Anniversary inconsistency?

Search is written s-e-ch. But perch is written p-e-r-ch – or at least it is in Reading & Dictation Practice IV in Gregg Speed Studies (UK, 1930). I’ve attached a pic (perch is in the second line from the end).
Is this a mistake, or have I missed (yet another!) rule?

(by kevinwal for everyone)

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  1. No, there is no mistake.   The R is omitted in sar-, ser-, sir-, sor-, and sur- when the consonant after the r is a downward consonant.  So search is written s – e – ch, sergeant as s – a – jnt, surf as s – e – f, serve as s – e – v, absorb as a – b – s – o – b, etc.   Perch is written p – e – r – ch because of legibility.  The rule is to use the pr blend for per- and pro-, but in this case, if you write p – r – ch, it would read "purchase."  And the R is not omitted, because it would read "pitch".

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