Pallet or pallet… or pallet. How is this written?

The world of logistics is full of debates. Prioritize the cost or the speed of our shipments? How far will ecommerce go? How much automation would be optimal in my warehouse? How much stock do I need and when can I reduce it? Opt for intermodality or use a single means of transport? However, there are debates that, despite their minor importance, manage to arouse real passions. And it is that, sometimes, few things are discussed with as much ardor as those that matter least.

The debate that we want to recover today is a small classic of logistics. How to spell: pallet, pallet or pallet?

What does the RAE say?

The Royal Academy of Language is clear: pallet. He points out that it comes from the English word pallet and defines it concisely as “a table platform for storing and transporting goods”. The Fundeu Foundation extends a little more in its explanations and recriminates the use of pallet: “The Academic Dictionary includes the spelling pallet from the 2001 edition and this is the recommended form. Although a lot of pallets are used, it is less advisable because it is neither Spanish nor English (which is a pallet)”. In addition, it clarifies that the correct plural is pales.

However, outside of academic terms, in the day-to-day of logistics and a warehouse, which one is used? A good metric to measure people’s preferences is Google and its tool to measure searches: Google Trends. Despite the recommendations of linguists, the clear winner in Spain is the pallet form, which is four times that of pallet – in second position – leaving pallet in last place.

The podium is repeated identically if we search at the planetary level, although this can distort the results by including other languages. That is why it is more interesting to look at Spanish-speaking countries. In Mexico and Argentina, for example, the podium remains the same, while in Colombia pallet and pallet practically share first place. In Venezuela, another of the countries with the most Spanish speakers, pallet manages to win again, always with pallet in last place.

It seems clear that despite the Royal Academy’s decision to accept the term pallet more than 15 years ago, the institution still has a lot of pedagogy to do so that its use can spread among Spanish-speakers. In other words, we have a lot of time left debating whether it is a pallet or a pallet… or a pallet and defending our favorite option, behind the back of the official version.

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Khaterine William

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