazi (if I may use the term).

Despite what may be considered the norm, or even what may appear in dictionaries, the proper way to spell "that paper you create with all your jobs, skills and education", is: résumé. (By the way, to create the "é", you hold ALT and press 0233)

Rarely, I think, would an employer ever mention the accent marks or lack thereof but using them shows a level of education and intelligence. It certainly doesn't hurt and it only takes an extra moment of your time. Pride yourself in learning to write well, don't cut corners and you'll do well in life.

Also I would like to mention that this thread of conversation/argument has been going on for almost six years now. Awesome.

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What a fabulously entertaining and educational experience reading this thread! After reading all of your great comments, here are mine, with gratitude:

I am delighted with the polite nature of the communication here :o)

For years I have used only one accent, and I cannot even remember where I have been placing it. OMG!

No matter which I use — résumé, resumé or resume — if corrected, I now have an abundant arsenal of arguments. Hee, hee...

In file naming and transmitting resumes via the Internet I will use "resume" or "RESUME" to avoid technical conversion issues. As a graphic designer, I thank you for those tips!

Wow... this thread dates back to 2004. What was I doing in '04?

In print, depending on the audience, I'll use résumé. If criticized, that will give me an opportunity to start talking in one of my many accents, thus causing relaxation, improved health, a fun work environment and increased creativity. All those benefits caused by one word and each of you! BTW... if you like accents, check out Amy Walker on YouTube. She's fabulous!

Thanks for the laughs and the education!

Singer/songwriter | Donna-G.com
Graphic Designer | DonnaGentile.com

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Accent marks in English are like rock dots; they look pretty, they might let you know how a word originally sounded in it's native language, but they are strictly speaking like tits on a boar they don't really look right there because they don't belong, but it'd probably look weird without them too either way they don't do anything worthwhile either so take 'em or leave 'em. At least in resumé it helps to discern it from resume in printed references but we survived through other heteronyms just fine. As for keeping things the same as the language we borrowed them from BULLSHIT! We don't preserve the pronunciation or spell of the overwhelmingly vast majority of loan words nor do other languages, the only thing we typically do observe with regularity is ñ and that's only because it uses common English phonemes.

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Wow ... Seven years and counting! ... and I thought the Anglish thread was long!

FWIW, I managed to graduate college, get a masters, and several jobs and never once used CV and never spelled resume with an accent!

I suggest we dump both CV and resume and just use "work history".

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According to the French-English dictionary at wordreference.com, the correct French spelling is "résumé", with acute accents over both e's. Moreover, unless you KNOW that an electronic file system will preserve the letters, i.e., it handles Unicode or UTF-8 text, DON'T USE DIACRITICS OF ANY KIND in your résumé, as it will replace the diacritics in unpredictable ways. It may work OK in PDF files, which MAY carry their own font subsets, but not necessarily in online forms or résumés submitted directly as e-mail. If you still want to appear erudite despite these limitations, use the Latin equivalent, "curriculum vitae", instead, which uses no diacritics.

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Please refer to the 12 volume Oxford English Dictionary, not the little American Usage Supplement. The OED clearly states "résumé" as the correct spelling. End of disussion, no?

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I wondered about the accents myself, so I looked it up back when I was in college (no personal computers then, I'm talking about the 1970s). What I discovered was that the first e would take a grave, not an acute accent, so if you're going to be pedantic enough to use the accent on the first e, you might as well be pedantic enough to use a grave accent. Personally, I leave both accents off unless for some reason I both know I might encounter and expect to want to impress...a pedant.

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Grave accent? Really? Not in French. Why would the accent, if preserved, be changed in type? That doesn't make any sense. Perhaps your source (or your recollection) was in error?

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My impression was, and recollection is, that the grave accent was superfluous in French resumé, and would serve only to distinguish the [?] of the first e from the [e] of the second, if used. I don't think either my recollection or the source are incorrect, per se, although both might have their tongues slightly in their cheeks when pronouncing those ees.

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Well !!! I'm writing a uni essay and actually wrote down resume with the accent (or whatever the correct word is) over the last 'e' and just thought I'd check on the 'web' - I've read this thread up to 2009 and then skipped to the bottom (well, I have to get on with my essay) but I've decided to put the accent over both of the 'e' !!!!

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I found this thread looking to see if the language had changed since I last checked the correct spelling of résumé. But it hasn't. Even in America, the correct spelling is with two accents, and it is never correct to not use any. And according to Garner's Modern American Usage, that is still the case, though he says that the use of only one accent (the final one) is gaining in ground as an acceptable alternative. Although I will stick with both accents until it is no longer correct, I doubt I would ever go all the way over to no accents because, as several have noted, it then looks exactly like the word resume.

Having said that, I had never thought about how an uploaded résumé might be mangled electronically. That might explain why I never heard from some places I applied to for a job, where I was perfect for the position--any editor or writing applying for a job who seems to have typos in their résumé is usually automatically rejected. And on that topic, for those of you who are job-hunting, my heart goes out to you. Hang in there!

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My opinion on the matter is it should be resumé, and my reasoning is that this spelling reflects my pronunciation and how I hear it spoken.

I like that the Canadian Press Style Guide agrees with me, with the word listed here as resumé among the list of troublesome words on page 8: http://twu.ca/divisions/ucomm/resources/web-edi...

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It was intentional and served its purpose. It took three months for someone to catch caché (hidden - bravo!) and the painfully wrong, but illustrative, affectation. Meanwhile, the argument still rages over resume. Webster says it best. Resume is a verb that means to start again after stopping and résumé is a noun that means a short document... I hardly every get to employ fancy talk. The college would only let me teach advanced physics, not English : )

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speedwell2, are you an engineering?

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there is a different between a resume and a CV, actually.

CV is a longer document, a complete listing of accomplishments, awards, publications. ubiquitous in academia.

resume is a shorter (one to two page) document summarizing work experience, accomplishments, etc. used for interviews/employment.

a uc berkeley professor recently corrected me on this point when i emailed him an "attached CV". sort of embarrassing.

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"I'm actually French and I was looking for the exact way Americans spell this word… And I still don't know after reading all this. But I can tell you how to pronounce it:

it's not Ray-Zoom-May
it's more like Ray-zuum-may"

Benoit - I've noticed that Americans don't really make that sound in their speech. Witness "puma" and "dune" which they tend to pronounce "pooma" and "doone" rather than "pewma" and "dew-ne."

full disclosure: English trap/bath split adherent living in US for 10 years.

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Peter Messervy, where did you learn that CV is Chapter and Verse? I was always told it was curriculum vita.

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Yeah, that was a typo (and isn't it vitae not viae?). As for it not making a difference, it can make a difference if you don't get the interview in the first place because of it. Now, as a programmer, I doubt it would cost me an interview; however, it might cost an English professor one.

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When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!

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The method that Clancy uses is more widespread than select Windows applications.

That's how you can do it in X (Unix/Linux), though you may choose a different compose key to use in place of Ctrl.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compose_key

And the usual Mac way is at least as fast, where ? is the Option key:

r
?e e
s
u
m
?e e

résumé

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I have to point out, Thad B, that café's doesn´t have an apostrophe. To make a plural you add an s. Apostrophe denotes possession, or a letter left out. Doesn´t it? (Does not it, leaving out the o and contracting what is left together). And of course cafés has an acute accent, as the French word being used here has one. I can´t cope with Starbucks because the cups defeat me, containing about a litre of coffee in a giant saucer with a minuscule handle, so it´s all over the table and the floor and my knees before I can get to taste it. Ridiculous! I don´t go there any more. There is one in Bangkok in Convent Street next to Molly Malone´s. I go to Molly´s instead. See the apostrophe denoting possession (she has the bar). Lots of accents there: Thai, Irish, English, Japanese ...
I am currently in Spain where there is a plethora of funny punctuation, especially the upside down ¿ before a question.

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I think that, since résumé is a french word and the Americans utilize it, they should keep the spelling correct.

Why not keep it simple?

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Jodie, a dictionary will back you up on any variant except having a single accent on the first syllable. Pronunciation does not follow spelling; it follows your meaning.

Like, from my NOAD2:

résumé |?r?z??me?| |?r?zu?me?| (also resumé or resume)
noun
1 a curriculum vitae.
2 a summary : I gave him a quick résumé of events.
ORIGIN early 19th cent.: French, literally ‘resumed,’ past participle (used as a noun) of résumer.

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Shaun C,

I am American, I spell it résumé, and I don't think you should group all Americans together. I agree that there are those that do fight change, but they are not all from the US. I won't abuse you if you say "zed" - you just might have to explain it to some who might not know what it means. And those that do, embarass the rest of us. Our language came over with the British; we've just changed it up a bit. I'm sorry for those who "avoid that which is different and belittle it," but don't be closed-minded and think that we are all that way.

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As Professor Henry Higgins once said, "There are even places where English completely disappears; in America they haven't used it for years!"

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To insert the é with accent in one, I always used "Alt130" .. tried the other keystrokes suggested, but didn't work. maybe because i am still using Office 2000...

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Shaun C: just come back to this thread to see your comment. I agree, it doesn't mean Chapter & Verse and I never meant to imply that! Just a curious parallel coincidence in my phrasing - perhaps I should have written: "...despite the true meaning of the word denoting all of your entire life’s accomplishments".

Clearly you have to watch your step in this thread ...

