Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why is English Spelling Complicated? RIGHTING THE MOTHER TONGUE by David Wolman

How did English spelling get to be so twisted? Who is to blame for the "h" in ghost and to thank for the marvel of spell-check? David Wolman's Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling tells the tale of one untalented speller’s journey into the past, present and future shape of our words. Not all of them of course, but many, especially the tricky ones that stump students: separate, hors d’oeuvres, millennium, occasionally, accommodation, perseverance. The story of English spelling history is as delightful as it is serpentine, punctuated along the way by encounters with word-obsessed characters like Noah Webster, Samuel Johnson (who did not like the letter "c"), and Theodore Roosevelt. From spelling bee champions and dyslexia researchers, to the word gurus at Google, Righting the Mother Tongue is an attempt to make a little sense of English spelling.

Praise for Righting the Mother Tongue:

“A lively, engaging look at the idiosyncratic derivations and permutations of spelling in the English language."—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"An engaging ramble through our orthographic thickets."—Boston Globe

If you are interested in adopting this book for a class, you may order an exam copy. If you have already ordered this book for a class, please order a complimentary desk copy.

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