The words “skeptic” and “sceptic” are pronounced the same, similarly spelled, and also have the same meaning. So how do you know which spelling is correct to use in your writing? We’ve put together a quick guide with all the details you need.
Dialect: American or British English?
In the English language, spelling and grammar rules vary depending on the dialect you’re writing in. Dialect is the key determiner for the correct spelling between “skeptic” and “sceptic”:
● In American and Canadian English, “skeptic” is the appropriate spelling.
● In British and Australian English, “sceptic” is the appropriate spelling.
Let’s take a look at some definitions and examples to further help you choose the right spelling.
Skeptic vs. Sceptic
“Skeptic” is a noun that refers to a person who is likely to question or doubt accepted opinions or ideas. For example:
They were skeptics of global warming despite the scientific evidence.
The psychic’s abilities impressed even the skeptics.
Meanwhile, “sceptic” is simply the British English variant of the same word. Therefore, it can be used in the same context:
They were sceptics of global warming despite the scientific evidence.
The psychic’s abilities impressed even the sceptics.
The spelling differences between dialects also apply to variations of “skeptic” and “sceptic”:
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This is an adjective used to describe having or expressing doubt about accepted opinions or ideas:
American English: The scientist was skeptical of religion.
British English: The scientist was sceptical of religion.
This is a noun that refers to a questioning attitude or doubt about accepted opinions or ideas:
American English: There was skepticism that the student would graduate after he failed most of his classes.
British English: There was scepticism that the student would graduate after he failed most of his classes.
As you can see, although these words are spelled differently depending on the dialect, they always mean the same thing.
Summary: Skeptic or Sceptic?
Since these words have the same meaning, the key difference is in their spelling. Therefore, remember to keep the audience of your writing in mind when determining which is correct:
● Skeptic is the appropriate spelling in American and Canadian English.
● Sceptic is the appropriate spelling in British and Australian English.
Hopefully, this post helps you to avoid mixing up these words in your writing. If you want to ensure that you’re consistently using the correct spelling and grammar conventions in your writing, our proofreading service is here to help! You can give it a try by uploading a 500-word document for free today.