Forget those billboards. If you're looking for proof that the apocalypse is at hand, it's before you: Mr. Rewrite is finally posting to the blog.
Mr. Rewrite must compliment Harold Camping & Co. Those billboards use the preferred U.S. style for Judgment (not Judgement) Day. The Associated Press Stylebook, The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage and more expensive usage guides all recommend that form on this side of the pond.
Now, if most U.S. news organizations and wannabe news organizations are bound by one or more of these style/usage guides, why is there such a hellish display of judgement vs. judgment on Google News?
In Common Errors in English Usage, Paul Brians (cue angelic chorus) traces the U.S. preference for judgment to Noah Webster. In Great Britain and many former colonies, most people go with judgement. "If you write 'judgement,'" Brians writes, "you should also write 'colour' and 'tyre.'"
In Garner's Modern American Usage, Bryan A. Garner (cue another angelic chorus) notes that judgment prevails in British legal writing.
You're probably expecting Mr. Rewrite to try writing some funny kicker about this Judgment (not Judgement) Day business. He can't resist, of course. Perhaps a good approach would be pretending to be raptured mid-s
Still here. Drat.