The Many Ways of Representing Sounds in English Spelling

English spelling, owing to the conditions that gov- ernd the growth of the English language, now presents many anomalies. The same letter, or combination of letters, often represents many different sounds; while the same sound is often represented by many different letters, or combinations of letters.

The combination ough, for example, represents at least 9 different sounds in the words cough, rough, though, through, plough, hough, thorough, thought, hiccough; and the sound of e in let is represented in at least 12 other ways in the words aesthetic, bury, head, friend, heifer, foreign, Leicester, leopard, many, oecumenical, said, says.

There ar at least 20 different ways of representing the sound of sh, as in ship (ship, sure, issue, mansion, schist, pshaw, conscience, conscientious, moustache, nauseous, suspicion, partial, partiality, mission, ocean, oceanic, machine, fashion, fuchsia) ; at least 24 ways of representing the sound of a, as in fate (a, aye, 6ay, arraign, straight, weigh, vane, vain, vein, obey, allegro, reign, champagne, gauge, demesne, gaol, Gael, dahlia, halfpenny, Maine, matinee, ballet, eh, yea) ; and so on.

Many words contain, in writing and printing, letters that ar not sounded at all in speech, as b in lamb, debt; c in scissors; e in are, have, heart, lived; g in dia- phragm; h in ghost, school, rhyme; u in build, honour, mould; etc.


Folksonomies: culture literacy spelling standards

/hobbies and interests/guitar (0.485938)
/art and entertainment/music/musical instruments/drums (0.476023)
/education/school (0.446005)

english spelling (0.995774 (neutral:0.000000)), English language (0.834501 (positive:0.330340)), words cough (0.822937 (negative:-0.626913)), Representing Sounds (0.821893 (neutral:0.000000)), different sounds (0.807956 (positive:0.239886)), different ways (0.792380 (negative:-0.279967)), letters (0.717693 (neutral:0.000000)), combination (0.638987 (negative:-0.276145)), pshaw (0.591477 (neutral:0.000000)), schist (0.587001 (neutral:0.000000)), plough (0.583149 (neutral:0.000000)), hough (0.583075 (neutral:0.000000)), aye (0.581359 (neutral:0.000000)), heifer (0.580678 (neutral:0.000000)), yea (0.580439 (neutral:0.000000)), obey (0.577911 (neutral:0.000000)), fuchsia (0.577094 (neutral:0.000000)), moustache (0.575505 (neutral:0.000000)), anomalies (0.575408 (negative:-0.212967)), gaol (0.574660 (neutral:0.000000)), demesne (0.572959 (neutral:0.000000)), suspicion (0.571860 (negative:-0.558188)), matinee (0.570306 (neutral:0.000000)), Gael (0.566882 (neutral:0.000000)), dia (0.566278 (neutral:0.000000)), ar (0.566098 (negative:-0.284673)), dahlia (0.565997 (neutral:0.000000)), combinations (0.564938 (neutral:0.000000)), eh (0.564059 (neutral:0.000000))

hough:Person (0.822439 (neutral:0.000000)), Leicester:City (0.566514 (neutral:0.000000)), oecumenical:Person (0.530363 (neutral:0.000000)), arraign:Person (0.510962 (neutral:0.000000)), halfpenny:Person (0.497366 (neutral:0.000000)), Maine:StateOrCounty (0.492441 (neutral:0.000000))

English language (0.969864): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
English spelling reform (0.704209): dbpedia
England (0.657860): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago | geonames
Sound (0.632532): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Orthography (0.588608): dbpedia | freebase
Scotland (0.584762): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago | geonames
United Kingdom (0.523335): geo | website | dbpedia | ciaFactbook | freebase | opencyc | yago
Latin alphabet (0.503067): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago

 Handbook of Simplified Spelling
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Paine, Hanry Gallup (2009-06), Handbook of Simplified Spelling, BiblioBazaar, LLC, Retrieved on 2015-03-12
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: history culture spelling


    31 DEC 2010

     Arguments for English Spelling Reform

    This schema is a collection of arguments about how proper grammar, with its illogical and inconsistently applied rules, is used by academics and intellectuals to create a privileged class of people who's ideas deserve considering because they have successfully learned the irrational system.
    Folksonomies: phonetics grammar
    Folksonomies: phonetics grammar