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

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

Brus Sep-21-2013

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

Anonymous#2 Sep-21-2013

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

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

Tango Sep-21-2013

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

Brus Sep-22-2013

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Brus: o = i in "women".

Chris B Sep-24-2013

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

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

Craig A. Lance Sep-28-2013

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

Craig A. Lance Sep-28-2013

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

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

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

Craig A. Lance Sep-28-2013

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

Royt Nov-04-2013

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

Brus Nov-05-2013

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

darc Nov-09-2013

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

BradR Nov-28-2013

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

AC1 Dec-11-2013

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

daweiman Dec-18-2013

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speedwell2, are you an engineering?

Billy Bob Jan-29-2014

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

Craig A. Lance Jan-29-2014

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craig a lance, are you an english?

Billy Bob's Brother Feb-13-2014

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In my view it's resume'.

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

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

kimsland Jun-08-2014

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

Chris B Jun-20-2014

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

Warsaw Will Aug-08-2014

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

The Drop Kick Nov-19-2014

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

Steven Homes Nov-19-2014

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THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED.

Administrator Nov-19-2014

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Oh, no it's not!

Warsaw Will Nov-20-2014

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YOUR A WIZARD HARRY!

ADMINISTRATOR! Nov-23-2014

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No that's My line

Hagrid Nov-23-2014

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

WasJustCurious Nov-25-2014

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regarding what the drop kick said: you put an extra 'the' and... ReZomA. ReZomA. wow. I never realized how much I hate illiteracy

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

anonymou s May-31-2015

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its been 10 years. and I still hate improper grammar

anonymou s May-31-2015

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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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The middle one is the only correct one for how it is pronounced. The accent gives it the 'ay' sound. We don't say 'Rayzooay' in English. They do in French, though, which is why both e's are accented in French.

For the same reason, dropping the accents makes the e silent, and it becomes the word 'resume', as in to continue or restart something. That's a completely different word with a different meaning.

Resumé is the only way to spell it that makes it correct to the way it is pronounced in English - any other way is wrong in English (though accenting both e's is correct in French, as they pronounce the word differently.)

Justin W. Aug-25-2015

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Resumé would be the international spelling for a document known in America as a CV. This is pronounced the same as café which is also a French word adopted worldwide for a coffee shop. Apparently the English language is spoken in the US also.

steven1 Feb-05-2016

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Thank you everyone you cleared up everything for me, and I can't believe this discussion has been going on for five-years!

Peta Feb-20-2016

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xkcd now has the definitive answer to this:
http://www.xkcd.com/

AlanD Feb-25-2016

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Permanent link: http://www.xkcd.com/1647/

AlanD Feb-25-2016

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I'm fairly certain that in american society today, the word should be, correctly, pronounced in E-Bonics,
since our american culture is now 97.3%
wanna-bees, and 'resume' (ain't nuttun but a thang).

White Rook Feb-26-2016

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single: curriculum vitae
plural: curricula vitarum

George Stephen Apr-20-2016

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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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I live in Canada and we would be appalled to see "resume" (pronounced here as "re-zoom") as the spelling for something we pronounce as "reh-zoom-ay". Either "resumé" or more correctly "résumé" works for us, and we don't consider the accent(s) poncey or pretentious. Then again, the majority of us also speak French, so accents are pretty normal up here. Perhaps just use "CV" and spare us trying to figure out if you're wanting to begin again or seeking a job. But please don't call us pretentious for using correct spelling. :) While we're at it , what's up with "story" to indicate the number of floors in a building? I guess there really are many stories in the Naked City. But clearly no storeys. I'm American-born but it still drives me nuts to see letters dropped for no discernible reason.

SKS Jul-26-2016

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The accent is called an accent aigu and is usually put on both e's so the reader does not confuse résumé with resume - meaning to start working again on what you were doing previsously

Nana2 Aug-24-2016

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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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Thing that gets you a job is from French rèsumé. Not resume, which is an English verb, nor résumé which is incorrect because é = ay in tray. è = e in bed.

Bryan Quach Oct-26-2016

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Bryan Quach, you've solved the mystery!!!!! So both DO have diacritical marks; it's just that one goes to the left and one goes to the right. Twelve years after this thread started we finally have an answer that makes sense to me (unless someone else posted something similar in the past 12 years and I missed it. Thank you because honestly I didn't know about acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ) because I thought there was just é.

