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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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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.

Jun-Dai June 24, 2004, 7:31pm

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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").

speedwell2 June 25, 2004, 5:42am

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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. :)

speedwell2 June 25, 2004, 5:44am

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

Nica1287 July 4, 2004, 4:57am

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I visited this page to see the plural form of

Can I get any help ?

ramalingamchelliah July 6, 2004, 10:17pm

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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.

speedwell2 July 7, 2004, 3:54am

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that was a great remark speedwell.

goossun July 8, 2004, 9:45am

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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

ivy July 11, 2004, 5:12am

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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.

speedwell2 July 12, 2004, 4:08am

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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.

speedwell2 July 13, 2004, 4:00am

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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.

ivy July 19, 2004, 6:21am

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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."

Jun-Dai July 19, 2004, 9:47am

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Just to answer your other question,

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


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

Colin July 25, 2004, 12:08pm

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'we don't say CV'??

Who doesn't?

Glenn July 26, 2004, 3:13am

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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

speedwell2 July 26, 2004, 4:11am

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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 :-) ...

no August 6, 2004, 4:44am

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

no August 6, 2004, 4:45am

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

alan h October 20, 2004, 10:15am

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speedwell2 October 21, 2004, 4:15am

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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."

speedwell2 October 21, 2004, 9:32am

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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.

MarkG November 8, 2004, 3:44pm

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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).

speedwell2 November 9, 2004, 3:32am

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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???

fancy_dave February 7, 2005, 3:54pm

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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?

efix February 25, 2005, 5:19am

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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)

Persephone Imytholin February 25, 2005, 5:17pm

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

gillinson October 31, 2006, 2:03pm

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

CeiSerith November 1, 2006, 6:31am

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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.



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).

porsche November 1, 2006, 9:11am

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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!!

BC April 11, 2007, 8:47am

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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.

AO April 11, 2007, 4:36pm

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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

TYPO NEGATIVE April 23, 2007, 6:24am

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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.

Weetus Cren April 25, 2007, 5:20pm

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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.

movieboyster May 1, 2007, 6:29am

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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

BOS May 7, 2007, 9:26am

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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.

goofy May 7, 2007, 9:32am

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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.

BOS June 6, 2007, 4:30am

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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?

goofy June 6, 2007, 6:07am

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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...

frieda June 12, 2007, 10:36am

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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.

Anonymous June 12, 2007, 2:17pm

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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?

Michele September 17, 2007, 1:11am

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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 . . . "

BOS September 27, 2007, 3:28pm

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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.

Hal Haley October 1, 2007, 12:42pm

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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 er in French is also pronounced as a long a...

Old Professor October 29, 2007, 11:24am

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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).

Andrew H. December 28, 2007, 1:47pm

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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!

JC January 15, 2008, 1:42pm

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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

Benoit February 5, 2008, 5:42am

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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:

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!

Patricia February 5, 2008, 11:04am

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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? ;)

Sara March 10, 2008, 9:01am

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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

Dhraga March 21, 2008, 2:31am

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

'before until today'? Is that valid grammar?

gdbog March 21, 2008, 2:34am

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

I had never seen it before. Until today.


Dhraga March 21, 2008, 2:36am

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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.

Zirt March 28, 2008, 9:36am

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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 ;)

rodrios April 4, 2008, 5:05am

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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. :)

meclke April 5, 2008, 7:31am

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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!

JJMBallantyne April 5, 2008, 9:53am

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

Sachin April 16, 2008, 6:59pm

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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.

iamnotaplatypus May 6, 2008, 8:11am

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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.

Emily May 24, 2008, 6:33am

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

Jen May 26, 2008, 7:58am

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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"?

JJMBallantyne May 27, 2008, 2:40am

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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!

hitek007 October 23, 2008, 2:57am

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

jkerschner49 November 3, 2008, 7:39am

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Wow. A loooooooooooot of ppl answered this question lol

Anonymous November 9, 2008, 8:18am

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u are all wrong, its actually rezoomay

hi November 16, 2008, 7:13pm

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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).

Ian November 19, 2008, 3:59am

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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 :)

becca November 20, 2008, 5:23pm

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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.

Glenda December 17, 2008, 1:20pm

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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.

Brad December 18, 2008, 5:43am

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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.

River January 12, 2009, 6:13pm

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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!

Creative Writer January 15, 2009, 12:58am

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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.


marklark January 15, 2009, 7:32am

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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 ;

Paul January 18, 2009, 2:50am

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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."

Lauren February 3, 2009, 1:31pm

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

Is anybody confused?

Brian March 11, 2009, 5:12am

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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.

Robin March 16, 2009, 3:18am

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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?

Anonymous March 17, 2009, 4:44am

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

quesada13 March 25, 2009, 6:06pm

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but é does not exist in the engrish ranguage

zoscollaga April 16, 2009, 5:12pm

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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)

chas.owens April 16, 2009, 5:26pm

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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!

stdesignsite May 14, 2009, 7:30am

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Would you presume to resume resume writing?

noone May 14, 2009, 9:03am

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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."

brian.wren.ctr May 14, 2009, 12:40pm

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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.

brian.wren.ctr May 14, 2009, 12:54pm

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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

brian.wren.ctr May 14, 2009, 1:15pm

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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.

eric May 19, 2009, 11:21am

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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?

anon May 19, 2009, 12:26pm

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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.

eric May 19, 2009, 2:08pm

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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)."

info2 July 22, 2009, 11:13am

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Résumé is fancier looking! Go fancy, I say!

anon August 6, 2009, 10:13am

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I like this article's response to the question of how to spell resume:
which gives the basis for each common version, and the best rule of thumb: be consistent or be wrong for sure!

rmox2000 August 17, 2009, 11:29am

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

mlangfur November 30, 2009, 5:40am

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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.

dinnaeask December 2, 2009, 11:59am

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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.

atomaton January 14, 2010, 9:53am

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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...

abc January 19, 2010, 12:25am

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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, spells it "REZ-oo-MEY".

porsche January 19, 2010, 6:50am

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tdog January 19, 2010, 7:16pm

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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!

frntmn January 20, 2010, 9:45pm

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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... :-)

dkmlw January 20, 2010, 10:10pm

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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. "

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.

cjss13 January 30, 2010, 8:54am

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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.

austin_brian February 5, 2010, 7:03pm

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Yes     No