Offense vs Offence
There are many words in English language with spelling differences in their British and American variations. This is very confusing for non-natives or for students learning English as a second language. A pair of words consisting of words like offence and offense crates dilemma for many as they cannot make out any differences between these two versions or spellings. Let us take a closer look if indeed there is any difference between offence and offense.
American version of the word contains s instead of c, and so it is offense. Offense is a crime or felony that is punishable according to the provisions of law. In a gathering, a person who is seen as ill-mannered and not showing courtesy is labeled as offensive.
Offense is also a noun that describes the act of attacking the enemy as in team sports or even individual sports such as fencing, boxing and MMA. In soccer or basketball, the team having possession of the ball and moving forward to the goal of the opposing team is said to be on the offensive.
Offence is a word in British English, and hence it is used in all commonwealth countries. The origins of the word offence lie in French Offens, which is the word meaning misdeed. The French word is of course inspired by Latin Offensus that equates with annoyance in English. Being on the offence means involved in action or attacking the enemy. When you feel hurt or wounded by the action or words of someone else, you say you have been offended. If someone is not behaving like a gentleman and shows a general lack of politeness, he is said to be offensive. Of course, offence is an act of a crime punishable by law.
What is the difference between Offense and Offence?
• There is no difference between offence and offense. If anything, the difference pertains to British and American spelling variations.
• Offence is the spelling used in UK and most of the commonwealth countries whereas offense is the spelling preferred by Americans.
• The difference between offence and offense is similar to the difference between defence and defense or the difference between licence and license.
• No offence is a good example where the word is used as a reprimand that is gentle in nature.