DetailQueen Oct-26-2016

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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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A glance in your French dictionary makes it clear that the first and last syllables have acute accents, so the word means 'summary' or more exactly 'summarised'. It is pronounced Ray-zoom-ay, after all.

Brus Dec-04-2016

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If we think it is pronounced 'resume-ay' we must think it means 'picked up where we left off' rather than 'summary' or 'summarised', and we are wrong then, no? That is why we need two accents, one on the first, another on the final syllable.

Brus Dec-04-2016

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Pronouncing this word as otherwise than Ray-zoom-ay is just plain wrong. Sandymc44 tells us that he or she was taught at college to pronounce the first syllable as long "a" (so RAH!! Rah-zoom-ay, then? Oh dear!). If long "a" means as in English then Ay, then Ray-zoom-ay, as we are insisting, which is indeed correct. You tell us you were taught it at college, but that it is wrong. Well it isn't: it is correct!

Brus Dec-05-2016

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My English dictionary, which has the word with both accents as in French, nevertheless gives the pronunciation as res- as in bet, and the emphasis on the first syllable, which is more natural. Someone suggested emphasising the final syllable, which would be like doing so to the English resumED which would be hard to do, indeed, and frankly quite daft.
I say that if you choose to use a French word as in this case, then pronounce it as in French, or why use it at all? Or use curriculum vitae, much better.

Brus Dec-05-2016

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Sorry to correct Jun-Dai, however "anyways" is not an English word!

Roger Burnell Jan-09-2017

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May I resume work on my work resumé?

CareerCoachDavid May-03-2017

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The verb 'resume' [meaning: "to continue working on a unfinished job"] is to be ideally-avoided when one includes the word "resumé" [pronounced "reh zhoo may"] or "résumé" [pronounced "reh zhoo reh] in the contents of your resumé [or résumé] to be 'snail-mail' sent to your prospective employer... such as: "Please evaluate the contents of my resume for their affinity to your published-requirements of the job-position opening that I am interested to do." Contextually, that sentence can't pass muster to a spelling-corrector-nutso; but the following, could: "Please evaluate the contents of my resumé for their affinity to your published-requirements of the job-position opening that I am interested to do." AND: "Please evaluate the contents of my résumé for their affinity to your published-requirements of the job-position opening that I am interested to do."

There are strict correct-spelling-nutsos in HR Departments; and your incorrectly-spelled word resumé [or résumé - or correctly-American-English-spelled "resume"] can very-likely get your application-letter fast-forwarded on-the-fly to the receiver's trash-can!

This particular French-word's total-absorption into the English tongue [and especially into the American-English lingo] isn't an excuse to do away with the accented "é" or "és" because:
(a) at best, the writer is presumed a lackluster and a liberal-minded idiot with 'loose' manners as regards laws'/rules' abidance who shouldn't be entrusted with mathematical calculations, scientific experientations, engineering specifications, financial matters [accounting, auditing], medical prescriptions, written legal argumentation, military secrets, pædagogical teaching and poetic/oratorical writings!

and,

[b] at worst, the writer would be perceived as an English-speaking anti-French / anti-France racist extraordinaire who'd anglicized everything-French not out of routine convenience but for outright hatred against everything France-related. . .excepting french fries, perhaps - but definitely not any comely mademoiselle (if one is an English-speaking gent with raging-testosterone) or a Monsieur Adonis (if one is an estrogen-driven English-speaking lady)! That is, in addition to those irresistible bottles French champagne and cognac—which respective international trademarks can get the foolish English-speaking idiot legally-prosecuted if such stupid-fool insists to anglicize any of 'em!!! Moreover, any idiotic English-speaking moron could likely physically-and-insultingly thrown-out by enraged mobs of Québécois and/or Québécoise off the Canadian Province of Québéc with the proscriptive words "Persona non grata" explicitly tattooed in his/her passport to signify his/her lifelong-ban from re-entry into the extremely-discriminating world of those proud-of-their distinctive French-culture and everything-français, les Canadiennes et les Canadiens!

P Buenafé A. Briggs Jun-21-2017

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In re: Roger Burnell's entry, quote: "Sorry to correct Jun-Dai, however 'anyways' is not an English word!" - end quote; I fully agree that the aforecited word isn't an English-word. However, 'tis a popularly-accepted American-English slang that – in my opinion – signifies the speaker's unique 'Americanness' and personal comfy in being such one. . .irregardless of anybody's discomforts or critique.

