Endeavor or Endeavour?

To “endeavor” is to strive for some difficult objective or goal.  This term is thus a fitting name for one of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s space shuttles.  And this one now has a new home on the ground at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California.  But this one is called “Endeavour” instead.  Why?

George Bernard Shaw provides us with a clue: Americans and British are “two peoples separated by a common language.”  Although we have a common language, there are a few words that we spell differently.  And the British spell this word with that extra “u.”  Okay, so why does an American shuttle use British spelling?

The shuttle is named after the British sailing ship of exploration, the HMS Endeavour, which was commanded by Lieutentant — later to become Captain — James Cook.  Noted historical author Martin Dugard (Bill O’Reilly’s co-author for “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy” — and more importantly, my cousin!)  recounts the amazing travels of the first Endeavour in his book, “Farther Than Any Man” (which I highly recommend — along with his other books, too.)

Thus, the name and the spelling of this space vehicle of exploration is a tribute to an earlier vessel of exploration.  Both vessels have more than lived up to their titles.

While in transit from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center, Endeavour travelled several miles on city streets — streets that were not constructed to handle a load like a space shuttle!  We heard a report that some 2500 or so metal traffic plates were required to protect underlying utilities — like water lines — from the weight load of Endeavour.  There were not enough such plates available in southern California, so extras had to be trucked in from neighboring states!  It was a huge undertaking to transport Endeavour to Los Angeles — we heard that the cost was $10 million.  Quite and “endeavor,” — or “endeavour?” — wouldn’t you say?

If you are “endeavouring” to pass your water treatment operator certification exams, or to get continuing education to renew your certification, don’t forget us here at MOST.  We will “endeavour” to assist you in any way we can.

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