Tag Archives: spelling

#EngTalk: Spelling Noises? (2)

Anyone remember our session on Spelling Noises by David Crystal that has been discussed previously? ->

I have left you with the first half of the chapter last time, so let’s continue learning #EngTalk spelling noises :D

But…there are also those that

“the length of a vowel sound can even be shown by increasing the number of consonant letters”

Such as:

1. Aw (entreaty, sympathy, disapproval) it’s not aaaw instead it’s awww

2. Ow will be owwww

Then there are those which are emphasised in the vowels somehow, such as:

1. ah is aaaah

2. eek is eeeek not ekkkk

Ow which is similar to ouch, “Ow” has w while “ouch” has a u

language change like “pshaw” from 17th century, doesn’t exist anymore

New interjections include:

1. mwah – for air kissing

2. phwoar – enthusiastic affirmation

So, it seems there are many ways that spelling noises could exist – adding to the complicatedness of spelling, isn’t it?

Source: “Spell It Out” by David Crystal

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#EngTalk: Spelling noises? (1)

We are back with David Crystal’s ‘Spell It Out’ today and this time is about…

Spelling noises… is there such a thing? What do you think?

So according to Crystal: “We also need to spell the emotional noises that form a part of conversation. A phonetic spelling turns out not to be so easy to achieve.”

Hmmm…. (That’s one)

So, “spoken language is more than words and sentences”, it “contains quite a few isolated noises” to express emotions called interjections

For example – When we want to “convey throat-clearing” we would use

Ahem

Eham”, “Mhumh”, won’t work

Yet its earlier version, in the 18th century, it would be only

Hem!”

Interjections can be either:

  1. we use sounds at the back of our mouth such as expressing disgust e.g. yuk, ugh, blech
  2. using both lips such as to to express relief e.g. phew, whew
  3. produce a click noise with our tongue such as to express disapproval or irritation e.g. tut – from the 16th century or tck – as Rudyard Kipling would write it, or tsk – popular in the 1940s

Some of these noises spelling are actually “breaking the rules” as they become words with no vowels

Other example would be brr (expressing feeling cold), grr (expressing irritation), shh (be quiet!), pst (calling someone silently) and hmmmm (expressing the person is thinking)

just like what I did in the beginning :)

Hope this #EngTalk has been useful for you! Still curious of this whole noises spelling?

Stay tuned for more next time :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on December 27, 2015

Source: David Crystal’s “Spell it Out”

 

 

#EngTrivia: British vs American English Spellings

Do you know that some British English (BrE) words have different spellings from American English (AmE) words?

In general, there are 10 types of spelling differences between BrE and AmE. Here they are:

  1. BrE (-our) vs AmE (-or). E.g.:
    • armour (BrE) vs armor (AmE)
    • favourite (BrE) vs favorite (AmE)
    • honour (BrE) vs honor (AmE)
  2. BrE (-re) vs AmE (-er). E.g.:
    • centre (BrE) vs center (AmE)
    • Litre (BrE) vs liter (AmE)
    • Theatre (BrE) vs theater (AmE)
  3. BrE (-ae-) vs AmE (-e-). E.g. :
    • archaeology (BrE) vs archeology (AmE).
    • Leukaemia (BrE) vs leukemia (AmE)
  4. BrE (-se) vs AmE (-ze). e.g. :
    • analyse (BrE) vs analyze (AmE)
    • apologise (BrE) vs apologize (AmE)
    • emphasise (BrE) vs emphasize (AmE)
  5. BrE (-l) vs AmE (-ll).e.g.:
    • fulfil (BrE) vs fulfill (AmE)
    • skilful (BrE) vs skillful (AmE)
  6. BrE (-ogue) vs AmE (-og). e.g. :
    • analogue (BrE) vs analog (AmE)
    • dialogue (BrE) vs dialog (AmE)
  7. BrE (-ence) vs AmE (-ense). e.g. :
    • defence (BrE) vs defense (AmE)
    • licence (BrE) vs license (AmE)
  8. BrE (-dge) vs AmE (-dg). e.g. :
    • judgement (BrE) vs judgment (AmE)
    • arguement (BrE) vs argument (AmE)
  9. BrE (-que) vs AmE ( -ck). e.g.:
    • cheque (BrE) vs check (AmE)
  10. BrE (-gramme) vs AmE (-gram). e.g. :
    • programme (BrE) vs program (AmE)
    • kilogramme (BrE) vs kilogram (AmE)

So, which one do you prefer? BrE or AmE?

