Another instance of such unhistorical improvisation that is sometimes seen is the spelling uncoördinated (with a diaeresis over the second o). Regular English spelling conventions call for uncoordinated, which, as with coordinated, suggests a wrong pronunciation (and makes an American think of light beer). The usual device of a hyphen (as in co-ordinated) yields unco-ordinated. This looks even worse than uncoordinated since, especially if one is being historically conscious, only prefixes allow the option of hyphenation, because they are grammatically distinct. But unlike co-, unco is not a prefix. (As readers of Robert Burns know, it can stand alone as an adjective or adverb—but its still not a prefix.) Unco- in uncoördinated is, to be sure, a joining of two prefixes.
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(For instance, on your restaurant sign, when your restaurant is a cafe.) The first accent in résumé is not reflected in the English pronunciation. If it were, id say ray-zoo-may, not reh-zoo-may. (If I were speaking French, Id say hray-zoo-may.) Someone reading résumé knows, of course, how the word is pronounced. But theres still a hitch in the reading while the signs are interpreted. If there are too many little hitches like this, they add up to a document that is difficult to read, which distracts the reader from the content and creates a bad impression. Good writing eliminates such hitches wherever possible—because if they arent pig eliminated wherever possible, they quickly add up to bad writing. Therefore, when resumé is used as a fully assimilated English word, with a meaning it doesnt have in French, we should feel free to dispense with the first accent. The second accent, however, is still highly desirable for the purpose of distinguishing resumé from the verb resume, and more generally for the purpose of indicating that, unlike most words in English with a final -e, the final syllable is pronounced. Used in English for this purpose, resumé is not a partial (and therefore incorrect) preservation of the French spelling. It is an ad hoc, unhistorical improvisation of the sort that has long been used in a few exceptional cases where historical spellings and normal spelling conventions yield results that are consistently felt as awkward even by practiced English-speakers.
This includes some books that pass for style guides in some offices.) In the case of resumé, there is a strong reason for making a change from the historical spelling. As an English word, the spelling résumé seems inescapably awkward, given mini the actual English pronunciation of the word. Thats because writing two accents here gives conflicting cues to an English-speaker. With the English pronunciation, if the word is spelled with two accents, the same sign represents two different sounds in the same word—in the first syllable, é is pronounced like the short e in bet, in the third syllable it is pronounced like the long. (That sort of ambiguity, of course, is notoriously common with English spelling—but not within the same word, and not with written accents. Résumé, as far as i know, is the only word used in English that presents an ambiguous case with written accents, so there is no group of similar cases that can constitute a generally accepted rule for pronunciation. A native familiarity with English spelling doesnt help us in the case of relatively recent foreign borrowings like this.) Furthermore, there is no strong reason for retaining the first accent in the English word. Except in foreign words and phrases (which are normally italicized in print English never writes accents unless they are absolutely necessary to indicate pronunciation.
This complicates and slows down the evolutionary process. Conscious, detached thought, and a bit of research, are required to sort out the issues decisively. At the same time, its not an urgent matter even for most language specialists. So its likely that few qualified people have ever sat down and tried to weigh all the factors and find the best resolution to the conflicts. And in any case, it paper would take time for word to get around. This, perhaps, is why resumé is only shown in recent dictionaries. (The article on résumé at http. Wiktionary.org/ is a good one. The postings ive seen on Web discussion forums only demonstrate the inadequacy of casual opinions on this particular question—whether they come from laymen or, worse, from the second-rate professionals who are the source of most of the writings on language and grammar the seen by the.
For instance, resumé isnt found in the first edition of the random house dictionary (unabridged, 1966) or the full Oxford English Dictionary (2nd., 1989). More recent editions of authoritative dictionaries ( Random house dictionary, 2nd., 1987; American Heritage dictionary, 3rd., 1992; and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th., 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, though the stress is not as noticeable as it is in English.) good writers dont depart from historical spelling without some strong reason that is widely recognized, and then only in those rare cases where. The development of a consensus about such changes takes time, even when the questions are simple enough to be decided by the accumulation of decisions made on the fly by knowledgeable writers. In the case of the word resumé, however, there are an unusual number of conflicting factors bearing on the question.