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i have to go with simply resume. the other words nearby will give context. and where else do we SPELL words according to how they SOUND? explain knight. or was knight created because it needed to be different from night? so i can in no way support the single final e accented.

and it's been brought up twice that there are many heteronyms that exist, such as wind/wind, lead/lead. we make no accent on the vowel to denote its expression.

and w.r.t. the borrowed quality calling for original spelling with two accents i disagree. for one thing, the internet culture has vastly degraded the standards of spelling and grammar, and makes it "not worth our time" to bother to add keystrokes in making the accent (or uppercase for that matter). (And did You know that English used to capitalize all Nouns, like German still does?) even now you will find the semicolon tragically marginalized, comma splices abound, i almost left the dots out of my abbreviation for "with respect to" and debated even using quotes just there.

and it was also mentioned that import words such as kamikaze are not maintained in their native script, however acai berry has made a strong showing for retaining its cedille, which would mean we ought to do resume with both accents as per the original.

bottom line, we're all smart enough to not need any accents in order to understand the difference between two words with identical spellings, and to understand that there is usually a slight difference from how we say the word versus speaking it in the source language, for instance "gestalt" with a -sh- sound or ray-zoo-may for "resume".

all that combined with the possibility your accent might turn into another letter or a &clusterf;ck on the reader's side makes me think NO ACCENTS is the way to go. simplify, don't complicate.

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LOL came here to see if I should put the accents on my "see attatched resume." Decided yes since the job involves speaking Spanish and it seems good to point out yes, I do know how to use 'em. But I love the (relatively) polite discussion. Thanks :)

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Not meaning to digress from the question but expand its context: Who has the "super powers" to dictate what a word means, how it is acceptably pronounced or spelled, how much of the language from which it is drawn is desirable to include, which syllable is to be accented, etc?

The recent publication of a compendium of American English pronunciation by geographical location (including maps and CD's containing native speaker examples) reveals that there are (at least) TWO "camps" on this issue. One might be called the "purist" camp while the other might be the "empirical" side.

The "purists" are dedicated to the maintenance of "formal" or "proper" English usage, spelling & pronunciation, with changes/additions requiring rigorous examination by linguists and other authorities before any modification to reference sources.

The "empiricists" prefer to say that once a word becomes widely accepted and used its addition to reference sources should follow fairly shortly. Hence the verb/noun "fax" is to be found in many references, and "fedex" has almost become a verb. In other instances words like "harass" were previously listed as being pronounced like har'-iss, (the accent on the first syllable, rhyming with the proper name "Harris." However, common usage by Americans led to an equally accepted pronunciation of hur-ass', (with the accent on the second syllable, rhyming with "I really noticed HER ASS").

There have been numerous examples of this, with words like "economics" (pronounced like ee'-koh-nom-iks or eh'-koh-nom-iks) as well as new words, new meanings for existing words (previously called "slang" or "argot" and perhaps even "jargon."

Therefore, how a word "should" be spelled, pronounced and even its meaning depend on the "camp" with which you most identify.

Sadly, I see more & more diction errors e.g., its v. it's - to v. too - capitol v. capital - their v. there v. they're - principle v. principal - threw v. through, etc., where words that sound alike are used interchangeably despite different meanings. Due to the brevity used in text messages, I have been seeing more formal business letters containing shortcuts like "thru" and "nite" and "donut" (this last may have become acceptable usage). Perhaps "lol" or "IMHO" or "FWIW" may show up in a new dictionary soon to be published. The Scrabble® dictionary is a good example: many two-letter words (very valuable to serious players, like me) have been included in the third edition beyond the original 72. One of them is "ed" as in education or "phys-ed" or "co-ed" but there are several more. See how many of the "acceptable" two-letter words you can identify!

In Scrabble®, once an agreement is reached on the source dictionary for the match, all sides are expected to understand the "conventions" used, much like a game of Bridge, where the "signals" of a convention and what the bid means to the partner must be understood by both sets of players. Perhaps this is the ultimate answer: the meaning, spelling & pronunciation of any word is tied to the "context" in which it is used and the understanding of the common "conventions" used by all parties to the communication.

More like "Alice in Wonderland" - "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less." The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all."

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Go Wikipedia. In French it may be résumé but in English, I figures / me thinks, resumé. But, given that English spelling generally JUST DON'T reflect pronunciation, AND given that language is a living thing AND given that U.S. normality suggests resume OR resumé AND given that an educated person who ignores these things is just ill-educated, can't we PLEASE close the thread and get back to securing nuclear reactors in Fukushima and perfecting Polywell reactors for mass production? Please!

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@ Pdaines " From a linguistic perspective, resumé seems the most rational. Résumé would imply the French pronunciation ray-zu-may, which is clearly incorrect as well as awkward"

Actually it is not. You are assuming that the French pronounce the last é like an American. It would sound stupid to apply the same sound to both e's the way we say it: rAy-zu-mAy. However, when broken down, most French native speakers would pronounce the é as reyh-zu-meyh...with less of an emphasis on the "Ay" sound. It sounds better when you say it like that, and not awkward at all: reyh-zu-meyh

My personal taste is that we compromise and spell it the way we say it as Americans, which is "resumé". We pronounce the initial 'e' with an eh sound, not 'ay', but we do pronounce the second 'e' with an "ay" sound; the spelling of "resumé" reflects the American pronunciation of this french word. Personally I HATE when café is spelled cafe because my mind can't help but turn the pronunciation into something that sounds like "kayf"

source: my entire family speaks French and my mother's native language is French

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@looloo - there was a type of cheap café in Britain in the fifties and sixties, serving things like fried food more than coffee, as far as I remenber, which were indeed known by many people as 'kayfs'.

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My wife and I had a minor disagreement about this very suject this evening... I spell it resumé, she saw it and said, "WRONG! It's résumé!" I maintain you can spell it either way, but here's the kicker, at least for me: my name is "René", spelled with the accent over the second e, and pronounced "renay" (though I have heard about every mispronounciation there is). So for me, "resumé" is the way to go... MS Word be damned!

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Maestro, I find it interesting that for someone with such a strong opinion about what is correct, you've used the wrong accent in every case. It's the acute accent, not the grave accent that's used in resume.

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There is no "right" or "wrong" in the evolution of language. If there were, we'd all be speaking Sanskrit or perhaps some form of cave-man grunt.

Languages evolve as they are mixed, and the form that is the clearest and easiest prevails time and again. You can't mandate these things. Ask the Romans.

In the case of the debate on this page, clearly if there were no indicator, the English speaker would not know how to pronounce this word. The é distinguishes the word as the summary document used for job application. We don't need two és to get the job done, so the second é is a waste of effort.

Therefore, I hereby declare that "resumé" is the only form that balances clarity with efficiency (well, that or résume, which is definitely not defensible on this discussion board!). Resumé may be wrong by the "rules" of French, but right by the rules of language.

And so I hereby proclaim this obvious fact to be true. Until Esperanto makes its triumphant rise... :-)

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Coincidence or fate? Yes, Porsche, truly, I was doing that as you were constructing your return email. I went in to many of my documents and found most were correct and I was unhappy with the incorrectness of some. Prior to your helpful comment I had already done the "cut and paste" routine and recomposed the words to be correct. I still cannot originate the correct accent, at will. So, I placed the correct form, in its pre-selected font, in a source file. By the way, the other detailed article referencing "Alt" key and codes, et cetera, did not work for me. Frankly, and I mean this, your comment precipitated a much needed correcting on my documents. I had noticed it before, but was a bit confused as to the method of fixing it. They're all fixed now and I am grateful for your comments. It wasn't the lack of knowledge of correct text and accent useage; I simply didn't know how to get the machine to do it. (Common problem for people in their 50's)........Seriously, thanks for being the motivation for getting it done right!

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I wish that would work on my English teacher after she marks my answer incorrect.
There is no right or wrong when comparing two languages. Some girl in my Spanish class asked "since we put the adjective first and they put it second, who's right?" I just hung my head as I thought that was the most nieve question I ever heard.
However, when it comes to the grammatical structure and wrting of one particular language, there are rules, and there are definite rights and wrongs that a professor can mark for or against you. To view some samples, you can visit the website of the Modern Language Association, to which my class and I were referred for detials on what do to and not to do on our writing assignments.
So I know that French is doing it correctly for someone writing in French, but my question was for what are the rules for this type of word usage in English. Oh I better say "today" as well, because yes, over time they will change. Maybe even clearer: If I have a homework assignment that is due tomorrow, what should I do to make sure my teacher does not mark it wrong. I know different teachers may have different style / opinions, but what can I do that I can back up in black and white if need be?

Thanks!

How much Esperanto do you currently speak? I have looked at it a bit, but I'm certainly no expert in it (yet!)

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You can defend resumé or résumé readily enough! If you write "resume" you roll the dice, I think!

As for Esperanto, well, that's about as alive as the interrobang. Ah, the interrobang.

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Nor I, JosephLM. Obviously those of us who are weary of job searching -- and needing some distraction -- however mind-numbing it may be. I can't believe it's been discussed for 8 years (lol--and the answer is still the same)!!
Now, however, at the risk of sounding ignorant (and unworthy of being hired), would ExecutiveResumeWriter or someone clarify exactly how to go about saving/transmitting in ASCII format? I wasted my last flickering brain cell on the fascinating life of [that word]. Thanks again. Y'all have a great afternoon!

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I disagree with Jun-Dai - it's a borrowed word and can change. I must prefer the version resumé and it reflects how we say it. It stops it being a heteronym and is accurate.

You're basing your opinion on someone else's who put it into their styles guide, it says all or nothing, and only one being frowned upon - but who wrote that and why?

