DATE: 9:20:00 AM
English is a remarkable language when it comes to transformating and updating itself. Many other languages, French comes to mind and Persian I can testify, have a serious problem called "Historical Spelling". It means that since written language evolves much slower than the spoken one, the spoken language seems to distance itself from the written, and over a period of time, words start to sound much differently than their written versions ("subpoena", which is in fact pronounced "sapeenaa" is an example, as is "knife" and its spoke verion, nyf).
But English is amazing in the way it avoids falling too deeply into this trap. I am not sure when they started uniforming the English spelling system (as you know, it was rather chaotic in the times of Shakespear, or was it Shakesper, or Shakespeare, or Shakespere?). But it seems that reinventing the spellings for words is a built-in characteristic of this language. Some, admitedly me included, don't like "Americanisations" such as Nite, Center, Thru, and so on, but in fact, this is going to be how these words will be spelled in a generation or two. Although this makes the access to older literature limited (Chaucer "looks" so different, when it in fact does not "sound" much different), it is probably the appropriate thing for this modern, fast paced world of ours.