Tuesday, 4 November 2008


Over the years I've written quite a few acknowledgements at the end of academic papers. They are usually very short, due to lack of space, and simply acknowledge a source of funding. For example, on my recent papers the simple acknowledgement is:
This work was funded by the X-Media project (www.x-media-project.org) sponsored by the European Commission as part of the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme under EC grant number IST-FP6-026978.
I've also written a much longer acknowledgement section in my PhD thesis, where I had the space to be able to thank everyone who had helped.

As well as writing acknowledgements I also read quite a few as I'm often asked to review papers and articles for journals, conferences and workshops. I've never really seen a funny academic acknowledgement until I came across this:
This work was partially supported by wife to me and my lover.
Now I'm guessing that the author's first language isn't English (the papers are blind reviewed so I've no idea who the author is) but I'm struggling to work out how many people are involved in that relationship!

On a slightly separate note I'm now confused as to exactly how I should be spelling acknowledgements. I've always thought it was spelt with an e between the g and m but I've recently seen it without the e. Unfortunately a trip to the OED doesn't make things any clearer. Their main entry is spelt without the e but then they add:
Also acknowledgement (a spelling more in accordance with Eng. values of letters).
Now I'm totally confused!
4 November 2008 at 19:14 , Scriptor Senex said...

Definietly should have an 'e' in it. I cannot do better than quite Dr Goodword - To spell judgement without an "e," while spelling abridgement, acknowledgement, arrangement, engagement, and the 40 other words in English with a soft "g" before -ment with an "e," is an act of bewildering inconsistency that makes learning the spelling system unnecessarily difficult. It is not a new problem; both spellings have trailed this word throughout history and all English-language dictionaries assure us that both are acceptable. However, we are offering a reasoned resolution to the dilemma that allows us to spell all such words accurately and consistently, making our kids' task of learning the language just a bit easier. We should use the "e" after "g" and "c" (e.g. "advancement" when they are are soft and omit it when they are hard (e.g. segment, pigment).

Post a Comment