Silly anal-retentive types. It's wrong.

Resumé.

QED

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I would go with the non-accented spelling: resume

This way you avoid sounding like an idiot, either with resumé or résumé. The first spelling (resumé) gives the true english pronunciation and is likely the "best" spelling, but some people will think less of you for not spelling it like the french. In fact our language has MANY borrowed words from french and most have divergent spellings.

If you spell it résumé I think it is worse since it is (1) pretentious and (2) shows that you don't know what the accents are for. NOBODY pronounces it this way and given the options available, i would stay away from this spelling.

Resume shows the most sophistication. It is not pretentious, it is "correct", and you didn't need to look it up in a dictionary. Most importantly, nobody will judge you for it

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As someone who is illiterate I find this discussion fascinating. I now think I know an "acute accent" and a "grave accent". Who knew. I didn't read the entire discussion, so I'm sure this was addressed, but I like the "accute accents" being used on the word "resume", simply to distinguish it from the English word "resume", meaning to begin again or pick up where one left off. That's my definition not Webster's. I also like the fact that a Kiwi is getting in on the discussion.(It's ok mate, I just a dumb Yank) My dilemma is that I don't possess a computer keyboard that allows me to punctuate such words. I know they exist, but I'm too cheap.

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In Canada, the use of curriculum vitae seems limited to medical and university professors. Resumé is used by everyone else. We always seem to be stuck between English and American.

As for the pronunciation, I have always said "reh-zhu-may". Likewise, the morning dew is "dyew" not "do", the duke is "dyuke" not "dook", etc.

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Technically, in the USA anyway, resumes and CVs are not the same.

A resume is the 1- to 2-page document that lists your work experience, education, relevant skills, etc. and contain zero complete sentences, let alone paragraphs. These are expected pieces of most job applications in most fields.

A CV has no page limit (I've never seen one that's 2 pages or less), is used almost exclusively in academia (professors are expected to submit CVs, not resumes), and is far more detailed than a resume. CVs list all publications, research, presentations, awards, etc., and include thorough, grammatically correct summaries of each.

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@Bruce - You don't need a new keyboard. The easiest explanation is to open a new Word document and click on the insert tab at the top (next to the home tab.) Click on symbol (notice equation too!) at the far right to choose and insert. You can then paste the word into your email, reply, etc. If you have an older version of Word, look for the font box and select the symbols font. Let us know what version of Word you are using and someone will help with inserting symbols. I hope this helped!

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To spell or pronounce it other than the U.S. English norm (for U.S. native speakers like me : ) is an affectation. The practice is right up there with using French words that people believe will afford a certain caché to a business, party, luncheon, etc. It's hysterical when used out of context, "I think we should call our spring social tête-à-tête". Très amusante - thanks for the laugh...

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The thread on resume, résumé is hilarious and the debate fantastically intriguing that so many would spend so much time on the spelling and pronunciation of one word.

Intellectualism is alive and well. Hooray for you folks. :-)

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Modern dictionaries are "descriptive," not "prescriptive." Therefore they are not decisive, nor, in fact, even particularly useful, in making usage choices. That an option appears in a dictionary only records that the dictionary's compilers found examples in published sources.

Therefore, the absence of a choice from a given dictionary does not make something necessarily wrong (although I will admit such an absence does increase the odds that it is wrong). Further, and more important, the presence of an option does not mean it is equally acceptable in all situations, nor even in any situation.

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btw, I just had my French teacher translate them, she said that the one with two accents is the one that translate to what you guys are looking for.

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No, it is résumé. This is because it is French, borrowed by English. Pronounced roughly like ray-zoo-may. Acute accents as provided in the French dictionaries. It means a summary, the past participle of résumer which means "to summarise".
There is another word altogether in English, resume, to pick up once more where you left off. Pronounced ree-zume or rizume according to which dialect you favour. But the meaning is the issue under discussion. The discussion has gone on for nine years, and the answers require no more than a glance in a French and another in an English dictionary.
rem acu tetigi, surely?

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I wonder why some of you seem to think you know better than the standard dictionaries. (In fact I wonder if some of you even bother checking a dictionary before declaring that such-and-such is the only correct answer). Most American dictionaries seem to accept all three:

Merriam -Webster - ré·su·mé or re·su·me, also re·su·mé
American Heritage Dictionary (at the Free Dictionary) -
re·su·mé or re·su·me or ré·su·mé
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary (at the Free Dictionary) - ré•su•mé or re•su•me or re•su•mé
Dictionary.com (based on Random House) - ré·su·mé, also resume, re·su·mé

Merriam-Webster leads with résumé and American Heritage leads with resumé, but both of them allow both the other variants, so it's really a matter of take your pick - all of three have arguments in their favour:

résumé - keeps the original French accents, but English doesn't always do this when it adopts French words, eg melee, negligee (accent optional)
resumé - more Anglicised, but keeps the last acute to show that the e is pronounced
resume - fully Anglicised, but could lead to pronunciation misunderstandings

Keeping the second accute accent seems a good idea to show that the final e is pronounced (which it wouldn't normally be in English), and this is what usually happens with French words ending in a sounded e, such as blasé, cliché etc. But keeping the first one is not really necessary for pronunciation in English (how many English speakers know the difference between e, é and è in French?), and is optional in words like 'debut', for example.

So pick the one you like best, but I don't think you have much grounds for saying other people are wrong if they choose one of the others.

Luckily it's not my problem; where I come from it's a CV (as it is in France, incidentally; the French don't use résumé in this meaning)

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Warsaw Will,

you type in exceptionally grumpy tones today, wondering why other folk are so daft.

American dictionaries seem to follow the principle that they must be descriptive, allowing for the solecisms which have wormed their way into 'accepted' American English. English dictionaries, I think, try to be prescriptive, allowing only what has been argued or reasoned to be the 'correct' form. Long-standing errors such as aqueduct which of course should be aquaduct from Latin aqua-ducere, but isn't because it has always been aqueduct, but moving on ...,

the verb resume without accents (meaning to pick up again and continue or start again where you left off) and the noun résumé with accents (meaning a summary of anything, rather than being confined to the meaning attached to curriculum vitae) are the only ones in my English dictionary. No half-baked compromises mentioned. Melee does not need any accents it seems, rather oddly, but if you use one you have to use them both. No half measures here either. Résumé with one accent in and one left out is lazy and half-baked, ill thought through, a mess which is neither one thing nor the other, and even if American dictionaries accept this freak word that is not a sound reason to follow suit.

French is taught in schools in Britain, so the English (and Welsh and Irish and Scottish) know about French accents. That is how many people know about them, since you wonder. When we use French words in English we try use them properly, I am sure, fiancé and fiancée respectively and appropriately for example. You see linguistic horrors in the newspaper every day, but you don't put them in the dictionary. I saw "a peel of laughter" mentioned in yesterday's Daily Telegraph, for example.

I am sure that I would like when writing about perestroika and glasnost and suchlike I would use the Cyrillic alphabet to write these terms if I could remember how to get it on my keyboard. Now that would really be daft.

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I think people underestimate the dynamism of language. There is no correct or incorrect way of communicating, and once you realize this, the sooner you will realize it's all about communicating effectively. What was once jibberish can easily become an effective word to those who are in agreement as to what it means. That's why I prefer to use one accent over the final letter because it tells you exactly the way I would pronounce it in spoken language. I don't care how it is "supposed" to look, so long as it communicates precisely how I want it to read. I also agree that no accent is fine because context almost always enables proper interpretation. The double accent would be my least preferred option, simply because we do not pronounce it that way in American English (so it comes off as pretentious).

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Hi Brus, I wasn't feeling particularly grumpy; I was trying to find a compromise. Here's you and b.r.whitney both insisting on your particular version being the only correct one, whereas you are both right, as any American dictionary would have told you.

And there are some people on this forum who never seem to look up a dictionary, even though it's only a click away. Just look at the threads on the past forms of "text" and "plead", and on "cannot" and "can not" if you don't believe me. Much of the discussion takes place as though dictionaries didn't even exist.

I can assure you that British dictionaries are just as descriptive as American ones; that is the job of a dictionary. In fact the (in)famous 3rd edition of Websters New International Dictionary was rather better received in the UK than in the US.

I accept that résumé is only given one spelling in British dictionaries, but as you say, it has a different meaning in British English, and we don't use it that much anyway. And as you well know, British spelling often differs from American spelling in any case. I wouldn't go by an American dictionary for a British usage, so it seems reasonable to stick with American dictionaries for an American usage.

Most foreign loan words that are used a lot in English sooner or later adopt a native English spelling. After all, something like a quarter of all the words in English come from French one way and another, but we don't use accents on most of them. And résumé has been around in English since 1804, so it should have been well-enough absorbed by now. As it is used a lot in American English, it wouldn't be really surprising if it also underwent some form of Anglicisation there.

What you call half-baked and lazy (and you call me grumpy!) is in fact very logical. The first accent isn't needed in English, but it helps to have the final e accented to make sure we sound it.

I think you're being a little over-optimistic if you think the average Brit has much of a finer grasp of the niceties of grave, acute and circumflex accents than the average American. I certainly didn't till I studied French at university level.

You may not like particular spellings, and that is your right and you don't have to use them. And I understand your affinity for French; it's a language I love as well. But we're talking about English,and as these alternative spellings for a specifically American usage appear in just about every American dictionary, I don't see how you can really insist that the original French spelling is the only correct one.

