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The in the word "judgment", the "e" from "judge" is absent. Three questions on this:

  1. Why is this?
  2. Is there a name for such a contraction?
  3. How and why does the "g" still retain its "soft" pronunciation without the "e" following it?
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Related question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/1623/… – Ataraxia Feb 28 '13 at 23:58
Pronunciation comes first, then comes writing. The E drops because that's the way the spelling goes. Spelling does not represent speech and is not regular. Learn the pronunciation and the spelling separately, like the gender of a German noun. – John Lawler Mar 1 '13 at 0:06
English is somewhat an ideographical creole, where accepted traditions frequently took root from a primeval point of error. It is frequently not written "the way it should be pronounced". – Blessed Geek Mar 1 '13 at 0:32
You are welcome to spell it judgement (and acknowledgement for that matter) if you prefer. True, you will be in the minority, but you will not be wrong. – tchrist Mar 1 '13 at 0:37
@tchrist not necessarily the minority; the related question linked by the OP himself actually demonstrates that you might end up in the majority. In fact I would have closed this as a dupe as soon as it got posted, if not for it being a three-part question. The third part is answered exhaustively by the first sentence of John's comment. So the way I see it, what's still left is whether there's a name for this specific kind of spelling variation. Which I doubt. – RegDwigнt Mar 1 '13 at 10:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Words have entered the English vocabulary in waves. English spelling has also been standardized in waves, most conspicuously by dictionary editors like Samuel Johnson. Differences in spelling between words that seem like they ought to obey the same rules can arise because of when they entered the language.

The spelling of some words also froze in the history of English because they were already extremely prominent in written form, as may be the case with a word that may have been very common with judges and lawyers who might naturally standardize the spelling of a word due to its frequency in use.

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Except, of course, that the spelling of judgment is anything but standardized. Even the Wikipedia article is titled Judgement. We have a dedicated question for that, Is the proper spelling “judgment” or “judgement”?. – RegDwigнt Mar 1 '13 at 10:16

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