Analog vs. Analogue

Today’s Tip of the Day comes to us from

“With the word traditionally spelled analogue, American writers tend to drop the silent –ue in some contexts, making analog. The spellings are largely interchangeable, though analog is usually used in relation to electronics, while analogue is often used in the sense something that bears analogy to something else. Outside the U.S., analogue prevails for all senses of the word.

“A similar trend has changed the American spelling of catalog (formerly catalogue), but other words ending in the silent –ue have not yet undergone the change. For example, dialogue, monologue, epilogue, and pedagogue are still the prevalent spellings, though the shortened forms do pop up occasionally and may continue to gain ground.”

Old School Example:
Due to plate tectonics, the XYZ formation in Brazil is the same age and rock type as its West African analogue across the Atlantic, the ABC formation.

New School Example:
Analog television broadcasting was replaced by digital TV in 2009.

Similarly, one could say that dialog is the digital dialogue.

New School Example:
When the dialog box pops up, click on Done.

Which brings me to a personal anecdote:
Back before Google was invented, I was a Texaco librarian who did literature searches on a very expensive system called Dialog, which was the world’s first commercial online search service in 1972. It has since been purchased by ProQuest. Oh, how powerful I felt when PhDs came to my office to ask me to find papers on certain topics, and I could actually find relevant research that made their day. Today, they do it themselves on Google. Or Bing. For free. Gotta love it!

Profound Quote of the Day:

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
– Toni Morrison, American novelist, b. 1931



One Response to “Analog vs. Analogue”

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