Those two special words

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Nothing brings the joy to my heart after a nine hour flight from Europe than to look up at the departure screen at Chicago’s O’Hare airport for my connection home and see “Flight Canceled”.

Flight Canceled

That happened today, and so I’m spending at least another 3 and 1/2 hours in the airport. Luckily I’m at the American Airlines Admiral’s Club, so I can at least get some work done in relative peace. “Relative” is the key word there because they’re doing construction and every once in a while I hear a loud banging.

I only have so many options when I’m stuck in Chicago like this on the way home. Once or twice I’ve rented a car and driven the 600 miles. This is a not a feasible option if the weather is really bad, especially if it is snowy or icy. However, this is preferable to waiting on standby for flight after flight. At least I’m moving.

Another option is to fly somewhere else and then rent a car and drive home. In order of closeness, that would be Buffalo, Syracuse, and Cleveland, with the first being about an hour from my home and the last being about four hours.

I suppose Pittsburgh would also be an option, but I’ve never been there and on the map there looks to be a lot of the Allegheny mountains between that city and my house. That is, I think the trip would take longer than I would wish.

Starting next week, my daughter will be a student at the University of Chicago. That will supply another option, which is to stay over in Chicago and pay her a visit. In fact, I’m planning to do just that in a few weeks on my way to South Africa for the ODF User’s Conference. That will be on purpose, of course, though given the frequency of delays and cancellations at O’Hare I may be seeing her more than currently planned. At the moment, at least, she says that’s ok.

By the way, it seems to be perfectly fine to use either the form “canceled” or “cancelled.” I prefer the one with two l’s but I’m trying to use the shorter version since that seems more common.


  1. Cancelled is British English; Canceled is American English. Like Jeweller and Jeweler.

    You’ll find many minor differences between UK and USA; most of them going back to the Founding Fathers, and the reason they left my shore for yours. To get away from Kings and Queens, and the proposition that the Head of State was also the Head of the Church.

    I pledge allegiance to the Queen. You pledge allegiance to the Flag, and the Republic for which it stands.

    Now, about those Queen Anne’s Copyrights, and the King’s “Letters Patent”. What makes you think they should work the same way on both sides of the Pond ?

    Vive La Difference, as they say in Napoleon’s “Republique Francais”. They’re the ones that gave you that Statue of Liberty, looking out from New York Harbour.

  2. Hi Bob

    The Oxford Spelling Dictionary, 2nd Edition, 1995, has

    cancelled Br.
    canceled Am.

    According to, Noah Webster was interested in spelling reform and introduced the American spellings in his “An American Dictionary of the English Language” of 1828.

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