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Cancelled letters

A while ago I came across an internet post that claimed to explain the missing letters in some words in American English compared to the British English. I was intrigued, such language quirks and origins have always fascinated me. Something I not only wanted to learn more of but also write a post about.

Thr post claimed the reason for the missing letters was the early print press and their ad pricing. When the advertisers had to pay by the letter they started dropping seemingly unnecessary letters to save some costs.

I tend to check the facts whenever I write about something. In this case it once again paid off. After just a short investigation I found out the reason wasn't the cheap advertisers. In fact there is recorded uses of the short form words way before the first newspaper ads were even published.

There are actually multiple reasons for the missing letters, but mostly they all were popularized by Noah Webster (yes, the Webster in Merriam-Webster) who in 1806 published the first dictionary specially for the American English. He was a reformist who believed the American English should have it's own identify and also wanted to simplify some written forms to more closely represent their phonetic forms.