We all know that “license” in American English is “licence” in British English. But what about the person to whom the licence is given?
Various dictionaries show the ‘c’ version, e.g.:
Additionally, I can see other resources in my own country using this spelling, e.g.:
But managers in my own company (in Australia) claim to have done “a lot of research” on the subject and decided to use the ‘s’ version. This seems wrong to me, but I would like a better answer to the question before I decide whether to request a change or just change our spell checking to allow their spelling.
Obviously, in American English one would expect to see something like the following:
What is not so obvious is that British English has a similar graph on these words:
To prove that these graphs are reliable (at least reliable enough for this answer), graphs of American and British English on license vs. licence follow:
This ties in with what we already know about British vs. American preferences about the word licence/license. And to a degree it proves a point about licensee vs. licencee. It seems certain that licensee is the preferred spelling in either corpus.
And I’m terribly sorry for the gargantuan scale of this answer, but I thought the graphs would be helpful.