Modeling Versus Modelling

how do you spell modeling?Is it ‘Modeling’ or ‘Modelling’?

It may sound trivial, but how do you actually spell modeling? Sometimes, we see people use ‘modelling’ instead, so it’s perfectly understandable if you’re a bit confused at which one is the correct usage. The short answer is, both of those spellings are correct.

The long answer has more to do with location. You see, ‘modeling’ is the more common spelling in the United States. That’s not always the case, because you’ll see the word ‘modelling’ used in America as well. In the United Kingdom, though, you will mostly see the latter spelling. If I’m not mistaken, it’s the same way in the rest of the world outside the of the United States.

Some discussions go into how gerunds (those words ending in -ing) are constructed in American English. Given that the root word ‘model’ ends in ‘l’, some think that it’s imperative to double the ‘l’ to form the gerund. This might explain why sometimes it’s also spelled as ‘modelling’ in the US.

Of course, there is this thing called the ‘Webster rule’ that identifies where the stresses are within two-syllable words, and this dictates whether or not the final consonant of the root word needs to be doubled before adding -er, -ed, or -ing. This is meant to make things easier, especially for people who probably see spellings of words for the first time. In addition, the rule somewhat makes spelling a bit more efficient by getting rid of extra letters while also aiding in pronunciation.

You might also notice that there are differences between how things are spelled in American English and in British English. Here’s a good example: in the US, it’s ‘meter’; in the UK, it’s ‘metre.’ This case with modeling happens to be one of those. Some people find these differences annoying or even troublesome, but that’s just how language goes. It changes and evolves over time, and having such differences is one thing we all have to deal with.

If you want to play things on the safe side, don’t be afraid to ask around. If you can, try to find an instance of the word being used where you work—if you have access to a style guide that contains a rule on this matter, then that’s great. If you just want a general reference, chances are you’ll find a good example sooner or later if you work within the modeling industry anyway.

In any case, the bottom line is that there’s no wrong spelling between the two. It’s all a matter of region, but you should be fine using either spelling. Just remember, if you’re in the US, it’s mostly spelled ‘modeling’. In the UK, it’s ‘modelling’. Anyway, don’t let the grammar junkies get you down too much—there are all these fancy rules and grammatical guidelines people cite, but getting too deep into the details can become bothersome.

As long as you get the point across clearly enough, there should be no problem, right? That’s the whole point of communication, after all.


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