If someone says something rude to you, should you take offence or offense? If you didn’t mean to upset others with your hard-hitting opinion, should you say “no offence” or “no offense”?
The answer is quite simple. Either would be correct.
They both sound the same, are nouns, and mean the same thing.
According to Merriam-Webster, offence or offense can mean any of the following:
– Something that outrages the moral or physical senses
– The act of attacking
– The means or method of attacking or of attempting to score
– The offensive team or members of a team playing offensive position
– The act of displeasing or affronting
– The state of being insulted or morally outraged
The only difference is the spelling. Offence is used in British English and offense in American English.
This spelling variation extends to offenceless and offenseless (adjectives) as well. However, offensive (adjective) and offend (verb) are spelled the same in both British English and American English.
Note: The same logic applies to defence and defense, but not to practise and practice and advise and advice, which follow different rules.