Volume 90, Issue 88

Wednesday, March 12, 1997



Administration spells 'honours' wrong on degrees

Re: Spelling of 'honours'

To the Editor:

For the past four years I have seen the university's bureaucracy (both the administration and the USC) do many senseless things (i.e. redundant renovations of the UCC). However, I recently came across something I found really stupid.

Last week I went to pick up my eligibility to graduate form for convocation this spring. It listed the credentials that were going to appear on my degree, but something appeared wrong. The word "honours" was spelled incorrectly. On the form it was spelled "honors."

Thinking this was a typo, I went to the university's administration to have it corrected, but I was told it was spelled correctly as far as the university was concerned. If I had a problem with it, I should go see secretary of the Senate. After going to the Senate office, I was told that I could do nothing to get the problem corrected. Western has always spelled honours without a 'u'.

I don't understand why a Canadian university spells words the American (inappropriate) way. As far as I am concerned, I was always taught to spell honours with a 'u'. While some people might view this discrepancy as nothing to worry about, I am extremely annoyed. It's not enough that most of our culture has an American influence, but now Western, a Canadian educational institution, doesn't even support its own national language. Western's administration has sold out its patriotic pride. Heck, why not raise an American flag up on University College, too?

Several years ago there was a debate over the word bachelor and whether it was sexist or not. The solution – an option was given to graduates, they could chose Bachelor or Baccalaureate. Why can't an option for the spelling of honours be made? Some may believe that I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I believe that I am helping to support our Canadian cultural identity. I have been told that if enough people complain, then a change might be considered. If other graduates out there feel the same as I do, I would ask that you go to the map library on the ground floor of the social sciences building to sign a petition. The petition is a request to have honours spelled the Canadian way, with a 'u'. Take five minutes out of your time to support Canada.

Derek Law
Honours Geography & Geology IV

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997