“Programming” versus “programing”: which is preferred?

When talking about programs and the other variations of the word “program”, suddenly the question arises whether or not the “m” will double in other forms? For example, is it proper to say “programming” or “programing”? What about “programmed” versus “programed”? Is it a regional variation without any standard rules? Or is it merely a personal preference between the two?

First of all, it should be noted that final consonant doubling in two-syllable words is a common thing in the English language. Not only does the word “program” get called into question, but there are other words like “labeling” versus “labelling” and “leveling” versus “levelling”. In American English, the tendency is to prefer this double letter shift – at least in the word “program”. However, it is not like this across the board.

Long story short, either spelling of “programming” is acceptable and its popularity generally affects its trends in the English language. However, “programming” with two “m’s” is less likely to be docked by a Word processor set to American English. This does not hold true for other questionable double-consonant word shifts, but it at least holds true in this particular case. Further studies have also shown the tendencies wavering from spellings such as “programing” to “programming” and back again. Surely, different dialects of English play a role in these shifts. Since most foreign countries adopt British English for spelling and speech, it is not uncommon to see the British spellings more widely used outside of the United States.


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