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This is what was written in the birthday card my Dad gave me this morning:

To our lovely Jessica,
Wishing you a very happy birthday and thanks for 16 years of your charm, humour and wonderful companionship!
Love, Mom & Dad

I didn’t want to seem ungrateful for the card, but there was one thing I felt I had to say. “…‘Mom’?

My Dad seemed confused. “Yeah? What about it?”

“Well, you wrote ‘mom’ in my card.”

“Yeah, and? Why can’t I write ‘mum’ in your card?”

“But see, you didn’t write ‘mum’. You wrote ‘mom’. Like, with an ‘O’.”

“Oh.” Dad paused, wondering what excuse he could offer me. “Well, I’ve just been on the phone for two hours with Americans!”


“And anyway, you know, there’s nothing wrong with writing ‘mom’! I mean, how do you spell ‘mother’? You don’t spell it with a ‘U’, do you? I mean, who spells ‘mother’ with a ‘U’? You spell ‘mother’ with an ‘O’ and so you also spell ‘mom’ with an ‘O’.”

“Dad,” I said, “you can’t complain about how I’m using Australian English.”

Dad seemed deflated. “I can try.”



  1. I didn’t even notice the “mom” to tell you the truth, I think I’m just immune to Americanisms!

    Happy birthday!

  2. That was pretty strange of your dad to write mom. Even I noticed it as being strange for you and I’m an American.

  3. You could have argued that in Australia, it’s not pronounced as Mom (like how we pronounce it here in the US). Instead, it’s pronounced like Mum! I just write “Ma” even though mother doesn’t have an “a” because that’s what I call my mom.
    Even though I’m a little late… Happy birthday!

    And sorry for commenting to your posts in such a random order. A lot of your older posts are very interesting… I just couldn’t help myself. Haha

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