Personally, I trust the scholarship that goes into producing these dictionaries rather more than the personal opinions of individuals expressed in forums like this: yours, mine or anyone else's. That may sound grumpy to you, but if we cannot even accept dictionaries as representing some sort of standard, especially when they all agree (the American ones that is - for an American usage), then it seems to me we don't have much grounds for a discussion. :)

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Résumé is a FRENCH word and, therefore, should be presented with both accent marks over the Es!

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Amen, Nutmeg! And bravo, catofjade!
I believe the REAL correct plural form of curriculum vitae is curriculaphunculae vitarediculae. But I could be mistaken.

Seriously, though... I have always used "resumé" for the very reasons outlined by Nutmeg. This is modern American English; the rules are ever-evolving, sometimes relative, and occasionally sensible. I choose to omit the first accent because it is unnecessary for pronunciation and differentiation from "resume", and I choose to include the second because it aids in both of those. The first accent is superfluous (and it looks too French, which is always a negative ;-) )

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I am thoroughly confused after reading this discussion on the correct way to pronounce this word. I am writing content for a website and am not sure how to write the word resume (meaning - summary). It looks like the correct way is resume with the two e's with an accent above them. I do think the word if written without any accents can be pronounced to resume (or continue). However, this conversation has made me more confused (although it is entertaining to read). Is there an English language expert who can clarify this for all of us?

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I'm glad I'm not alone. I'll now resume my resumé.

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Truth Whisperer thank you for your assistance. But as I have previously posted, I am illiterate and have no clue if I have "Word". All I do know is that I am operating on Windows 7, which I'm sure has nothing to do with "Word". Again thank you for your assistance.

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I feel like we should be planning a 10-year reunion. :-)

No matter where you put the accent (I'm in the "résumé" camp), here's an easy way to type it without having to remember each time how to do it. Use the Alt-whatever key or find the key in your Symbols options to spell the word correctly, then set up an AutoCorrect option so that whenever you type, for example, "xresume" (or whatever you want to use as your AutoCorrect option) it will automatically convert to "résumé" when you are using MS Word. Is that helpful? On that note, I will resume working on my résumé.

P.S. I still think a 10-year thread celebration is in order. June 24, 2014, would be the date, and "chas" would be the guest of honor for being the originator.

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Rez-you-may or CV. That's it.

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Speedwell2, we hope that your pussy had brought you joy; we too are pussycat lovers. We noticed that you--actually many on this post, capitalize the initials for curriculum vitae. Why? P.S., we sincerely want to know. If one was speaking of Speedwell2's Curriculum Vitae then should we understand the capitalization C.V., for one's own document? Also, many here do not place periods after each letter in "CV," and we would like to know the why of that too. And (just love being a rebel by beginning my sentences with conjunctions; please join me in my rebelliousness toward American artistic expression, and use conjunctions to begin sentences) does anyone here agree with me that using curriculum vitae rather than resume seems affected unless one is communicating one's credentials from an high post within academe? We (Twain's Tapeworms) are not amused, so toward further noble dethronement consider Merriam-Webster, "French résumé from past participle of résumer to resume, summarize, from Middle French resumer." Should we or will we not agree that it's perfectly fine to use the following, resume defined as curriculum vitae? Remember me' maties, and join the revolution, anything akin to noble French is just wrong n'est-ce pas?

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Résumé contains letters that are not in the English alphabet.
You might not believe it, but these all differ somewhat: the alphabets in English, French, German (with the umlauts), the Nordic languages (with slashes through letters, and often with umlauts, too), Spanish, Dutch, etc.
In Spanish "ll" is often treated as a separate letter, and there is the "n" with a tilde over it. In Dutch, "ij" is often treated as a separate letter, and you could get typewriters with "ij" on its own key. How about keyboards for computers?

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@Twain's Tapeworms.
1. We presumably capitalise CV because it's based on the title of a document. In any case this is the standard way it's shown in dictionaries, which is good enough for me.

2. Using full stops (periods) with intitialisms like this is mainly a style choice nowadays, isn't it? Again, the 5 (British) dictionaries I've checked all show CV without punctuation.

In fact if you google CV, with or without periods, you will see that virtually all the first page entries use capitals and no periods.

3. In Britain, it's using résumé (in any spelling you want) that would be considered affected - CV is the standard term for us.

4. If you're going to dump French, noble or otherwise, you're going to get rid of a hell of a lot of the language, n'est-ce pas?

PS - Personally I wouldn't use periods with that one either, but it's your choice: http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/punctuation...
http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/english/2005/05/p...

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I have been an editor and also a college instructor for years. I have learned that every publishing house or corporation has its own way of doing things; so, I tell my students to make up their mind based on available sources, but to do whatever is asked by the person giving a grade or paying their check. They can think what they want about that person's intelligence on their own time. As for your current conflab, let's just all chuck the things and go down and sign up for unemployment or some other government program. Probably earn more than in publishing or education, either one.

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After reading comments here for at least an hour, I had to give my interpretation of the use of the word 'resumè' in the framework of the English language.

Now, as we know, Rèsumè and Resume have the same spelling in English, in Australia I dare say that they are both pronounced basically the same (by the majority of people) up until the final letter, so therefore, for English users, I believe we should only use the inflection on the final 'e', to distinguish between both words when written.
Why must we spell it 'rèsumè' if we don't pronounce the entire word as someone from France? I believe most of us say 'reh-zu-may' for resumè and a toss up between ree-zyoom, or reh-zyoom for resume. All 3 words are constructed very similar at the beginning, which is why I believe we need not use the first acute E when spelling resumè.

It shows a common courtesy to the French language itself as we have lifted that word for our own use, especially as we still carry the inflection verbally on the final letter only.
I can't recall hearing any English speaking person pronounce both of the acute E's.

Another word that comes to mind which carries the same inflection in the English language that also holds its original French pronunciation is 'cafè'. The spelling of cafè still carries the acute E, as that sound doesn't exist in the English language unless we spell it to be so, like... CAFFAY or something similar.
It is also acceptable to not spell it with the acute E, as there is no other word that it can be confused with. The general English speaking population understand this and has accepted the English translation of simply 'cafe' without an acute E, we will still say it with the inflection, even though it is not spelled that way at all times.

My personal choice - resumè and cafè

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correction! I was using alt-138 for è instead of 130 for é...really should have proof read before submitting.

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In my view it's resume'.

My reasoning is it is pronounced reh-zu-may (English speaking countries)
And the e' part is not because we are giving reference or respect to french history, but because the ending vowel changes its sound when it has an accent placed above it. ie Instead of resumee its resumay.
Which is resume'

That's how I was taught anyway.
But, I do notice my iPhone places both accents on, so that's a bit irritating.
I wonder what English teachers (or English professors) teach their students in school.

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All fine and good until some starts using resume, the noun, as a verb: "Resume me and I'll forward it to my HR department."

Without the accents, when used as a noun, it is not likely to be confused with the verb. But we see this conversion of nouns to verbs regularly now. Text, email, instant message, Tebow....

With accents I'm reminded that this is an adopted foreign word and is pronounced diferrently than the spelling indicates. Still, I agree that the steps required to include the accent(s) seem a waste of time, since I would never use it as a verb myself. But, one look at my daughters' posts on Facebook or text messages, strengthens my resolve not to give in to the abbreviation, concatenation, and transmogrification of the written English language.

Keep the accents on résumé or one day some one might assume you meant resume.

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... and now in 2013, on a Mac, you can just hold down the letter e (or a,i,o,u) and mouse over the desired diacritical mark.

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"...pronounced diferrently than the spelling indicates..." - oh dear.

...pronounced differently from how the spelling indicates...

...pronounced other than how the spelling may suggest, given that English spelling does not really indicate a word's pronunciation.

The acute accents don't really matter, by comparison with the horror of "diferrently than" but they should be there. I agree with Brain on this one.

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Does anyone can help me? When we pronunce the word "resume" meaning CV, is it pronunced as "résumé" or we just maintain its "original" pronunciation meaning recommence, begin again, etc?

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"Richie's" advice is right on. There is no need to label one's CV. In fact, so doing so is a minor fault on a document that needs to be as perfect as possible.

I think "resume" is a French word, not an English word, and therefore should be spelled the way the French spell it, with the accent marks--and put in italics. In time it may be taken up into English, and Anglicized, but it hasn't been yet. (More likely it will fall out of use as pretentious and be replaced with "CV," or, better, something like "personnel summary.")

I understand the opposition to accent marks. The virtual absence of them in English is an advantage: typing goes much faster. Try typing Vietnamese, which is loaded with similar marks, to see the difference.

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Brus: o = i in "women".

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I'm simply amazed that this thread, started over 7 years ago, is still alive and well!! It's educational, amusing and confusing as well!
Just wanted to make that observation. Let the comments resume....

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From a linguistic perspective, resumé seems the most rational. Résumé would imply the French pronunciation ray-zu-may, which is clearly incorrect as well as awkward. Resume is reasonable from the standard of anglicizing the thing. But there are tons of things that we never really anglicize, or only half-way anglicize. The real standard should be what makes sense in English. As far as pronunciation goes, resumé is accurate. We have the added benefits of explicitly distinguishing "to resume," and one less confusing word where an apparently mute "e" starts shouting unexpectedly!

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Well, I'm finding answers all across the board, both on this post and the Internet. This professional resumé service seems to choose the middle, single acute accent, resumé explaining that it is an English form of a French word, limiting their scope to North American audiances.

MS Word finds resumé misspelled. Lately, I've been using this form, though.

