The medieval aether spelling

James de Meo points out a curious semantic footnote to this affair. The name for the hypothetical medium through which light was thought to travel has been spelled in two ways: as ‘ether’ and also as ‘aether’. In late medieval times when the word was coined it was spelled aether. In the period 1850-1920 when the topic was current in physics and used regularly by physicists such as Sir Oliver Lodge, Michael Faraday, Nicola Tesla, Michelson and Morley, and even by Einstein, the term was spelled ‘ether’. In the 1950s, after Miller’s death, when a concerted effort was being made to denigrate his work, the medieval ‘aether’ spelling suddenly re-appeared. On the face of it, the use of this spelling was to avoid confusion with the anaesthetic fluid ether. But it also appears to have been part of an attempt to ‘relegate the ether of space into ancient history, as an unproven speculation similar to Aristotlian elements of “fire, air, water and earth”.’

Source: Ether - a null result, or an anulled result?