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H.L. Mencken (1880–1956). The American Language. 1921.

Page 237

final e from asphalte and forme, changes the y to i in cyder, cypher and syren and advocates the same change in tyre, drops the redundant t from nett, changes burthen to burden, spells wagon with one g, prefers fuse to fuze, and takes the e out of storey. “Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford,” also edited by Hart (with the advice of Sir James Murray and Dr. Henry Bradley), is another very influential English authority. 21 It gives its imprimatur to bark (a ship), cipher, siren, jail, story, tire and wagon, and even advocates kilogram and omelet. Cassell’s New English Dictionary 22 goes quite as far. Like Hart and the Oxford it clings to the -our and -re endings and to the diphthongs in such words as œsthete and anœsthesia, but it prefers jail to gaol, net to nett, story to storey, asphalt to asphalte, tire to tyre, wagon to waggon, inquiry to enquiry, vial to phial, advertise to advertize, baritone to barytone, and pygmy to pigmy.
  There is, however, much confusion among these authorities; the English are still unable to agree as to which American spellings they will adopt and which they will keep under the ban for a while longer. The Concise Oxford prefers bark to barque and the Poet Laureate 23 adopts it boldly, but Cassell still clings to barque. Cassell favors baritone; the Oxford declares for barytone. The Oxford is for czar; Cassell is for tsar. The Oxford admits program; Cassell sticks to programme. Both have abandoned enquire for inquire, but they remain faithful to encumbrance, endorse and enclose, though they list indorsation and the Oxford also gives indorsee. Hart agrees with them. 24 Both have abandoned œther for ether, but they cling to œsthetic and œtiology. Neither gives up plough, cheque, connexion, mould, pease, mollusc or kerb, and Cassell even adorns the last-named with an astounding compound credited to “American slang,” to wit, kerb-stone broker. Both favor such forms as surprise and advertisement, and yet I find surprized, advertizement and to advertize