Musta been tough to be a copy editor at the Chicago Tribune back in the day

Thumbing through a 1967 special section of the Chicago Tribune we found at an estate sale and noticed that they spelled through and though as thru and tho, like the kids do these days.

Figured it was a mistake and moved on with my life. But it looks like they were doing it on purpose!

Between 1934 and 1975, the Chicago Tribune, then Chicago‘s biggest newspaper, used a number of reformed spellings. Over a two-month spell in 1934, it introduced 80 respelled words, including tho, thru, thoro, agast, burocrat, frate, harth, herse, iland, rime, staf and telegraf. A March 1934 editorial reported that two-thirds of readers preferred the reformed spellings. Another claimed that “prejudice and competition” was preventing dictionary makers from listing such spellings. Over the next 40 years, however, the newspaper gradually phased out the respelled words.

Burocrat?! No thank you.

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