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

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

Chris B Dec-05-2011

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

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

Take your pick. They're all right!

AnWulf Dec-05-2011

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

AnWulf Dec-06-2011

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

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

LetterJ Dec-11-2011

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

Discern Jan-07-2012

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

Andrew P. Jan-23-2012

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

Sanath Jan-26-2012

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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.

Eben Jan-27-2012

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

Not You Jan-30-2012

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

kc Jan-31-2012

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

Grumpy mama Feb-11-2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nutmeg Feb-19-2012

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

mjl Mar-23-2012

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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 seriously cannot believe I read this whole damn thread - FML

JosephLM Mar-25-2012

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

majikthise Jun-22-2012

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

ShariT Jun-26-2012

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@majikthise Why not just use ALT GR + e?

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

Arggers Jun-27-2012

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

Brus Jun-27-2012

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

é è
>
\__/

Bruce François Jul-12-2012

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

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

2-cents Sep-07-2012

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

Brus Sep-07-2012

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

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

TheFrenglishman Sep-20-2012

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

D. A. Wood Sep-28-2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brus Oct-19-2012

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

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

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

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

Brain Oct-30-2012

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

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

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

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

Brus Oct-31-2012

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

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

Caché? Did someone write that?

Skeeter Lewis Nov-03-2012

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

MsPaula Dec-04-2012

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

Lon Johnson Dec-06-2012

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

Bruce Kennedy Dec-07-2012

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

I look forward to your future posts.

L. Johnson Dec-10-2012

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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.

Resumé.

QED

AlexResuméKing Dec-14-2012

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

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

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

Warsaw Will Dec-14-2012

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

tOm1029384756 Dec-15-2012

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

user106928 Dec-15-2012

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

Twain's Tapeworms. Dec-20-2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warsaw Will Dec-21-2012

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

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

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

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

My personal choice - resumè and cafè

Leon M. Jan-24-2013

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

Leon M. Jan-24-2013

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

Thad B Jan-25-2013

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

Cogjor Feb-19-2013

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

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

Keep it comin'.

Brus Feb-19-2013

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

Eoin Apr-05-2013

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

Brus Apr-05-2013

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

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

Warsaw Will Apr-05-2013

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

CeeKay Apr-22-2013

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Speedwell2, go home you're drunk.

Ava May-01-2013

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

Cindi May-25-2013

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

Isabella P. Jun-09-2013

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

Dale G Jun-25-2013

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

SinTax'ed Enough Jun-25-2013

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

porsche Jun-27-2013

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

Chris B Jun-27-2013

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

Twain's Tapeworms. Jul-02-2013

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

Twain's Tapeworms. Jul-02-2013

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

TruthWhisperer Jul-02-2013

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

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

Thad B Jul-02-2013

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

Brus Jul-03-2013

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

b.r.whitney Jul-23-2013

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

Brus Jul-23-2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warsaw Will Jul-24-2013

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Warsaw Will,

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

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

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

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

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

Brus Jul-24-2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Warsaw Will Jul-24-2013

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

TruthWhisperer Jul-24-2013

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

TruthWhisperer Jul-24-2013

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Truthwhisperer|:

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

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

Brus Jul-24-2013

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

TruthWhisperer Jul-24-2013

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Hi Brus,

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

Chris B Jul-25-2013

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

Warsaw Will Jul-25-2013

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

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

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

DetailQueen Jul-26-2013

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

TruthWhisperer Jul-26-2013

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

Pdaines Aug-07-2013

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

Anonymous#2 Sep-21-2013

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

Brus Sep-21-2013

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

Anonymous#2 Sep-21-2013

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Except it apparently did.. strange

Anonymous#2 Sep-21-2013

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