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Oops, it would help to include the URL: http://www.crystalresumes.com/resspell.html

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I came to this thread looking to find out whether to spell cafe as cafe or with an acute diacritic as in café. I didn't realise (sorry about the s - I am Australian) the extent of this dilemma? I must admit I tended to say resume and I concur that resumes are short histories of employment and CVs are the full monty of all achievements. Also if it transpires that we must use a diacritic then can it be only 1 because two in one word just seems like too much work

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@majikthise Why not just use ALT GR + e?

Oh, and here in the UK we use CV. Far easier :)

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I agree with Savvy and porsche about the accent changing the vowel sound and pronunciation. I would use Resumé based on my past experience with reading French. Two accents looks like you don't know what you're doing and would be pronounced with the same sound for both "e" characters, and I think most people here would agree that's incorrect. Regarding Brian W.'s post, the sound of the vowels in a word is changed by where you syllabicate a word, which is why we pronounce the "e" sound when a syllable break is added before the final "e" (three syllables total). When used as resume (as in restarting something), there are only two syllables, not three, and in that case, the "e" is silent and is used to make the previous vowel sound long.

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THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED.

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Oh, no it's not!

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For f---'s sake guys - I cannot believe this - it's an endless game of chess!

May I suggest ditching Resume for, 'Executive Summary' - and:
using 'CV' for all the rest?

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I love this discussion. Although I did not take time to read all of it because I began at 2004 and I don't have that kind of time to invest in a rhetorical discussion, it makes me want to RESUME study of my rudimentary high school French; makes me REALLY want to take Latin; and encourages me to ALWAYS listen to all viewpoints as that is haven't forgotten anyone! what encourages conversation and the eternal evolution of language. BTW? I'm just a poor ol' elementary school teacher. No real credentials, CVs, or resumes to speak of . . .

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YOUR A WIZARD HARRY!

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'Executive Summary' or 'Synopsis'.

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No that's My line

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It's a grave discussion, gone acute...

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As someone who abhors much of the recent changes (read:misuse) in the English language (myself in place of "I" or "me" in almost every context, "orientated", the misuse of the word "literally" etc), I understand your point, Brain.

However, I'd imagine the potential for the word "resume" as a noun to become used ubiquitously as a verb meaning "send one's resume" is very slight indeed, precisely because of the obvious potential for confusion as you've astutely noted. A living language will adapt and change based on what its speakers find to be necessary or expedient, (which is why the accents disappeared in the first place). Because of what would be an almost unavoidable contextual confusion in many (if not most) instances between the existing verb "resume" and a verbified version of the noun "resume" in written communication, it's hard to see how such a usage transformation would be seen as necessary or expedient. Accordingly, it seems very unlikely that we'd see such a usage metamorphosis (usamorphosis? ;) )...unless, in a sort of syntactical "natural selection", users of this new verb decided that they then wanted to resume using the accents in résumé in order to be able to use the verbified resume without confusion. I'm betting most people would stick with "email me your resume" rather than have to take up always using the accents on the noun, which it has been noted can apparently be relatively laborious, depending on one's circumstances.

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Hell, Jason,

You're clearly committed to prolonging this farce!

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Does anyone in this country actually work? It's 2:34pm here and if you're checking this site from your office computer, you're stealing time from your company. Give it a rest! I feel sorry for the people who stumble on this site looking for real answers from real experts.
- retired from teaching college and tired of egocentic, pedantic, sophists.
(I have to say I love your comment Jason - fight farce with farce : )

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I was annoyed the second or third time my husband asked why i typed ( resume') !!!
WOW, I had no idea how many others had this ongoing debate...

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Caché? Did someone write that?

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This was a great help. Even though I couldn't type "résumé", I was able to copy and paste it. Thanks anyway! Post Stamp : This whole coment discussion is quite hilarious.

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I guess saying ray-zew-may is correct in French but saying that down here in Alabama it'll make you look like a pretentious ass unless you say it to be funny.

rehzoomay it is for me.

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"it'll make you"


Sorry. No edit button.

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I notice in the original post Chas called it "the thing that gets you a job". If only. Although to be fair, that was seven years ago...

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After reading this I shall resume writing my résumé.

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1) what a hilarious thread!
2) thank you to fancy_dave who said, on February 7, 2005: "The punctuation marks on top of the letter 'e' in French are for pronunciation, not for 'accenting' the sound ...." and thereby cleared up the ridiculousness of mistaking French accent marks for "stress" marks.
3) thank you as well to speedwell2, who said, on June 25, 2004: " ... I should add that in most of the US the unaccented form is preferred; the accented form is thought of as a sort of affected overcorrectness."

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Wow. A loooooooooooot of ppl answered this question lol

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I'm just going to settle consistently in the middle with resumé. It's problematic in education when words have dual meanings, especially dual pronunciations. We should at least alternate the spelling (ea vs. ee), most people can easily distinguish hair vs. hare. Lead and lead is just needless.

Additionally, résumé looks like a french word which is more acceptable than tacking on a meaning to the word resume. Like someone already pointed out, trailing é is more consistent with society (fiancé, café, canapé, cliché, sauté).

Since it is an english adaptation of a french word I think it makes sense to include it as a hybrid. So put me in the apparently non-existant third camp, the middle.

If I were in charge of the english language, it would be spelled rez'oomé/rez'umé. How exotic.

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Guy: "So put me in the apparently non-existant third camp, the middle."
You've got quite a few supporters I think.

For me it's pretty simple. If you borrow an accented word from another language, it just seems common sense to either keep all the accents or drop them all. Take "déjà vu" for instance. I'd think "deja vu" was OK, but I'd consider both "déja vu" and "dejà vu" to be wrong. I don't see how résumé is any different. There is of course the added complication that "resume" looks like another English word, so I'd tend to go with "résumé".

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Do you agree that there are three ways of spelling the word to in the English language.
What is the proper way to write this sentence

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A few folks have mentioned "cafe" as if it isn't spelled with the accent. From my OED: cafe |kaˈfā, kə-| ( also café ). It also lists resume as a variant of résumé.

M-W has all three: ré·su·mé or re·su·me also re·su·mé.

Take your pick. They're all right!

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I love this discussion! The BBC practice of pronouncing foreign place names as if they are written phonetically (as opposed to pronouncing them in their native tongue) - think Nicaragua (nick-are-agg-you-uh) - is matched only by the American abiltiy to speak non-standard English. We use non-English words on a regular basis, but invariably pronounce them incorrectly -- hence the "reh-zoo-may". My favorite, though, is "lingerie" -- which nearly EVERY American who uses the word pronounces it as "lawn-jer-ay". Back on topic - I use résumé to show that I can parle un petit peu francais, and have both a résumé (listing my artistic accomplishments) and a CV (listing my academic experiences). The former is a list - the latter a narrative.

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^^^Oops, that first sentence should read ... as if it isn't spelled without the accent.

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I am a career counselor in the US (dealing with resumes every day), and I use the word without the accents, partly because accents are not used in English (so using them looks affected), partly because it is too much trouble to get the computer to do them. But I'll bet the novelty spelling with one final accent got started because someone was trying to distinguish the word from "resume," as in "I will resume watching TV after I finish writing my resume." Doesn't make it write though! ; )

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To my eye, resume looks too plain for its fine european provenance. Since noone has offered a compelling reason to use only one accent, I suppose Ill use both. Thank you all for the entertainment with my english lesson.

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For all the high brow "academics" out there - "Curriculum Vitae" is also what Playboy calls the "résumé" of the Playmate of the Month!

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Speedwell2, go home you're drunk.

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It may be different for the arts, but we typically do not have to title our brag sheets.

If you do, I suggest you use the original word - résumé, no permutation of it; or, use CV / Curriculum Vitae.

Ironically, résumé originates from Latin (not directly - I know it's French). The word means "Summary". Look at "Summary": Sum + (+m) + -ary. In Latin, sum means "to be", and summa means "the highest part", or "the whole". Like the english word "sum".

If you wanna be a real star, you should title the document, "Mea Laureolae", or "Mei Principati", or something like that.

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Will, regarding "An e acute is normally pronounced quite short in French (e as in bed) rather than ay (as in ray)", I'm afraid I must disagree. The "-ay" in English is a diphthong, starting with a short e (-eh as in 'bed") and ending in a long e (-ee as in free). In French, the acute-accented e is not a diphthong, but it's not a short e or a long e either. It's actually, oh, roughly halfway between the two. This phoneme doesn't exist in English, so -ay is as close as English can approximate it.

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Will and Porsche,
I think you're both sort of right about the pronunciation of French é. It's basically the first half of our "ay" diphthong in English. It's actually pretty close to the "e" in English "bed" and I'd say that's our best approximation. However English phonotactics (I hope I'm using the right term here) don't allow the short "e" sound (or indeed any short vowel sound) at the end of a word, so "ay" is the best approximation we can make for final é. That's why the two é's are pronounced differently in English, and why some people choose to put the accent on the second "e" only.

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@frontman: "My wife and I had a minor disagreement about this very suject this evening… I spell it resumé, she saw it and said, “WRONG! It’s résumé!” I maintain you can spell it either way, but here’s the kicker, at least for me: my name is “René”, spelled with the accent over the second e, and pronounced “renay” (though I have heard about every mispronounciation there is). So for me, “resumé” is the way to go… MS Word be damned!"


