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How to Shorten “Synchronize”

Synchronizing is a way of connecting programs and machines. It is usually used in reference to computers. The official definition is “to occur at the same time.” However, the word is usually shortened in common use to either synch or sync.

Graphic illustrating how to shorten "synchronize". "Sync" is easier to pronounce and understand. "Synch" uses "ch" at the end, which can refer to different sounds and is harder to understand.

The shorter form is even starting to appear in dictionaries as its own word. Merriam Webster lists both synch and sync as possible ways to shorten “synchronize.” Browser searches also show that both forms are used:

How to synch my computer and phone

How to synch a calendar with a smartphone

How to sync two phones

How to sync my Mac with other devices

Synch is easy to pronounce if you know the origin of word and can pronounce synchronize. However, if you’re not familiar with the original word, then synch can easily be mispronounced.

The confusion comes from the fact that the English spelling ch can refer to different sounds. The common way to say it is the sound heard in church. Other examples include pitch, each, witch, couch, peach, and search.

However, ch can also be pronounced like [k]. But, this use, especially at the end of words, is relatively uncommon.

So, although both spellings are correct, sync is easier to pronounce and more easily understood than synch.

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By Patrice Riley

Patrice Riley is the pen name of Dr. Deborah Riley. She is a retired English professor that enjoys grammar, literature, and all things writing.

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