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Do You Spell it Cusco or Cuzco?

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Historic Cusco
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  • Have you ever wondered which is correct: Cusco or Cuzco?

    When I first started writing about Peru, I decided to stick with the Peruvian spelling of Cusco (with an 's'). I write primarily for an English-speaking audience, so maybe I should have joined the likes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, UNESCO and Lonely Planet and used "Cuzco" (with a 'z').

    Apparently, the 'z' is a more common spelling in the English-speaking world, especially in academic circles. Interestingly, however, the Google AdWords tool (a web search tool developed by the king of search engines) suggests that "Cusco" is used more often than "Cuzco" -- both globally and in the US. On average, people search for "Cusco" 135,000 times per month in the US, with "Cuzco" lagging behind with 110,000 searches. Some unknown technical anomaly may be skewing the results, but maybe not...

    Anyway, I've been happily using "Cusco" for the last four or five years. Recently, however, I read a fascinating article on the excellent Cuzco Eats blog: "Cusco or Cuzco, Which Is It?"

    While I didn't become a "Cuzco" convert, the article certainly made me rethink the issue. If you've ever pondered the matter -- or even if you haven't -- head over to Cuzco Eats. It's a great read.

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