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    #1

    Is it OK to spell N-encE into N-encY?

    In English, there’re some words that have two spellings and have exactly the same meaning. The words that I want to ask are not those different spellings between British and American English. These words are as follows:

    1. pertinence/pertinency
    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pertinency

    2. subsistence/subsistency
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/subsistency

    I just listed four words above. Is there any difference between these words? Is it OK to spell N-encE into N-encY(because almost lots of words have both spelling)? Which spelling is more common?

    Thank for your help!

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is it OK to spell N-encE into N-encY?

    I have never heard either "subsistency" or "pertinency".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: Is it OK to spell N-encE into N-encY?

    The -ence spelling is more common in both of those cases. However, consistency is more common than consistence. If you see something like this:
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us...sh/consistence, where it says another term for consistency, it indicates that consistence is the less common form.

    If you want to check, you can use tools like these to see which is more common:

    http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/
    http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/

    Another good tool is this one:
    https://books.google.com/ngrams

    If you look at the results here, you will see the decline over time of the use of consistence:

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...stence%3B%2Cc0

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