English Language & Spelling!!!!
Have you ever noticed that some people are fantastic spellers???? Others, not so much.
There are shows where young kids from approximately 7-12 years old compete in spelling bees where they spell words most of us have never heard of, never mind having any idea what they could possibly mean. It is amazing to see.
Personally, I think these kids must have awesome memories. They must digest the dictionary. It made me think about English…what if I were from another country where English was not my natural language? How hard would it be to learn? Speaking the language may take awhile but spelling? That is a whole different question.
Remember when spelling was so important in school? For fun, pick a word as simple as “bear”. There are two words spelled differently but that sound the same….”bare”.
But why does “dear” sound differently as does year, hear, and near? Why not sound like “deer”, as beer or peer do? “Tear” can sound like two different words, one like “bear” (to rip up something) and also spelled identically “tear” can sound like “beer” but means to cry? There are so many variations on so many words.
If you are bored, can’t sleep or this is driving you nuts, think about it next time someone tells you that you cannot spell. If simple words like this can have so many variations what about bigger words?
Why does knife or knew have a (k) in it? We do not pronounce it. How about rough, tough? Why no “F”. And of course “through”… think about words like it!
Then along comes spell check with our word processors, iPhones, computers etc. Yeah… no more worry. With the various programs on the computer, you have to be sure that whoever you are writing to lives in the same country to be absolutely correct. For instance, the USA & Canada spell similar words slightly differently.
And then..,the “auto correct” on your iPhone or iPad. Finally no more spelling problems!!!! What a laugh that can be. You have GOT to read your message before sending!!! Sometimes I cannot even understand what it is I have written after auto correct.
Now with Twitter we are constricted by the amount of characters we can use, so we have found a way to say as much as possible using the least words possible. That has now become part of our everyday communication with friends. Makes you wonder how interesting a dictionary may look like twenty years from now. Think our children will look at spelling today as perhaps we look at how our long ago ancestors spelled.
Change is the way we move forward. For some it is difficult to comprehend but we have to. We would not have gone to the moon, have astronauts living on the Space Station or even be using the Internet that we so take for granted after a relatively short period of time.
George Bernard Shaw, the great playwright, left money in his will to reform the English language. He was in the extreme in this as it was nothing similar to the everyday language but a whole different style, in the manner of shorthand that was a compulsory subject years ago if you wanted to be a secretary.
How many words in this blog will you pick out and wonder “are there other words with similar spelling that sound differently?” Cannot sleep??? This will drive you nuts or put you to sleep.
Try the word “now” to start with. Words similarly spelled but sound so differently.