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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

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

'before until today'? Is that valid grammar?

gdbog Mar-21-2008

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

Is anybody confused?

Brian3 Mar-11-2009

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Would you presume to resume resume writing?

anonymous4 May-14-2009

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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 Jan-21-2010

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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!'

austin_brian Feb-06-2010

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

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

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

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

kortcomponent Apr-27-2010

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

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

shufflejog May-10-2010

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

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

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

And this is very easy to type:

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

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

Jonathan1 Jun-03-2010

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

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

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

?e e
?e e


Robert2 Jul-12-2010

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

jack2 Jul-16-2010

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

porsche Jul-16-2010

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résumé (Eureka)........

maestrosonata Aug-07-2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the laughs and the education!

Singer/songwriter |
Graphic Designer |

donna_m_gentile Aug-16-2010

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

maestrosonata Sep-01-2010

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

chieffixit Nov-06-2010

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Let me see if I understand you all correctly:

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

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

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


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.

notforyou18 Nov-23-2010

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

H Feb-10-2011

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An interesting and passionate thread, to be sure!

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

mj Feb-11-2011

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

Howard Hepworth Jun-01-2011

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

Jason Smith Jul-27-2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ExecutiveResumeWriter Mar-24-2012

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

BJONES Apr-20-2012

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

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

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

two-cows Jul-13-2012

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

Caz Sep-17-2012

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

porsche Nov-04-2012

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

porsche Dec-20-2012

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

Kiwi Feb-13-2013

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

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

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

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

looloo Aug-08-2014

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If you search online for résumé envelopes you will see that manufacturers of these products accent both e's in their products. From the discussion in this thread, you can see that there are mixed thoughts on how to accent e's in résumé; however, it is doubtful that any of the three spellings will be the reason you do not get an interview. At the end of the day though, I prefer to accent both e's to demonstrate my proficiency with Word and I think others should as well if they are listing MS Word as a skill set on their résumé.

Anon4498 Jun-30-2015

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This debate has gone on since June, 2004. I will say I've learned that Curriculum Vitae is singular and Curricula Vitae is plural (vitarum would mean each one refers to multiple lives)... but as far as resume is concerned, there have been professors, editors, French people, Canadians, Australians, so on, all discussing this and arguing over which dictionary is correct and so on...

It seems that, much like the required number of licks to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop... the world may never know.

Phils May-19-2016

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Speedwell - I understand "affected overcorrectness" and "we don't use accent marks in English." But it's nice to have a clear difference between "re-zoom" and "rez-oo-may," and the accents clearly eliminate any ambiguity.

Doug1 Jul-19-2016

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Even if some words are assimilated into english, they normally should retain the original accents, otherwise how (except in by context) would anyone know which is which? Adding the slant also helps a lot by indicating the last 'e' should be pronounced... For example, "I should resume writing my resumé"? The analogy with cafe and café doesn't hold, because in that case we are not trying to distinguish between 'coffee' and 'cafe' or 'café'?

G.G Sep-19-2016

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Sorry Jun-Dai, but you are wrong, If we are going to use accents, let's use the ones that make sense. In current English resumé is pronounced REH-zue-MAY. There is no need for the accent ague on the first e, because that would indicate it should be pronounced RAY, not REH. My personal preference is to avoid these accents carried over from the French original, as we do for cafe. Another way to avoid the issue, in a document title for example, is to use all caps when appropriate, such as RESUME; then in even for proper French spelling no accents are required. Finally, don't take my word for it: per Wiktionary: "In Canada, resumé is the sole spelling given by the Canadian Oxford Dictionary; résumé is the only spelling given by the Gage Canadian Dictionary (1997 edition)." Oxford rules for those who wish to speak and write English; Americans are welcome to use their Webster's as long as they keep it south of the border.

Greg Kokko Oct-17-2016

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When I took French in college, I was taught that an accent aigu (acute) meant you were supposed to pronounce the "e" like long "a." So there's no need for accent aigu over the first e in resume (we don't say RAY ZOO MAY). One accent only please, or none at all works, too.

Sandymc44 Dec-03-2016

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May I resume work on my work resumé?

CareerCoachDavid May-03-2017

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Version resumé Is for logical thinkers.
Version résumé is for French literature.
Version resume is for describing continuation you goofy mofos.

Dafuckuthinkinhomie Dec-28-2018

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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?

Michele1 Sep-17-2007

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

Sachin Apr-16-2008

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Wow. A loooooooooooot of ppl answered this question lol

anonymous4 Nov-09-2008

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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 Nov-20-2008

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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 Jan-12-2009

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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 Feb-03-2009

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

quesada13 Mar-25-2009

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but é does not exist in the engrish ranguage

zoscollaga Apr-16-2009

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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.

Eric2 May-19-2009

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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?

anonymous4 May-19-2009

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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.

Eric2 May-19-2009

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

anonymous4 Nov-30-2009

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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...

Curious1 Jan-19-2010

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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?

jodie20 Mar-08-2010

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

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

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

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

stephanie.k.glenn Mar-23-2010

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

Like, from my NOAD2:

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

After reading this I shall resume writing my résumé.

Leslie2 Apr-18-2010

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

Why not keep it simple?

write_ns Apr-29-2010

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

porsche Jul-11-2010

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

rmox2000 Jul-15-2010

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

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

dinnaeask Jul-16-2010

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

porsche Aug-07-2010

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

porsche Aug-07-2010

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

maestrosonata Aug-07-2010

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

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

shaunc Aug-09-2010

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I would go with the non-accented spelling: resume

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

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

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

y Aug-31-2010

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

chas.owens Sep-15-2010

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

chas.owens Sep-15-2010

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Shaun C,

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

stephanie.k.glenn Sep-17-2010

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

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

pcmesservy Oct-18-2010

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

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

fmerton Dec-05-2010

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

bubbha Jan-27-2011

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

Brian3 Feb-25-2011

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Here's my take on it:

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

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

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

Chris B Mar-29-2011

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

Greg Mar-30-2011

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

Andrea2 May-22-2011

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Smith Jun-01-2011

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


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

Howard Hepworth Jun-01-2011

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

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

Jason Smith Jun-01-2011

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

Howard Hepworth Jun-02-2011

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

Jason Smith Jun-02-2011

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

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

Tango Jun-12-2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

happygobrokey Jul-10-2011

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

TruthWhisperer Jul-18-2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DaveyBoy Aug-10-2011

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

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

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

AnWulf Sep-14-2011

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

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

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

resumé resumé resumé resumé resumé.

Greg Nov-15-2011

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

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

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

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

Guy2 Dec-05-2011

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

Andrew P. Jan-23-2012

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

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

DET Feb-01-2012

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

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

mompson Mar-09-2012

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

Con Mar-30-2012

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

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

Marina Apr-16-2012

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

RedRocks Jun-22-2012

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

DetailQueen Jul-01-2012

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

Quentin Jul-05-2012

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

I like that the Canadian Press Style Guide agrees with me, with the word listed here as resumé among the list of troublesome words on page 8:

2-cents Sep-07-2012

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

TruthWhisperer Sep-07-2012

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

Bruce Kennedy Sep-25-2012

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

TruthWhisperer Sep-26-2012

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

Bruce Kennedy Sep-27-2012

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

tmarrero1234 Dec-13-2012

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

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

Silly anal-retentive types. It's wrong.



AlexResuméKing Dec-14-2012

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