Mold or Mould?

The differences between British and American English have been causing me some difficulties recently, specifically the words mold and mould.

Very soon after starting this blog I had to decide which to use. Mould is correct in British English, but American English and (so it seemed to me) the rest of the world use mold. Now, by a long shot, the majority of my readers are not British, so I went with mold. It didn’t sit well with me, and I really don’t know why I made that decision.  I’m British, so why wasn’t I consistent in my use of British English? I wouldn’t dream of writing color rather than colour.

Anyway, it was my mum (not mom 🙂 ) who drew my attention to the error of my ways. She just said, almost in passing ‘How do you spell mould?’ and I knew immediately what she was talking about. Once I got over the surprise realisation that she actually reads what I write (thanks mum!), I had a bit of a ponder, and did some googling.

According to the Grammarist.com:

‘American English has no mould, and British English has no mold. In other words, the word referring to (1) the various funguses that grow on organic matter or (2) a frame for shaping something is spelled the same in both uses, and the spelling depends on the variety of English.’

This much I knew.

However, it went on to say:

‘Australian and Canadian English favor the British spelling, though mold is fairly common in Canadian publications.’

This I did not know, and I was clearly wrong in my assumption that the rest of the world uses mold.

To cut a long story short, I will be using mould from now on, and thanks mum for prompting me to think this one through!

I’d love to know where you’re from and which spelling you use – please do leave a comment and let me know.

Oh, and because I know why people really read soapy blogs 😀 here’s some recent mould action:

Parisian Flora (Lavender, Rose Geranium & Ylang Ylang EO’s):

IMG_0533Magic Mojito (Spearmint & Lime EO’s):

IMG_0531and Jellybeans (FO):

IMG_0551Cut pictures to follow soon.

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8 thoughts on “Mold or Mould?

  1. I use “mould” too. I am a Canadian, living in Europe and often have these English differences come up. My daughter had her “English” teacher at school mark the word “gotten” wrong on a paper… they favour British English here!!

  2. I know ‘mould’ is the correct Australian way to spell it but it just makes me think of a ‘mouldy’ bathroom………mold seems so much more ……well, nicer (although I think those yeasty beasties that inhabit our bathrooms can also be spelt ‘mold’ – it is just word association)

  3. Interesting post,Vicki!
    I was learning British English in school and even preffered hearing their accent,but we’re so flooded with American English from tv, that I start forgetting which ones would be British: center/centre, chamomile/camomile, etc. However, I prefer using ‘mould’, ‘colours’, ‘favourite’, and so on, whenever I’m sure which one is British,lol. I was taught any of got/gotten would be correct,though. In the last line,as long as native speakers understand me, I shouldn’t be much concerned! 🙂
    Soaps look fantastic, can’t wait to see them cut.
    Maja

    • Ha ha – do you know what Maja – you’re absolutely right, but your English is fantastic! I was brought up bilingually (English & Welsh), and have studied, at various times, French, German, Spanish and Russian, but the English speaking nations are generally not as good as they could be at embracing other languages 😀 I’ll be posting cut soaps soon – I just can’t seem to find the time to get them photographed at the moment!

  4. I’m American, and I wouldn’t want someone who uses the word “mould” to feel like they need to use “mold” for ANY reason. When I read “mould” in a blog, I know that it’s the same word as “mold”. Got/gotten, color/colour, they’re all the same to me, and I use them interchangeably. Quite frankly, I don’t really care–I just want to see the soap, which looks very nice by the way 🙂

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