Word Confusion: Resume versus Résumé

Posted January 12, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I do like the images I found for this pair of word confusions. With the footballers breaking from their huddle and about to resume play, it plays up how much of an action verb resume is while the static body of this sample résumé is a great example of a noun — it just lays there.

This is one of the more irritating confusions I encounter. Every time I see it in someone’s writing, I go mad. I want to add those acute es!! I get that if you’re circulating your résumé, it’s because you want to resume working, but that’s a little desperate, don’t you think? To advertise how needy you are to go back to work?

What the heck? Why not show off…and educate your readers, provide examples for other writers on the complexity and beauty of the English language — and I’ll thank you for not forcing me to go back and re-read a section of text before I resume reading.

Keep the Faith with Your Own É

Just for the fun of it, you can re-create an acute e by using:

  1. é for a web page
  2. On a Mac: press Option + e + the letter to which you wish to add an acute diacritic, i.e., +e creates é, +E creates É, +a creates á
  3. On a PC: press ALT + 0233

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Resume Résumé
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Footballers huddle during a game

“Michigan-Appalachian State Huddle” by allygirl520 of flickr [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Play is about to resume.

A John Doe resume

“Resume.pdf” is Rkwriting’s own work, which he released into the public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An example of a résumé for a college student.

Part of Grammar:
Noun as a variant spelling of résumé;
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: resumes
Past tense or past participle: resumed
Gerund or present participle: resuming

Plural: résumés
Begin to do or pursue (something) again after a pause or interruption

Verb, intransitive:

  • Begin speaking again after a pause or interruption

Verb, transitive:

  • Take, pick up, or put on again
  • Return to the use of
[North American] A brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, and previous experience, typically sent with a job application

[British] A curriculum vitae

A summary
[Archaic] To summarize

  • Make a résumé of
Verb, intransitive:
He sipped at the glass of water on the lectern and then resumed.

“As for Joe,” the major resumed, “I can’t promise anything.”

Hostilities had ceased and normal life had resumed.

The action is about to resume.

Verb, transitive:
The judge resumed his seat.

A day later normal service was resumed.

Jane decided to resume her journey anyway.

After her divorce, she resumed her maiden name.

I’d better give my résumé a polish.

I’ll give him a quick résumé of events.

These days résumés are submitted online.

You’d better brush up your résumé, Joe.

Your résumé looks quite good.

Adjective: resumable, unresumed
Noun: resumer
History of the Word:
Late Middle English from the Old French resumer or the Latin resumere, from re- (back) + sumere (take). Early 19th century French, literally resumed, a past participle (used as a noun) of résumer.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Resume.pdf” is Rkwriting‘s own work which he has released into the public domain while “Parker-Big-Red-Duofold” is batch1928_44’s own work also released into the public domain, both via Wikimedia Commons. You can buy “Resume Speed Sign” via MBTAgifts, although the “of writing your résumé” is my own contribution.