Concerning the anomalies of Velar Softening (blog, yesterday), the other side of the coin concerns the problem of spelling words in which the base form or stem has c or g, but we want to follow this with an e, i, y without implying the change from k, g to s, dʒ. (Compare the regular ‘lexical spelling’ principle which gives us this alternation in pairs such as electric — electricity, rigo(u)r — rigid, where the spelling stays constant but the pronunciation changes.)
The word microphone ˈmaɪkrəfəʊn is commonly shortened to maɪk. How do we spell this shortened form? If we just truncate the spelling of the full form we get mic, which looks as if it should mean mɪk. If we add e to signal a long vowel (compare rid rɪd — ride raɪd) it collides with mice maɪs. If we change c to k it looks like the man’s name Mike and we lose the link with mic-. Insoluble problem.
In long-established words a spelling adjustment may be entrenched. Alongside hundreds of examples like electric — electricity we have opaque (-k) — opacity (-s-), where the switch from c to qu in the adjective enables us to use the final silent e in the usual way. (This would argue for spelling maɪk as mique.) And anyhow, given revoke — revocation (from Latin -vŏc-), you might expect opake for opaque. If the spelling opaque owes something to French, on the other hand, compare the French révoquer, which has not led us to spell the English word as revoque.
Singers who mime to a video track have to synchronize their lip movements with those they see on the screen. Originally, I suppose, this was known as lip-synchronizing, but nowadays we normally shorten this in speech to ˈlɪp ˌsɪŋkɪŋ. The same applies to many other uses of synchronize, synchronization. The soundtrack is not quite in sync with the picture, things are out of sync. (But for synchronizing your watches and synchronized swimming we keep the long form.)
When we come to write the ing-form down we have something of a problem. Wikipedia currently has one article entitled Lip sync and another entitled Lip-synching in music. The spelling sync is fine for the base form, but when we add -ing we may feel the need for the h. (Though Google records three million-odd hits for the awkward syncing, which is the spelling Apple uses. A Google search on synching evokes “Did you mean syncing?).
Perhaps we should launch a campaign to spell it synquing.