Public Works and Government Services Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

offence, offense, offensive

Canadians prefer the British spelling offence to the American spelling offense, but both are acceptable.

  • Jackie was convicted of three offences under the Highway Traffic Act.
  • The best defence is a good offence.

Offensive, however, is always spelled with an s.

  • Would you find it offensive to be described as "a woman of a certain age"? Yes, I would.