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The Spelling Problem

The Spelling Problem

By

Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina

Shakespir Edition

Shakespir Edition, License Notes

All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,

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Storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author.

Correspondence may be directed to:

Mario V. Farina

Email: [email protected]

1English Spelling is not easy. This is universally known. There are several reasons. I address a few in this book.

 

First, I mention the fact that English does not have enough letters to accommodate the approximate forty-four sounds in English. I say approximate because some scholars feel the number of sounds is a few more and some say it’s a few less. There are twenty-six letters in the alphabet. It’s ironic that three of them don’t need to exist. I’m referring to the letters c, q, and x.

 

Unneeded Letters

 

Concerning the letter c, such words as can, cup, and curl could be spelled kan, kup, and kurl.

 

Such words as cell, fence, and ace could be spelled sell, fense, and ase.

 

Concerning the letter q, such words as quit, quaint, and quest could be spelled kwit, kwaint, and kwest.

 

Concerning the letter x, such words as expel, extend, expert could be spelled ekspel, ekstend, and ekspert. And such words as exert, exam, and exist could be spelled egzert, egzam, and egzist.

 

Consonants

 

There are twenty-five consonant sounds in English (some say a few more; some say a few less). Most consonants are spelled the way they sound. Some consonant sounds can be made in two or more ways. Let’s look as some examples:

 

The f Sound is usually made using the letter f, but the letters ph can also be used as in such words as photo, phase, phone, alphabet, sphere, and asphalt.

 

The z Sound is usually made using the letter z, but the letter s can also be used as in such words as boys, logs, and rugs. The letter x can be used as in such words as xylophone, xenophile and xeric.

 

The above is possibly as bad as it gets so far as consonants are concerned.

 

Vowel Sounds

 

The vowel Sounds are more complex. There are eighteen vowel sounds (some say a few more; some say a few less).

 

Let’s look as examples:

 

Consider the oo Sound as in the word tool. The following words all contain this sound. Note the different ways that this sound can be expressed:

 

too, woo, zoo, boo

do, to

you, youth, route, soup

glue, clue, rue, blue

new, drew, dew, blew

rule, Yule

shoe, canoe

 

Let’s consider the ay Sound as in play. The following words all contain this sound. Note the different ways that this sound can be expressed:

 

say, play, ray, stay

reign, weigh, neigh

rein, veil, vein

ail, sail, jail, tail, nail

they, prey, grey

ate, tale, rage, shape, rate

 

And the ee Sound as in see. The following words all contain this sound. Note the different ways that this sound can be expressed:

 

eel, see, teen, free, wee, seen

piece, lien, chief

scene, gene, mete

eat, beat, weak, speak

me, be, we, he, she

key, alley, honey

ski, ti

 

And the oh Sound as in oh. The following words all contain this sound. Note the different ways that this sound can be expressed:

 

oak, load, foal, oaf

old, bold, cold, comb

toe, woe, doe, hoe

oh

dome, bone, robe, rope

bow, sow, bowl, own

dough

sew

soul

 

And the I Sound as in tie. The following words all contain this sound. Note the different ways that this sound can be expressed:

 

hi, pi

ire, bite, fire, mile, mike

light, might, night, fright

sigh, nigh, high

by, sty, fry,

lie, pie, tie

rye, bye, dye, rye

rhyme, type, byte

 

Homophones

 

Another spelling problem is caused by words that sound the same but have different spellings. These are called homophones. Examples are cell and sell; sail and sale; no and know; meet and meat; so, sew, and sow; to, too, and two; for, fore, and four. There are many more.

 

Here is some good news. While English spelling is difficult, it makes an intriguing subject for study if one has the interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Spelling Problem

  • ISBN: 9781311681799
  • Author: Mario V. Farina
  • Published: 2016-06-20 03:05:06
  • Words: 719
The Spelling Problem The Spelling Problem