En route or in route — which spelling is correct?
En route or in route? What can you do to feel more sophisticated? You can dress up to the nines, speak with refined RP, or use formal vocabulary. However, when you are trying to be posh, there is nothing more embarrassing than making a ghastly spelling mistake. Are you wondering which version is correct: en route or in route? Please receive our kind offer of help.
En route or in route — which is the incorrect form?
En route is the only acceptable spelling. The phrase means “on the way” or “along the way”. The frequent misspellings result from the fact that en route is one of many borrowings from French. Some French expressions were anglicised, like au contraire — on the contrary. Other phrases kept their French spelling, and sometimes even the French pronunciation, e.g. cuisine, avant-garde and en suite, and of course en route. Interestingly, almost 30% of the English vocabulary derives directly or indirectly from French. Quite a lot, indeed.
En route or in route — maintenant c’est facile! Luxuriate in the beauty of literature
‘And yet even in reaching for the beautiful there is beauty, and also in suffering whatever it is that one suffers en route’.
Plato, Phaedrus, 371
‘A Plan to Eliminate the Female Emigrant Problem in the North-Eastern Seaboard Territories. It outlined the steps necessary for the trapping of fugitive Handmaids en route to Canada, and called for the declaration of a National Emergency, plus a doubling of tracker dogs and a more efficient system of interrogation’.
Margaret Atwood, The Testaments, 2019
‘One Saturday, he had gone to take the subway to Pennsylvania Station en route for the Soviet week-end rest camp at Glen Cove, the former Morgan estate on Long Island’.
Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die, 1954