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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 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!'
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.
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?
@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!
Actually Resume has the two accents on both e's (if you mean a "job profile" resume.) It's spelt like this: résumé
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)noun1 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.
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 writerand advocate for the correct use of the "'s" -- It's NOT "business's" (--yes! I've seen it! in nationally published print!)
After reading this I shall resume writing my résumé.
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.
"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-Mayit'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.
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?
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. :-)
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.
@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.
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..
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 = çCtrl + 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 oCtrl + Shift + ~ (above the tab key) then o = õCtrl+Shift+ : (colon/semi-colon key) o = öIf the accented letter exists in any romance language, a bit of imagination and you can create it from our standard, US keyboard.
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.
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?
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.
Phew Porsche - such ire!Can't imagine your reaction to something of importance...
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.
And the usual Mac way is at least as fast, where ? is the Option key:
r ?e e s u m ?e e
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?
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.
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.
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"?
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." ;)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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........
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.
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.
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.......
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.
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!
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.
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.comGraphic Designer | DonnaGentile.com
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
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.......
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.
Peter Messervy, where did you learn that CV is Chapter and Verse? I was always told it was curriculum vita.
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........
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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 ...
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
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! ; )
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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!
And for nerdy completeness, it is "curriculum vitæ", not "vitae" ;)
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.
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.
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' !!!!
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?
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... :-)
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?
How much Esperanto do you currently speak? I have looked at it a bit, but I'm certainly no expert in it (yet!)
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.
The interrobang! I did not know what that was called! Sweet
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!
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.
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.
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.
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...
Speedwell2, where have you been all my life?!??! Let's run away together and file some shit.:)
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?
'Executive Summary' or 'Synopsis'.
It's a grave discussion, gone acute...
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?
You're clearly committed to prolonging this farce!
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 : )
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.
"it'll make you"
Sorry. No edit button.
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...
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."
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
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".
'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.
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.
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).
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.
how about abandoning the accent thing and spell it with English phonetics--rayzoomay, or perhaps, rezoomay
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