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But if you spell it with an apostrophe instead of dissertation an accent, theyll see that you dont even know what the accent. You dont have to sweat over the spelling of resumé. But as a professional resumé writer I have to make a considered decision about which spelling to use, and want to choose the best if one is even a little better than the others. When you start looking closely at the question of how to spell the name of that vital piece of paper, it gets rather more complicated than most spelling questions are, because there are an unusual number of factors involved. In this case, sorting out those factors, weighing them, and working out the best balance between them is a matter for painstaking thought by experienced professional language mechanics with some specialized linguistic knowledge.
Ive had my shot at it, and the conclusions above are based on that effort. In case youre interested, ive written down the details below. The whole thing, 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.
Since accented characters are not part of the ascii character set that is still a standard for much software in the. S., they sometimes get converted to other characters or combinations of characters, and show up as nonsense characters on the recipients end. In these documents, resume, without accents, is safest. You should also avoid using accented characters in filenames—especially if youre sending the files to someone else. How to type the accent, in Windows: In Word, you can type Ctl-' (that is, hold down the control and apostrophe keys at the same time) and then press the e key.
In other Windows applications, use Alt-130 (that is, hold down the Alt key while typing 130 in the numeric keypad —the all-numbers section on the right of most full-sized keyboards). On a mac: Press Option-e and then press the e key. Unix systems are less standardized in this respect. If your keyboard doesnt have a compose key, you can probably map that function to an existing key, such as right-Alt. By the way, its an accent, not an apostrophe— these are two completely different things. Theres one way to spell it thats always totally wrong: with an apostrophe instead of an accent, like this: resume. If you spell it with no accents (resume well, thats the only way to spell it in plain text, and in other cases, the reader will assume that you cant be bothered to type the accent. They may or may not downgrade you on that score.
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This is not a question the average job-seeker needs to sweat over. Resumé and résumé are always acceptable. Resume is very widely accepted too, though it should be avoided in fields where language skills are valued proposal (except in the case of e-mails—see below). Whichever spelling you prefer, make sure you use it consistently. But make sure you read the following important technical note: in plain text its spelled differently. At least in the. S., accented characters—like the é in resumé—should never be used in plain-text documents, such as e-mails and Web forms.
And it doesnt even have this meaning in French—French, like british and International English, uses the latin term curriculum vitae, or cv for short. (Both terms have a narrower sense in the. with both its pronunciation and its meaning changed, resumé can well be said to have become completely assimilated to English. Many other French with words went the same route centuries ago. In most such cases, the accents have been dropped without any awkward consequences. But in this particular word, the accent over the final -e is still necessary, to indicate pronunciation and to distinguish resumé from the verb resume. (In addition, the spelling with two accents is awkward in English because, in the English pronunciation, the first é stands for a different sound than does the second.).
This expertise means that I can give exceptional value for your money, even compared to other resumé services in the same price range. And the payback to you for that extra quality can be immense. Summary, all factors considered, i think resumé (one accent though it has no historical basis, is the best spelling for this word when used as an English word to refer to a summary of someones qualifications for employment. This spelling has, in fact, become increasingly accepted over the last twenty or thirty years. Resumé in this sense is an English word, not a french one. Its not pronounced like the French word.
Some of that information will change the way you think about resumés—and make your job search a lot more successful and a lot less worrisome. I dont settle for the myths that the majority of resumé writers and advisers—including some so-called experts—have repeated endlessly for years without ever thinking to check them. Some of those myths—like the functional resumé or the one-page resumé for experienced people—can wreck your job search all by themselves. Read more about these. Killer Myths on the tips. Youll find the 1 Resumé tip on that page especially helpful, too. The, fAQ section of the tips faq the page takes you right to answers to some commonly asked questions. Resumé Glossary, with definitions and in-depth information about resumé terminology and technology.
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Its more complicated than you think. The question of how to spell the name of that document involves complications that only a few such issues. Theyre all discussed in detail here: why resume is okay in e-mails but makes you look bad in fields that value english skills; and the advantage of using only the last accent. Other discussions on the web miss most of the relevant points (including the ones that have obviously copied from this page over the last ten years). My thanks to those who have linked to this page. By the way: for what you need to know about the terms resumé and cv, click here. Youve reached an uncommon source for information about resumés. This page is just one example of how deeply ive writings gotten into every aspect of resumés. Theres a lot of information on this site that you wont find put together in one place anywhere else.