The reason there is no accent above the first e of "René" is because the first e of this French name is not pronounced the same as the first e of the French word "résumé." René is pronounced more like (ruu-ney) in French and résumé is pronounced somewhat like (rey-zuu-mey); the aigu accented e's (é) in French are usually not the AY or AE sound that American English speakers usually give them; it's a little bit softer.

I prefer "résumé" with both accent marks; it may be because I also speak French (disclaimer: I was born and raised in the USA - I am a southern belle - so excuse my French ;). But I don't know why it should be held against anyone if there are no, one, or two accent marks as long as all the letters are there and in the correct order.

And in regards to the accented letters (á, è, ñ, ô, ü, etc.), if you set your keyboard to International, you don't have to do all the ctrl-alt-... shennanigans. You just type the accent mark you wish to use and then the letter. Et voilà!

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You're all wrong. It's pronounced 're-ZOOM-ay' and spelled 'reiklsn6mssslk/tyé'.

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On a Mac I hit the option key & E key at the same time, followed by the vowel that I want the accent symbol over (á é í ó ú). However with a consonant I get this: (´b ´c ´d).

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For what it's worth - MS Word does NOT like the single accented version... which is why I went looking on the internet for answers, as I do not like to defer to Bill Gates without just cause.

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As a professional proofreader (I also manage several other proofreaders, and so I am bombarded by these types of questions on a daily basis), we simplify this process and choose to accept 'resume' as our preferred word choice for our clients. As stated above, you may use the original French version of this word, however, the feedback we have received suggests that employers, especially, look for concise, clear language and are 'turned off' by language that is overworked unnecessarily for the sake of being 'fancy' as mentioned above.

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Nice post on Resume topic. For more information about How to write resume in a professional format then you can visit our official site:-
http://www.resume-builder.net

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but é does not exist in the engrish ranguage

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The plural of curriculum vitae ("course of life") is curricula vitarum. vitae is the genitive singular and vitarum is the genitive plural. vita is the nominative singular and vitae is also the nominative plural.

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Well you're wrong. The dictionary has it as pronounced: résumé. You just pronounce it wrongly. Your version has "re-" rhymes with 'the', as in 'the-zoom-ay' but in fact the cognoscenti say "ray-zoom-ay". Oh well, never mind.

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This is awesome. I would love if someone with a Ph. D in English and teaching at an American university to weigh in

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No, no, you're wrong. It is pronounced "RAY-zoom-ay" and is spelled with both acute accents. And that's the end of it. If you want to use a French word for a summary, at least spell it correctly and pronounce it the French way, or why bother choosing it in the first place?

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'Truth Whisperer' suggested in July that 'To spell or pronounce it other than the U.S. English norm is an affectation. The practice is right up there with using French words that people believe will afford a certain caché to a business, party, luncheon'.
Oh dear. You have yourself used a French word that you suppose will afford ... "caché??"
You mean cachet, I think. I am minded of the advertisement I saw in the local newspaper to sell a house round here in a "sort after area". If you want to employ fancy talk, get it right, I say. I always do.

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Oh please!! (exasperated tone). You do not need a Ph.D. or any teaching, just learning. By the age of 11 my generation knew that all it takes is a look in a dictionary: it says résumé in mine, and that's that. That's a French dictionary, of course.

If you want to do without the accents, do without both. You cannot do one without the other, as the old song goes. It's all or nothin'.

Keep it comin'.

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Windows, any version, accents:
Ctrl+' then e = é Hold down the Ctrl key, tap the ' and let go...nothing shows until you tap the letter e (either case)
Ctrl+` (above the tab key) e = è
Ctrl + , (comma) c = ç
Ctrl + Shift + 6 with ^ then o = ô Hold the Ctrl and Shift keys together, tap the 6 above t and y, let them go and tap the letter o
Ctrl + Shift + ~ (above the tab key) then o = õ
Ctrl+Shift+ : (colon/semi-colon key) o = ö
If the accented letter exists in any romance language, a bit of imagination and you can create it from our standard, US keyboard.

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An innocent enquiry on the web has led me to this monster-thread. Glad to see that the English language remains as living, contentious and interesting as ever.

My ha'penny worth: as a Brit, I would say that most people on the lookout for a job nowadays in the UK use the term CV despite the true meaning of the word denoting chapter and verse of your entire life's accomplishments.

The term résumé is understood but used far less in this context, I would argue.

Perhaps because we are next door to France, and perhaps because it is drummed into you as a kid, I feel more comfortable using the accented version rather than the unaccented as that could be confused with the verb which means something else entirely.

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@Brus and Eoin - I think you're both partly correct as regards French punctuation - I make no comment as to its standard punctuation in American English. An e acute is normally pronounced quite short in French (e as in bed) rather than ay (as in ray) - and French dictionaries give the pronunciation /ʀezyme/ (rezoome) rather than /ʀeɪzymeɪ/ (rayzoomay). However it is true that the second e does get elongated a bit and ends up nearer /eɪ/.(ay). Of course if you're really going to do it à la française, you need to do something about the R as well (but that might come over as a bit pretentious). You can hear it pronounced here:

http://translate.google.com/#auto/fr/summary

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Billy Bob,
Are you kidding with your English? "are you an engineering?"

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Clancey, this has been said before, but those methods only work in certain applications like Microsoft Word, Wordpad, etc. They do not work with Notepad or with Windows in general.

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Porschee, so are you saying don't use any accents? Or memorize or look up the ASCII code combos?
Could always create the accents/accented words in MSWord and copy n paste it into any file of choice - including out here.
Where would you use accented letters in "Windows in general" - and who even uses Notepad these days?

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No, Clancy, I'm not saying that I don't use any accents. I didn't say anything to you about ASCII tables. What I'm saying is exactly what I said, nothing more, and nothing less. The method you mention for creating accents does not work in Windows, per se. It only works in a small number of specific Microsoft applications. Others have posted that it only works in Word. It also works in Wordpad (another rarely used program). It pretty much doesn't work in any other applications and doesn't work anywhere at all in the Windows operating system. Nowhere. Perhaps I jumped to conclusions, but when you said "windows, any version...", I assumed you were referring to the Windows operating system, which would be incorrect. If you meant Word, you should have said Word. If you didn't, then why so defensive? I would have thought you'd welcome the correct information. On the other hand, if you had actually read the previous posts, we probably wouldn't even be having this exchange.

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You must apply the proper declension......CURRICULUM VIAE.......that would be far more effective in avoiding looking like an idiot , rather than leaving out accents because you don't know what theymean, how to use them, and how to pronounce them........

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Not sure if I'll continue reading beyond July of 2010, but the previous six years were fun! With the discussions of how to achieve é in a document, whatever your preference for the word under discussion, you can find any character you need in a Windows environment by opening the program, charmap. Once you do, select the typeface you're using, find the specific character and click on it. You can copy it and paste it into your document or use the key combination that appears below it.

I came to this page looking for insight on how the spelling, résumé, would be perceived by a hiring manager. I know a lot more than I did, but not that. I always thought Résumé at the top of a page appeared a little affected. But, now, it seems more proper to me, based on what I've read.

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Phew Porsche - such ire!
Can't imagine your reaction to something of importance...

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There ae numerous dimensions as to what is "correct" and incorrect. Itis a matterof preference and identifying yourself with a frame of reference or culture. Everyone justifies their own particular view and is quite rightin doing so. Who cares? It's what you say in your intervie and the actual qualities you posses that make the difference. The way you spell your life's digest is inconsequential.

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To avoid any conversion of fonts/ accented Es just save your documents as a pdf prior to uploading them. Then you can use the proper French spelling or any American English translation you would like...

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Guys, would y'all comment on the correct spelling of cafe when used in English correspondence? I want to meet two girl-nerds for coffee (two is always better than one), and I'm composing with a formal email just now; therefor, I must get my spelling spot-on. Should I use an accent in the spelling? And how should I pronounce cafe when in the States? When I'm in Quebec, then should I pronounce café differently (I'm not Quebecois)? I assume it's pronounced correctly as "coffee" wherever I go since I'm natively English-speaking, so must I always pronounce café as coffee? And write it as cafe, non? Do you get me? Really? Thanks loads y'all! By the way, and sorry for the digression, but this may come in handy; is it 'an hotel' or 'a hotel'?

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Peter Messervy - the initials CV definitely stand for Curriculum vitae. Your "chapter and verse" sounds like a "backronym" created by someone who wasn't quite sure what CV stood for - or they were pulling your leg!

The only time I've heard the phrase "chapter and verse" was watching Sharpe on television (the series based on the Bernard Cromwell books and starring Sean Bean).

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Oh Mon Dieu! I forgot about the Italian caffè, now I'm really confused, and time is of the essence. Same goes as before; what is a boy-nerd-person to do?

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In the US or Canada I would say that café is the place to go to have coffee when speaking English (either variety). And yes, I would use the accented-e when spelling it. So you can "go get some coffee" or "would you like to meet me at the café for a cup." BTW - Hortons, Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks are not café's (maybe Starbucks depending on location.)

And though usually with a soft word like hotel, you would think that 'an' would be proper, but it sounds funny to me (since I use a hard H in my New York hotel.)

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This is no help...:( I came on here trying to find out WHAT stress marks are and how they are used...lol
it's crazy how this argument^ has been going on for like 8?yrs! XD

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Thanks Robert!

Résumé - a noun, resume - a verb. If we good ol' boys can pronounce San Ho-zay and know San Josie makes one snicker or sigh, certainly we can learn a few simple accent keystrokes on any computer keyboard of choice to present words as they sound? Please?

