Spelling “inquire” not “enquire” in the PCE

A response to a question about why the PCE spells “inquire” not “enquire”.

First, the use of “inquire” or “enquire” is nothing to do with British or non-British spelling in the history KJB printing.

In the older Cambridge editions, and the Pure Cambridge Edition, the standardised spelling is “inquire”, and this is not an accident. The spelling “inquire” is the traditional Cambridge spelling.

When the Concord Edition was made by Cambridge, it took some Oxford Edition changes, including changing the spelling to “enquire” (this occurred in the mid 20th century).

Meanwhile Cambridge also obtained the Eyre and Spottiswoode publishers, and so they took the London Edition and created the “Standard Text Edition”.

In the 1990s, a fellow named Nic Kizziah compared the Concord with the Standard Text Edition, and wanted to defend the Concord, because of some modernisations in spelling in the CSTE.

However, the tradition Cambridge Edition in the 20th century was the Pure Cambridge Edition (PCE). The PCE is actually correct, not the Concord or the CSTE. So in fact, a mistake was made by some who came against “inquire”.

The spelling of “inquire” is not a modern invention, but is found in the 1611 Edition: the 1611 Edition has both spellings, as in this example of “inquire”,

Ps 27:4 One thing haue I desired of the Lord, that will I seeke after: that I may dwel in the house of the Lord, all the dayes of my life, to behold the beautie of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.

(Also Matthew 10:11, and in Acts 9:11). However, at other places, the 1611 had “enquire”.

The choice of spelling in 1611 in non-authoritative.

The printers at that time were choosing spelling, we cannot say certainly it was the translators’ spelling, and whether or not it was is not the issue.

This is because the spelling of many words was needing to be standardised.

However, authoritative early editing in this regard happened with Cambridge printings and editing at Cambridge, which included the surviving translators.

Seeing that the Cambridge tradition is recognised as authoritative, it stands.

More importantly, the spelling of words in the KJB is not based on modern sensibilities, for example, spelling “musick” instead of “music” is because that is a KJB standard, not based on present day opinions about how words ought to be spelt.