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This very question is inspired by the question "Are there words that can be spelled with both т and ф".

One of the answer states that

There is an interesting issue with the word алгоритм. Sometimes, in certain contexts, it's traditionally spelled as алгорифм.

I was surprised, since I've never heard this word to be used in any context we can call common, even in sense of common for some very small community of people, say, for some very high specialized theoretics from St. Petersburg (as claims the author of the answer), or whoever.

So my question is: Is word алгорифм really used nowadays? Can we name this spelling traditional. Or has it been actually just some sporadic attempts of certain people, who tried to coin new term, but this has never been widely accepted?

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This is a historical spelling of this word, most notably used by Markov Jr. in his works on computability. The most known example of its usage is нормальный алгорифм, the core concept of the theory of computability, and the title of Markov's main work, Теория алгорифмов, first published in early 50's, when the word was scarcely used outside the academia.

The second edition of the work, published in 80's, used the word алгорифм in the title, but the current spelling алгоритм in the body of the book.

Currently, peer reviewed journals refuse the spelling алгорифм.

In a nutshell, this is just an outdated spelling, like чорт, итти etc. and should not be used in the modern writing.

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  • I wonder can we consider it to be historical spelling if googling actually show (correct me if I'm mistaken) that it had been used by literally few authors. – shabunc Aug 31 '12 at 10:20
  • you see, чорт and итти are nice examples, but I can hardly imagine a book titled "Итти с чортом" but using "чёрт" and "идти" in the text. – shabunc Aug 31 '12 at 10:23
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    @shabunc: in early 50's literally few authors were using this word at all, in either spelling. – Quassnoi Aug 31 '12 at 11:30

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