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The word "Resumé" is spelled with the accent over only the last "e" for a reason. Like any accent over a letter it determines how it's pronounced. The word "Resume" as in "to continue", is spelled without any because it's an entirely english word. The word "Resumé" isn't pronounced "Ray zoo may", it's "Rez oo may", hence the accent.

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'résumé' is (should be) the correct spelling since it comes from French, Northern American speakers sometimes use it without the accents which doesn't make any sense since they keep it for other French words like fiancé, café, canapé, cliché, sauté etc

PS: I am a linguist and a language teacher.

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What about use of an apostrophe to show possession on a name that already includes an accent mark? Desiree's or Desiree''s?

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We don't pronounce it résumé, we say, resumé. Good to see the new generation coming through.

PS: You're a dictionary expert? Well, check a couple out.

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Actually Resume has the two accents on both e's (if you mean a "job profile" resume.) It's spelt like this: résumé

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"The plural of curriculum vitae ("course of life") is curricula vitarum. vitae is the genitive singular and vitarum is the genitive plural. vita is the nominative singular and vitae is also the nominative plural."

No. Genitives do not agree in number (or case, obviously, since, unlike adjectives, they have their own case) with the nouns they modified. Curricula vita means that each CV is of one person's life. Curricula vitarum would mean one CV is of several persons' lives; curriculae vitarum would refer to multiple CVs, each one of which was of several persons' lives.

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I've looked through the posts, but saw nothing of this point at issue: the word 'resume' - as in to return to a state of - is identical to the word resumé if you completely eliminate the accent marks. In that it should be the goal of anyone writing for comprehension to make their writing as clear as possible, with as little room for ambiguity as possible, it would seem to me that a reader would have at least a momentary glitch in comprehension until context took over if the two words were left identical. I lean toward the use of the accent mark for another reason: pronunciation. Accented properly, the pronunciation of the final e is made easier through use of the accent.

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Here's my take on it:

First choice: résumé.
Second choice: resume.
Distant third choice: resumé.

I totally disagree with austin_brian's post of 6th Feb 2010: I think that *one* accent looks like you don't know what you're doing to anyone who knows French.

Blunderdownunder: "Also if it transpires that we must use a diacritic then can it be only 1 because two in one word just seems like too much work." You mean like pâté (which, like résumé, looks identical to another word if you leave off the accents)? Or déjà vu?

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Some years ago I worked for an employment firm, writing resumes for clients. Most people were said to have resumes, but we referred to the employment and publication histories submitted by medical and academic professionals (which were generally longer) as CVs or curriculum vitae.

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I quote you: "I realize I have tread ...". In England we say "I have trodden ..". Otherwise fairly lucid, thank you.

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Bruce Kennedy--do you know M. Thorsby and S. Mitchell and T. Flood?

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Lon Johnson- sadly I have no knowledge of these three individuals. Give me a hint, are they Kansans, were they in the Marine Corps or Navy? Or possibly there is another Bruce Kennedy with which you may have me confused. Sorry I could not be of any help.

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Hmmm...maybe avoid the entire issue and go with "CV" or "Curriculum Vitae"! When I checked several sources "Résumé" seems be preferred.

Merriam-Webster lists "Résumé" as a noun and "resume" as a verb. One is your CV and the other is to take up again where you left off.

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It is interesting reading various phonetic spellings of words. For example in US English "dew" rhymes with "do" and "duke" is "dook". I was partially raised in England and moved to Canada. I learnt "dew" as "dyew" and "duke" as "dyuke".

Americans always claim that Canadians pronounce "out" and "about" as "oot" and "aboot", personally I can't hear it. So, what do Americans hear when Canadians actually say "a boot" and "oot"?

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Personally I'd avoid writing "resume", "CV" or any other such word at the top of your CV. Just put your name - it should stand out better. Of course, different countries and industries have preferred rules, so perhaps it is best to consult a book about writing a CV.
I think Weetus is overly fond of putting little marks above letters ;-)
I use "zed" (correct in English and French) but I'm quite happy for people to use "tzet" (German). "Zee" is zomething people do with their eyes!

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OK it was a *minor* disagreement regarding the spelling...

MSft "Bill" enforces one spelling, and some pronunciation SMEs profess another. Either way (both "e"s having the acute accent, or the last having it is fine).

I simply use MSWord rather frequently... and the squiggly red underline annoys my OCD considerably... :-)

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I agree with your post, Alec, except that to your "So really, you're fine no matter what you use" -- I must add "as long as you're consistent in your spelling of the word." ;)

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fmerton for the win! I'll expand:

Some countries have organizations that define their language. I have heard that the French do, in a form sometimes published as Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (pardon any mistakes in accent and the like - I am not a French speaker/typer) and that this is considered official and definitive, though sometimes ignored. Apparently Spain has an academy of sorts, and other countries that share that language also do.

In America, we do not, nor does it appear that other English-speaking countries do.

Dictionaries, as fmerton so rightly pointed out, describe what is, not what should be.

So we can all yell, or be polite, or argue, or do whatever else we like to enforce or support our own points of view on the proper spelling of the word currently the source of this long, long exchange. They still remain our own points of view, and only that.

It's almost one of the last arenas in which liberty still has a fairly wide, even dominating influence: language and usage.

Oh, and hi marklark. Been a long time. Funny to see you here. Hope you are well.

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craig a lance, are you an english?

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"A told B, and B told C, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. Whee said D, to E F G, I'll meet you at the top of the coconut tree. Chicka Chicka Boom-Boom...."

Rhetorically speaking, the truth you are seeking is necessarily going to be elective;
As to the hows and why-ahs, 'tis the cultural bias, which mandates a view most objective.
Apostrophes, with or without CVs, genitives and rules of past or present tense-ah;
Give grammar your best try, lest you wake up and cry, having found you've been kicked out of Mensa!!

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porsche10x: I really have to disagree with using the word "soufflé" as an example to support your argument. That is another french word, and it has an accent solely because it has been borrowed directly from another language, just like "résumé," "café," or "naïveté." English uses almost no diacritical marks other than on loanwords from other languages, unlike some other languages that have more regular rules regarding which vowels get stressed on a word where the accent is required to show departure from the norm or to follow other obligate orthographical rules.

I agree that the accents should be all or nothing on résumé. If you are going to bother borrowing one from French, borrow both. Otherwise, leave it unaccented. As a French and English speaker, my opinion is that "resumé" looks misspelled in both languages. While your opinion may be that it does not, you may not know the background of the person to whom you are submitting a résumé. Lots of people in this world speak French, and using the single accent appears ignorant.

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Porsche:

Correct you are. And very astute in your observation, knowledge, and response. At the same time, the two accent classifications, many times, as in this case, are not controllable, either by the mandated font for web site commentary i. e. I was unable to select a font of choice, or the MS packages, et cetera, are not available. Normally, i correspond with fountain pen on parchment. True story. This provides the latitude for proper angel and accent. I had no choice in the accent in this font. The tough decision again. Include the accent or go naked or half naked. I wentt clothed and, as you noticed, it was a bit painful, yet at least, placed the appropriate markings in the appropriate place. My further point, and quagmire, is the selection of bastardized, or Americanized, or any other forced transitional or evolutional spellings. I do not find it proper to manufacture a word, nor change it from its original form. That's just my preference. The exception might be creating words of different flavours, as many poets from Cummings, to philosphers as Nietzsche. They are wordsmiths and artists. They have made a mark by innovatively contributing written communication. As for the absolute correctness, as per perspective and designation of French grammar, please do provide the word in this environemnt, with the correct accents (both of them, and point me in the right direction to obtain the character sets. Really, that would be a fantastic help to me. (By the way, even some dictionary sites have the wrong accent). along these lines, I noticed you rely on dictionaries quite a bit. I do not. dictionaries are arbitrary documentation. They are useful only when you consider the motivation and style of the source. So, hey, help me out and send me the exact French correction in "......" format and tell me where you got the correct characters. I look forward to it.......

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It appears that this thread will resume its course for many a year to come, despite it's near 7 year journey. It would also appear that I (and probably many others) have spent far too much time thread sifting, rather than job hunting. :)

P.S. I say Résumé. Also, I second converting documents to PDF before submitting. It ensures security, integrity, and even demonstrates a level of professionalism.

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A slightly different spin on FrenchMajor's point -

some people may be indifferent/unaffected by the choice of accents here, subscribing to the 'they are all equally valid' camp.

Other people may have a strong preference for one choice, or a strong dispreference for a particular variant - someone may consider two accents pretentious, or one accent ignorant, or no accents confusing.

Personally, I do not worry about confusing anyone by using no accent. If they cannot understand from context, then misunderstanding that word is probably the least of their problems in understanding my prose; and in written form I don't care about helping people pronounce English words. Having previously used the one accent version, it now appears obviously wrong to me, and I wouldn't want to appear ignorant to someone who in other ways shares my linguistic preferences; conversely, I have no desire to appeal to anyone who has a very strong preference for the single accent version. FWIW, I will probably use the non-accented version in future, given resume has passed into English in the same way as words like cafe that no longer require an accent; unless the intended audience gives me reason to adopt the double accented version.

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Well, if I understand your last request, others have already posted a number of ways of generating accents, above. I will suggest another that would certainly work when posting here. Simply scroll up, find someone else's post, then copy and paste. Regardless of your local font, it should preserve the intended accent correctly. You also don't have to remember any arcane codes or key sequences.

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I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. They reminded me of posts by someone I know, but if you are unfamiliar with these three individuals, you are not the person I am thinking of.

