I'm not sure what language(spoken) it is, but there seem to be a lot of questions that use the word programme instead of program

Is it acceptable to change this to program or am I just being American?

  • 1
    Why are those mutually exclusive?
    – mmyers
    Apr 11, 2010 at 5:52
  • it annoys me cause it isn't consistent...
    – Earlz
    Apr 11, 2010 at 6:04
  • 3
    Oh snap, what happens when we get to colours? Centre?
    – MPelletier
    Apr 11, 2010 at 6:29
  • @mmyers @MPel color and colours and all those kinda things are fine with me. programme and program less so because it is central to the main theme of stackoverflow. Does that mean we should allow tags like (bogus of course) [script-programme] and [script-program] to coexist just because of locale differences?
    – Earlz
    Apr 11, 2010 at 6:44
  • 4
    @earlz: That isn't a locale difference - because it would be script-program everywhere. It's only non-computer programmes which have the extra "me". It's a bit like "compact disc" but "hard disk".
    – Jon Skeet
    Apr 11, 2010 at 7:05
  • @MPelletier: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/24878/…
    – Jon Seigel
    Apr 11, 2010 at 8:16
  • Personally it annoys me that Americans forget that the other 98% of the world is not American and take it upon themselves to bastardise (notice the spelling!) the Queen's English. You will never take colour, centre, licence, bonnet, boot, chips, jam, biscuit, tap and all the rest from me!!! W00t!
    – slugster
    Apr 12, 2010 at 8:34
  • Programme is a nice word and BTW a plural form. Apr 12, 2010 at 11:51
  • Just retagged 3 [initialisation] to [initialization]. I died a little inside...
    – MPelletier
    Apr 12, 2010 at 14:17
  • @slugster it's spelled biskit. ;)
    – Earlz
    Apr 12, 2010 at 19:47

5 Answers 5


If you're spellchecking against Correct English, then programme is fine for talking about TV, radio and management topics.

Here's a prime example:

I'm creating a TV Guide which lists programmes coming up (and on some listings, previous airings from the past), with all data stored in a database. ...

For the most part, program, is the chosen spelling in computing.

But yes, blanket changing of the word programme to program, without care or read into context, would be considered overly American since their minds only know one version of that particular word. (And many others like practise/practice.)

  • practise isn't a word. firefox says so. ;)
    – Earlz
    Apr 11, 2010 at 6:41
  • 9
    @earlz: You're likely using an American English dictionary. Apr 11, 2010 at 6:45

Along the lines of tag blacklist or auto-changing tags to more consistent ones, we should have auto-changing of strange foreign spellings to the correct one.

It's just a simple matter of programming.

  • 1
    However each auto-retag should be very. carefully. considered. Program and programme are different things, wheras color and (the correct) colour are the same (But I'm more than happy to have colour->color, because consistency is better than correctness in such minor matters)
    – Phoshi
    Apr 11, 2010 at 13:08

Program is regarded as acceptable in British English to refer to a computer program, but in other uses the word is Programme.

I would regard a computer programme as pedantic.


Programme is British English. I once spoke to a British contractor at the European Space Agency's technical centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands who was very insistent on using programme (about software), but I think most Britons are fine with program.


Ye Olde Stacke OverFlowe.com

Joel has talked about having foreign language stack overflows. Maybe we can pilot with Great Britain!

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