English Spelling!

Published on Sunday, April 24, 2011 in

I often apologise about the horrors of English spelling, but it's a fact: To speak English well, you need vocabulary, a nice accent, and good grammar. To write English well, you need vocabulary, grammar, an understanding of punctuation and good spelling.
So why is English spelling such a nightmare? One reason is that English has adopted words from many other languages, sometimes we keep the spelling and sometimes we change it to suit us. In Olde Worlde England words were written as they sounded (phonetically) and so one word could often be spelt in many different ways, seemingly you only need to look at original Shakespeare manuscripts to see this chaos in action. Eventually spelling was standardised and set in stone in numerous dictionaries, but the chaos peeks through from time to time. As you learn English you will notice the pronunciation of a word often bears no resemblance to the way it is spelt, (sorry) usually you will find a historical reason for this.
The good news is that although many English words have irregular spellings there are some rules that can help you. Watch out though, for every rule there are always some exceptions (sorry)!
English has over 1,100 different ways to spell its 44 separate sounds, more than any other language, think of it as a game rather than a chore.

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