P Buenafé A. Briggs Jun-21-2017

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From the number of differing comments displayed here over at least six years merely confirms that there is really no correct/incorrect way in which this counfusing word should be written, let alone pronounced.
I believe that it comes down to the manner in which it is used (by the writer - presuming she/he knows what they're doing-oh, dear LOL) in the users own area of residence.
Personally, I have considered the correct way is "resumé" for the following reasons -
1) Writing/spelling it in this way, especially in isolation, shows the reader she/he should not considering 'continuing' in any manner. In other words "I am a list of experiences concerning the person named in this paper".
2) Pronunciation should be as "ey" to ensure the listener(s) understands what this word indicates "that this form/letter (CV-lol) is a list of experiences of the named person, do not continue 'doing' anything - except to use one's ears". It assures the listener that she/he only has to listen, you are not expected to continue with any manual 'work'.

aussieVic Jul-18-2017

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For those who prefer a little ostentatiousness, an easy way to type "résumé" (with the accents) is to misspell it as "resum." When you right click on the misspelled version, one of the replacement options is "résumé." As to whether you SHOULD use the accents, I'll leave that to my fiancée.

Verso Folio Sep-12-2017

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I would disagree with Jun-Dai in that the middle spelling (using an accent on only the last e) is actually correct and accents on both e's would be incorrect, both in terms of pronunciation and misuse of the accent on the first e.
I, and others, feel that no accent is confusing and, again, being a French word, incorrect.

wordsnob Feb-09-2018

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You write The mark in question is an "accent",
Should not the comma (and period) in American style be enclosed within the unquote?

user107014 Jul-04-2018

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why had this argument been going on for 14 years?

* also my favorite spelling is résumé *

big.dee Nov-04-2018

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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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Résumé, it is...

In our Americanizing this French-word, we shouldn't become the French-people's laughing-stock! Respecting the French would beget us French's respect, in return.

P Buenafé A. Briggs Dec-31-2018

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Q: "May I resume work on my work resumé?"
by CareerCoachDavid (May-03-2017)
___________

RESPONSE: "No, you mustn't; 'resumé' is a verboten word hereabouts. That said, you may resume work on your barely-started résumé. . .at once!"

P Buenafé A. Briggs Dec-31-2018

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'Tis the acute-accented letter 'e' - according to Duckduckgo.com.
ˌ
rɛzʊˈmeɪ, ˌreɪ-/ UK: /ˈrɛzjʊmeɪ/

P Buenafé A. Briggs Dec-31-2018

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And the correct spelling of the process - not a 'thing' - that gets a job-applicant the job he/she applied-for. . .are correctly-spelled as:
"r é s u m é" and "J O B - I N T E R V I E W".

P Buenafé A. Briggs Dec-31-2018

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Let us just start referring to it as the Document of Lies.

Stone Giant Jan-30-2019

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Message to Americans: please do not attempt to pronounce French words. Unless you have studied French in France or unless you have been taught by native French speakers, please, please, please don't bother. You always get it so, so wrong.

This applies to Americans trying to pronounce the words of any other language. It's really embarrassing to hear when an American tries to be clever and pronounces words of other languages with an American accent.

user107536 Jan-30-2019

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In re - "Message to Americans: please do not attempt to pronounce French words. Unless you have studied French in France or unless you have been taught by native French speakers, please, please, please don't bother. You always get it so, so wrong. [. . .]"

I say 'tis far better to have tried - but failed; than never to have tried at all! Moreover, what has gone wrong with "Keep Trying Until You Succeed!"?

P Buenafé A. Briggs Jan-30-2019

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Interesting page. Clarified acute vs grave. However, I am thrown by the idea of not using the accent. With the acute accent mark I know it is the "hire me" document. Without it I first read resume, as in continue. Sure, context clarifies but my brain still sees resume.

arto7 Feb-06-2019

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Arto7, if you must deliberately-err in situations whereby your 'erroneous-act[s]' might've dire conequentials, then strive to err on the side of safety and reason.

In re "résumé" that could affect your employment application, just think:

a- IF you use "resume" to describe your curriculum vitae, your chosen word conveys 2-different meanings that strictly-business-specific communications might unlikely tolerate. Double-entendre words, phrases and sentences would lead to obvious misunderstanding.

b- However, the usage of the word "résumé" is specific to one and only meaning - that even in the hands of puristic-anglophile can be immediaetely-understood even if the said-anglophile might smirk at the word. You might be denied the job you've applied for on the prejudicial-basis of being perceived as a francophile - which if so. . .can give you legal grounds for appeal[s].

P Buenafé A. Briggs Feb-07-2019

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