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about-turn

About-turn is pretty much synonymous with about-face, which is the entry I posted before about-turn. It means to make a 180-degree right turn or to reverse direction, opinions or policies. Because I already commented on about-face, I don’t have much to add about about-turn.

Not much, but not nothing. The dictionary I’m using, The New Penguin English Dictionary (1986) suggests that about-face is primarily used North American, whereas about-turn is primarily British.

I don’t know about that, but I’m not sure I entirely trust the dictionary on that. Some of the spellings that The New Penguin English Dictionary says are primarily North American, such as labor, rumor and center, are really primarily American, not North American. Here in Canada, we use the British spellings for those words, i.e., labour, rumour and centre.

The last time I checked Canada was still part of North America and there has been no talk of secession from the continent, even if that were possible. So, who knows if the dictionary is right about where about-face versus about-turn is primarily used.

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