Spelling troubles? Join the club!

by: Gwen Bloomsburg


I marvel when my Spanish-speakingfriends, many of whom are teachers,complain about how poorly people spell theirlanguage. As an English speaker, arecovering English teacher, and three-timegrade-school spelling champion (CentennialElementary ’80, ´81, and ´82), I am qualifiedto say that in English, users must memorizemost words’ spellings. There is little chanceof spelling correctly based on spokenlanguage or pronouncing correctly based ona written text. At least one group would like tosee that change: the English SpellingSociety.TESS states on its website the aim “ofraising awareness of the problems caused bythe irregularity of English spelling and topromote remedies to improve literacy,including spelling reform.” No, this is not ajoke! According to TESS, English is seriouslyhindered by its unnecessarily complicatedand illogical spelling. Would not most Englishlanguage learners agree? Lest you think thisa recent revolution inspired by the havoc textmessaging has wrought on language, theSociety dates to 1908 (born the SimplifiedSpelling Society). In addition to educatingusers and offering systematic analysis of the43.5 English speech sounds and theirmultiple spellings, the Society proposesadoption of a simplified spelling system.Although no particular system is yetendorsed, you can see possiblealternatives—including Spanglish—athttp://www.spellingsociety.org/aboutsss/alternative.php.Until negzt tiem, hapi speling!


Reference:About the English Spelling Society. The English Spelling