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Programming your English (programme vs. program)

This is a computer program.

The words 'program' and 'programme' often get confused.

Technically, both are correct and can have the same meaning. However, while in American English, 'program' is the preferred spelling for all kinds of programmes, in British English, 'programme' is the preferred spelling, except in the case of computing. In Malta, British English is the norm.

Some examples:

1) The government is running a programme for the unemployed. (British English)

2) My weight-loss program is not working out. (American English)

3) Rita is writing a computer program (both British and American)

4) Television programmes are not what they used to be in the 1980s. (British English)

5) Tour operators have changed their programs because of the Wuhan virus. (American English)

6) Meals-on-wheels programmes are a godsend for the elderly. (British English)

7) This programme can help you clean up your computer. (acceptable in British English but I personally prefer 'program' for computing purposes)

I hope that this issue is clear now and that you will find it easier to programme your programs.

As always,

Happy writing

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