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Does spelling matter?



Does spelling matter?


Oxford University Press (zum buch)


Oxford, UK




ausstattung, umfang

hardcover, 272 s.




1 Introduction 1
2 Writing systems 16
3 Beginnings 39
4 Invasion and revision 77
5 Renaissance and reform 109
6 Fixing spelling 144
7 American spelling 185
8 Spelling today and tomorrow 212
  Further reading 253


  • Provides an up-to-date narrative of the history of English spelling, from the origins of the Roman alphabet to spelling in the electronic age
  • Examines the role of spelling in English society
  • Engages with current debates about the future of English spelling and the issues concerning the use of spelling in email, text-messaging, and Twitter

This book narrates the history of English spelling from the Anglo-Saxons to the present-day, charting the various changes that have taken place and the impact these have had on the way we spell today. While good spelling is seen as socially and educationally desirable, many people struggle to spell common words like accommodate, occurrence, dependent. Is it our spelling system that is to blame, and should we therefore reform English spelling to make it easier to learn? Or are such calls for change further evidence of the dumbing-down of our educational standards, also witnessed by the tolerance of poor spelling in text-messaging and email? This book evaluates such views by considering previous attempts to reform the spelling of English and other languages, while also looking critically at claims that the electronic age heralds the demise of correct spelling.

Readership: General readers with an interest in the origins of English spelling, its history and debates concerning reform and standardisation. A level and undergraduate students of English Language.

stellung­nahmen, kritik

Simon Heffer, New Statesman (zitiert nach oup.com)

This book is a sane, comprehensive and authoritative lesson in why we spell the way we do and why, in order to preserve the richness, subtlety and history of our language, it is right that we keep doing so.