GM changed "employee" to "employe"
From 1988 to 1993, I worked for Electronic Data Systems which had been
founded by H. Ross Perot and sold to General Motors.
I remember a GM initiative to change the spelling of the word "employee"
to "employe". The rationale was that such a change would save millions of
dollars as employees used less time to type letters and documents, reduce
the amount of paper and ink used for printing, etc. Remember that GM was
revolutionary for its time and motion studies when the auto industry was
still in its late infancy.
Of course, what happened was that it cost more to distribute the policy.
And inevitably, one would "misspell" the word, have to back space or get
out the liquid paper to remove the offending "e" and then continue, taking
more time than it would have to spell the word the conventional.
Unfortunately, I did not save anything that had the GM policy about the
"correct" spelling of the word "employee". I was telling a friend about
this and he looked at me like I was crazy. I searched your database and
didn't find any mention of this story. It is particularly timely as we talk
about bailouts or even (gasp!) the bankruptcy of moribund auto companies.