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The Times Crossword

July 21, 2012

Yesterday’s Times Crossword featured the following clue: ‘Funny place to practice [sic] shooting guns at end of street (7)’. That should of course be practise. In British English practice is the noun and practise is the verb. Advice and advise follow the same pattern (although in that case there is also a difference in pronunciation, unlike with practice/practise).

In American English, however, they don’t bother with a distinction and use practice for both noun and verb. That a British institution like the Times Crossword has succumbed to this usage has to be a sign of the creeping Americanisation of our language.

Incidentally, the answer to the clue was STRANGE.

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