Noah Webster was struck by the inconsistencies of English spelling and the obstacles it presented to learners
(young and old alike) and resented that American classrooms were filled only with British textbooks. The
spelling reform featured in his first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, was based on the
author's combined vision of logic and aesthetics. He changed the ce in words like defence,
offence, and pretence to se; abandoned the second, silent "l" in verbs such as
travel and cancel when forming the past tense; dropped the "u" from words such as
humour and colour; and dropped the "k" from words such as publick and musick.
The "publick" readily accepted many of these changes and just as readily rejected some of the others.