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I will probably get a lot of flak about this, but why not combine the often used together words "with the" into "withe" which is pronounced similarly, and it much shorter and easier to write?

I am sure there are other candidates for such concatenations, which are bound to show up especially in the world of Twitter and SMS messages.

PS. English is my 2nd language.

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Well, for a start, "withe" is not pronounced the same as "with the". –  ShreevatsaR Feb 22 '11 at 19:52
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ja72 should love German and all its commonlyconcatenatedwords. –  oosterwal Feb 26 '11 at 6:13
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But we do combine words together: it's, we've, didn't. We just don't do every possible combination. –  Kosmonaut Apr 12 '11 at 15:58
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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

With and the are used frequently and not always together. So combining them in this way means a reader has to recognize with, the, and withe. It would seem to me that this would make reading much harder.

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It is not exactly true that with the and withe are pronounced in the same way (compare /wɪð ði/ and /wɪð/). Also, withe is an English word that means "a tough flexible branch of an osier or other willow, used for tying, binding, or basketry."

Both of these facts have probably contributed to preventing with the from being shortened into withe.

If you are asking why other words are not shortened in a similar way, then there is no answer. English, like any other natural language, is not changed because a group of people meet to decide what to change in the language.

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I pronounce "with" as /wɪθ/, except when it gets voiced due to voicing assimilation. –  Kosmonaut Apr 12 '11 at 15:52
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Another thing to consider is that concatenating two words into one would require many English speakers to retrain themselves in standard reading. I have always considered the point for using proper grammar and spelling to make it as easy as possible for the reader or listener to understand what it is you want to say.

Turning "with the" into "withe" and other similar situations would interrupt normal reading flow.

For non-native speakers, in addition to learning the differences between "there" "they're" and "their" or "bear" (the animal) and "bear" (to carry a burden,) learning another set of shortened/combined words would make English more difficult to learn fluently.

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I'm not sure one extra word is going to impact severely on English learning. The other few thousand words that do not follow the rules will not help either. –  Orbling Feb 22 '11 at 22:25
    
Agree, but presumably this shortening of words would not be limited to just one word. Why make things even more complicated? My main point in the above, though, was that anything non-standard interrupts normal reading flow. U can red lik this, but iz it as fst? –  emragins Feb 22 '11 at 22:34
    
See White (in Strunk & White) on the use of thru/thruway as opposed to through/throughway - I personally can read throughway more quickly, I'm bound to say. –  sq33G Dec 13 '11 at 20:23
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