26 of Noah Webster's spelling changes that didn't catch on

Really, shouldn't machine be spelled "masheen"?

Noah Webster
(Image credit: (Hulton Archive/Getty Images))

Noah Webster had a lasting impact on language in the United States. Before publishing his American Dictionary of the English Language, he produced a series of spelling books that dominated American classrooms for almost a century. He was a proponent of spelling reform, believing that more regular orthography would not only make learning easier, but more importantly, it would distinguish the American way from the British, "an object of vast political consequence" to a young nation. Some of his suggested reforms caught on and still mark a difference between American and British writing: He replaced "colour" with "color," "centre" with "center," "defence" with "defense," "plough" with "plow," "draught" with "draft" and "gaol" with "jail."

However, many of Webster's reforms went nowhere. Here are 26 spellings that didn't catch on — at least until the dawn of LOLcats.

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