I look forward to your future posts.

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This was hilarious! I just forgot what the accent was called and stumbled upon this site while quickly researching it. It appears that all three ways are correct but I was glad to see that someone corrected the CV vs. resume issue, I owe a large chunk of money to the institution that taught me the difference and when to use each one.

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Have you noticed "grave" doesn't have one?

é è
>
\__/

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Thank you for a completely fascinating debate!

Organizations that certify resume, résumé, and resumé writers advocate specifically (if you wish to acquire your certification) that you adopt the spelling "résumé." (Been there, done that, have the t-shirt). I, however, humbly disagree. As already noted, some pretension is communicated in that spelling, and right or wrong, "resumé" does not carry that same feeling.

The accent on the last é does do the best job of distinguishing the pronunciation of this word from the ongoing "resume," regardless that English does not use accent marks. And, yes, the context of the word is not likely to be confusing, and yes, "epitome" does not use an accent, but, wouldn't it be just grand if it did? It would keep some of us from sounding completely stupid. Possibly.

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The interrobang! I did not know what that was called! Sweet

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You can see an article on the interrobang's history (and also one on how the ampersand got its name) at my company website: www.fathomstudio.com. You might enjoy that!

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Resume without the accents is a verb. It means to continue something that was interrupted. Example: I will resume editing my Résumé. (I will continue editing...)

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how about abandoning the accent thing and spell it with English phonetics--rayzoomay, or perhaps, rezoomay

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While American dictionaries mainly list résumé as the main spelling, they also seem to allow two variants, resumé and resume. British dictionaries, on the other hand, don't.

As others have already pointed out, in British English we usually use C.V. with this meaning, but we do use résumé with a less specific meaning of summary - "I gave him a quick résumé of events" - Macmillan Dictionary.

But strangely enough my spell check is not recognising any variant with accents.

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My God! Don't you people have anything better to do???

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I, too, learned it many years ago as resumé. That spelling and the spelling "resume" mean two different things. And, referring to pronunciation, résumé and resumé are TWO entirely different things!! --Unfortunately, with the advent of the Internet (now, lazily typed as 'internet", I do not put much stock in the dictionary, either. If something is misspelled enough, then it shows up in the dictionary.

Former newspaper managing editor, freelance writer
and advocate for the correct use of the "'s" -- It's NOT "business's" (--yes! I've seen it! in nationally published print!)

Wisconsin

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This discussion is getting quite long, but as an FYI, a résumé and a CV are not the same thing. A résumé is condensed, while a CV lists out more or less everything you've done. I work in a healthcare profession IN THE US and we do NOT use the terms interchangeably. Healthcare professions as well as academia usually use a CV, which can be as long as forty pages. Nobody wants to see a résumé that long, but in these areas, you really do need to see what papers a professor has published, what awards he has won, etc..

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The correct spelling is "resumé." The word is pronounced reh•zuh•may; not ray•zuh•may. The reason for one accent and not the other is that the accent isn't there for decoration: it determines how the vowel is pronounced.

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In my book a résumé is a shortened CV, and resume is a verb.

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I'm mainly commenting on this thread just to say I was a part of it... an almost 10 year conversation is quite an accomplishment. As far as I can tell two accents should be used if you want to be proper, or when writing to a French person. No accents is acceptable, especially if you don't know how/ are too lazy to write the accents, or if you are writing to an American. One accent is used when you would have not used accents but you also want to use the word resume (to continue) and you need to differentiate between the two. To say that one way is more accurate than the others is slightly naïve. People have the way they prefer to write it and as long as the meaning is clear it shouldn't matter which way they choose.

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Quote: "By the way, somewhere along the way, I was taught that when spelling phonetically, a consonant sandwiched between two syllables is nearly always considered to be part of the second syllable. "

Porsche,
I was taught the same. Additionally, I was taught that where double consonants come into play, the syllables are split between them; i.e., an-te-bel-lum.

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I just wanted to add a comment to this ridiculously long thread. Thanks for the advise everyone. I am sure it has already been posted but I use ALT 0233

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This man (for it is clearly not a woman) argues that "people have the way they prefer to write it and as long as the meaning is clear it shouldn't matter which way they choose." It is fine then to write 'elefant' or 'phish' or 'kat', it follows. Pish! as Shakespeare (who spelled his name 32 different ways, I am told, according to his mood) would say.

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I agree with this line of thought! If you are posting this using the Internet, you are capable of looking at an online dictionary (or forvo, Bing translator, babel fish, etc.) Is this a contest? Does the 'last' poster win? No and there are enough reference materials out there for a definitive answer. I'm a well-traveled American and this is a joke at our expense. What do you call a person that speaks three languages? (trilingual) What do you call a person that speaks two languages? (bilingual) What do you call a person that speaks one language? (American) It's funny and sad at the same time and I'm sure I'll be the new target for that sacrilege : )

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Now just for fun go to forvo.com and type in resume. The results will include pronunciation results for resume and résumé on separate lists. Listen to the pronunciation by Americans, Canadians, (1) German and, at last, saintsaens21 (Male from France.) Which do you favor? This is interesting because you have people telling each other exactly how it should be pronounced, but have a French native pronounce it and it is almost unrecognizable to the American ear.

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I think we can all agree that there is a difference between the different ways of spelling resume and cat versus kat. After all, in no dictionary are you going to find kat or elefant or phish, yet many dictionaries contain all three versions of resume. If people begin to alter the way they spell these words often enough that they become synonymous, then will I agree with you.
ps. sorry about the name change, the site wouldn't let me submit under anonymous#2 again.

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Truthwhisperer|:

Q: What do you call a person who asks "what do you call a person that asks..."?
A: An American.
Q: Is the relative pronoun 'who/whom/whose' redundant over on that side of the Atlantic?
A: Yup/Yep/Yuh/Ja. Seems so.
Q: Why?

Warsaw Will: I like your answer. I still think that if you are going to use one accent on a word which has two you had might as well use them both. Idle to show you can, then don't. Once you have cracked the keyboard code to insert the accent, use it, I say.
How do you make a circumflex? I can't do melee until I find out.

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Except it apparently did.. strange

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See http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/finetypography/h... for circumflex. It's easier on a Mac than in Windows.

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I take the view that fish is correct, phish is not, I was using your logic to show that it is not sound, and you agree with me. If the dictionary allows one accent on resume where the French one does not, then I go with the French, I am afraid, for that noble language is proud of its purity, and the Academie Francaise has a language committee to stamp out impurities, while English is proud of not being very fussed, sometimes.
And let us remember George Bernard Shaw who would have us think "ghoti" is a way to spell fish, as in enough = gh = f, motion = ti = sh, and I forget why o = i, but it's all very silly, although he meant it. Perhaps 'o' in "simpleton" for example sounds like 'i'.
Why should you not change your name with each piece you send in? Shakespeare would have been proud of you. And as you say, you didn't.

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Hi Brus,

To make ê type alt-136 (on the numeric keypad): mêlée
At least that's how I do it.

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On my keyboard (no separate numerical pad) , there is a ^ sign above the 6. So I just do - shift + 6 + e - which gives me ê. As simple as that.

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You argue that you would go with the French version because you find their style more eloquent and pure? I respect your choice. I simply present the view that since the words are used by Americans interchangeably, that, in America, people can choose which spelling they find appropriate for their purposes. It reminds me of the clique: tomato, tomahto. Of course that's a pronunciation, not a spelling preference but the idea is the same. Especially since the accents are used for pronunciation purposes.

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From a practical perspective, it seems sensible for people using whatever version of the English language that applies in their country, to not use accents because most people don't know how to insert accents when typing in English. (It's not difficult to do and Word's help function will give you the instructions to do it, but most people don't want to be bothered.) In any event, the meaning is going to be clear by the context in which the word is being used.

What I found interesting is that in the French version of monster.com (ie monster.fr), the term CV is used.

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The AutoCorrect option is a wonderful tool. Thanks for reminding us Detail Queen. I use it to type acronyms for long medical conditions lHSS (Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis.) How many times would you like to type that? A virtual reunion? I love it - count me in!!

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resumé, or résumé?
I'm with you there, Tango. We don't have accents in English, as we all know, so when we use them in words borrowed from other languages, such as French, why use them? Well, I say, if we do borrow them, let us borrow them intact. Resume pronounced résumé is now an English word, needing no written accents. Résumé with both accents is a French word borrowed by English, unchanged. If resumé is not found in French why would we have it in English? It is indeed amusing that the French do not use their own word for a curriculum vitae, but borrow that term intact from Latin, as do we also when we can't, through ignorance, find the acute accent in Word. I do, anyway.

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I, too, didn't read this whole thread--who knew the word "résumé" could inspire a nearly 10-year discussion? I'm in the publishing industry in America, and after being queried by a client about common usage for accent placement in résumé, I went looking for an explanation. After reviewing many sources (FYI: "résumé" is the first listing in Webster's Dictionary), reading through a good chunk of this thread, and knowing how important it is to edit for clarity, here's my takeaway: Because "resume" currently has two meanings in common American English usage, using "resume" when you actually mean "résumé" can cause readers to pause--even if it's imperceptible--to interpret meaning. This interrupts the flow of reading. There is no question in anyone's mind what "résumé" means (even if some consider it pretentious), so I will continue to use both accent marks for clarity.

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If Jun-Dai comes to Canada, I'm going to beat her senseless with my resumé.

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Speedwell2, where have you been all my life?!??!
Let's run away together and file some shit.
:)

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