 

Compiled and written by @iisumarni at @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, September 19, 2012

 


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^MQ

#EngTalk: The Size of English Spelling Problem

So fellas, we talked about English Spelling and its complication last week based on David Crystal’s book “Spell it Out”…

Today, we are going to find out just how much is “the size” of this English spelling problem or complication

According to Crystal,

“The origins of spelling difficulties in English lie in the fact that there are far more sounds in the language than there are letters.”

So how many distinctive sounds are there?

E.g. From pip, then change first sound to: tip, sip, hip, lip That gives a: p, t, s, h, l

Then we could change to second sound

E.g. Pip, pop, pup, peep That gives us i, o, u, ee

These are called “phonemes”. So, how many “phonemes” are there in English?

The answer is

“depends on the regional accent we have, but for many people the total is forty-four (44)”

Crystal shared that there are around twenty four (24) consonant phonemes, as seen here

phonemes1_2

This is only based on the consonant phonemes of British Received Pronunciation and General American

And between these accents, it varied around twenty (20) vowel phonemes

Here are the vowel phonemes stated

phonemes2_2

phonemes3

If you see a colon (:) after a symbol then it means that the sound is long with a single phonetic quality

If there is a combination of two symbols then the sound is long because it has two distinct phonetic qualities (“diphthongs”)

“Diphthongs” play a particular role in English spelling history

As has been shared above, these phonemes are only from British Received Pronunciation and General American

Other accents such as Canadian, Australian, Irish, Indian, even Cockney from England, might have more 

For example, in Cockney accent, fin – thin, vat – that, sounds the same or said either way

According to Crystal, the total of the phonemes in different English accents, including its consonants & vowels, are all up to forty

So “to write them all down in a completely regular way, we would need an alphabet of the same size. And that is what we haven’t got”

Crystal continued, “We have an alphabet of twenty-six letters. How are we going to spell forty + phonemes with twenty-six letters?”

To conclude, Crystal stated interestingly,

“That, in a nutshell, is the problem of English spelling”

So here we are today, with the English language that has gone Global – so has the “English spelling problem” got bigger? 

With Crystal’s explanation, I think it is understandable why English would be a complicated language

Yet, in the same time, can be a very interesting language to learn, plus explore 

So if you are learning English right now, keep learning it, understand its characteristics, and you will eventually master it :D

Thank you for your kind attention, fellas :) I hope this #EngTalk session is useful for you :D

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on November 22, 2014

Source: This session was taken from “Spell It Out” by David Crystal, please do search or Google about him if you want to know more :)

#EngKnowledge: Spell It Out! by David Crystal

 One thing for sure this Saturday… there will be an #EngKnowledge… on…. this question…

“Why on earth is — spelled like that?”

Name one time you did not ask that question in your life? Or at least “How do you spell it?”

Adding to what admin Patty has discussed previously ->http://ow.ly/EiPBw, English spelling has been always questioned

Taken from David Crystal’s book “Spell it Out”, it is stated that the background of someone learning English spelling constitutes of “twofold”:

1. “Children learning to read and write English as a mother-tongue”

2. “The vast number of children and adults who are learning English as a foreign language” 

According to Crystal, the complaint of English spelling is a result of the language’s centuries of evolution

No wonder it is difficult :/ 

“Can anything be done to facilitate the task of learning to spell English words?” Crystal believes yes, although..

..”a new pedagogy (way of teaching) will take a while to implement”

To be honest, it is not all doom and gloom if you cannot spell an English word

Crystal stated:

“Society expects us to spell perfectly. And yet we are all aware that there are some words in the language that we don’t know how to spell, and have to look them up before we write them. There are no exceptions.”

Crystal continued, “Nobody knows how to spell every word in the language. Even the brilliant spellers who win prizes in spelling bees get some words wrong.”

Crystal creates this book to break down the spelling problem. He does it by EXPLAINING it.

Crystal stated that “some people think spelling reform is the best way forward” yet to him, the first step is to understand it

To Crystal, understanding the present English spelling system would not be the whole solution, “but it’s half the battle”

So, fellas, do not worry if you didn’t get an English word spelling right by the first attempt :)

More on David Crystal’s Spell It Out can be Googled, or stay tuned with us as next week, more bits of it will be discussed :)

Compiled and written by @daedonghae at @EnglishTips4u on November 15, 2014

Source: “Spell It Out” Introduction by David Crystal, 2013