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Smoothing out English spelling

Reforming English spelling seems to make sense. English orthography is a mess, thanks to its origins and accretions over the centuries. With a base of old German, an infusion of French in the generations after the Norman Conquest in 1066, an undercurrent of Latin as traditionally used by the church and the legal profession, and additions from other languages including Spanish, Italian, American Indian and Greek, among many others, English is a mélange that defies grammar and spelling. It is one of the simplest languages to learn and one of the most complex to master. But it has become the lingua franca for billions of people, either as a first or second language and changing its orthography runs up against a thousand years of tradition.

[Telegram,_The; Worcester,_MA,_US; 2018-08-30]

English is crowdsourced

A fellow editor has reported an exchange with someone who insists that “common usage shouldn’t trump actual rules.” What this person doesn’t understand is that common usage makes the rules. Common usage between Norman overlords and English peasants over centuries is what turned Anglo-Saxon into English.

[Baltimore_Sun,_The; Baltimore,_MD,_US; 2018-08-14]

Is it pronounced GIF or JIF? And why do we care?

In the 1980s, anyone using computers quickly encountered two significant problems with images: interoperability, and size.

It was into this environment, in 1987, that an engineer by the name of Steve Wilhite created a new type of compression format: the Graphics Interchange Format — or, for short, GIF. Wilhite could scarcely have known that the format was to experience a memetic resurgence decades later, much less that it would be turned into a verb. One thing Wilhite was sure of, though, was how GIF was pronounced.

[ABC_News; Sydney,_NSW,_AU; 2018-08-10]

A university spelled 'Board of trustees' incorrectly in its diplomas for 6 years before it was spotted

Colorado Mesa University is issuing two diplomas for the price of one. The catch? The first one was signed by the chair of CMU's "Coard of Trustees."

[CNN; Atlanta,_GA,_US; 2018-08-10]

City Lecturer uncovers the mechanisms of norm changes by analysing English and Spanish languages through Big Data study

Dr Andrea Baronchelli and his colleagues anticipate that their research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), will give insights into how social norm change and lead to a better understanding of our society.

[City_University_of_London; London,_UK; 2018-08-03]

Study identifies how social norms change

Social conventions, such as shaking hands or dressing formally, allow us to coordinate smoothly and, once established, appear to be natural. Yet they evolve in time, for example today we do not accept a duel as a way to settle a dispute. But what happens when a new convention replaces an old one? This question has remained largely unanswered so far, due to the lack of suitable data.

[Queen_Mary_University_of_London; London,_UK; 2018-08-03]

Education Secretary Savaged For Rising Inequality As New Fund For Literacy Revealed

Damian Hinds vows to take on 'persistent scandal' of pupils not being able to read.

Attacking the “persistent scandal” that many disadvantaged children begin school unable to read properly, Hinds will gather the expertise of businesses, charities, tech and media, to back a £5m trial in the North of England and hand £6.5m to voluntary groups and £8.5m to councils.

[Huffington_Post; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-07-31]

The difference between ‘callus’ and ‘callous’

A few weeks ago, when we wrote about the confusion over the homophones “poor,” “pour,” and “pore,” we said that another anatomical use of “pore” was “a type of callous that forms at the site of a healing fracture.” More than one hardened reader called us out. We were careless to use “callous” and not “callus.” We made a homophone error in an article about homophone errors. How embarrassing, and ironic.

[Columbia_Journalism_Review; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-07-30]

Kapow! Spelling by sound

Humans couldn't be satisfied with spelling out only things they say. They also needed to spell out the sounds around them. Giving a name to a sound is called "onomatopoeia." The word is difficult to spell but fun to say. Its Greek root means "coiner of names" and was first used in 1577.

[Northwest_Arkansas_Democrat-Gazette; Little_Rock,_AR,_US; 2018-07-30]

Behemoth, bully, thief: how the English language is taking over the planet

No language in history has dominated the world quite like English does today. Is there any point in resisting?

No language in history has been used by so many people or spanned a greater portion of the globe. It is aspirational: the golden ticket to the worlds of education and international commerce, a parent’s dream and a student’s misery, winnower of the haves from the have-nots. It is inescapable: the language of global business, the internet, science, diplomacy, stellar navigation, avian pathology. And everywhere it goes, it leaves behind a trail of dead: dialects crushed, languages forgotten, literatures mangled.

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2018-07-27]

Google Docs will start using AI to fix your spelling mistakes

Google says it is using language translation techniques to turn your spelling mistakes into proper English.

Google has announced it is trying to fix your spelling errors in Google Docs with a new machine learning algorithm. “In language translation, you take a language like French and translate it into English. Our approach to grammar is similar. We take improper English and use our technology to correct or translate it into proper English,” he [David Thacker] said.

[Evening_Standard; London,_UK; 2018-07-25]

Qooco Asia Spelling Cup 2018 in China comes to an end

The sixth Qooco Asia Spelling Cup in China was themed "strive to grow up, pursue your dreams," and ended successfully in Beijing on July 22. Nearly 300 children from a pool of more than 50,000 gathered in Beijing to make their dreams come true. At the same time, the "Asian cup" mentor Alistair Bayley amazingly appeared, and the organizing committee presented him with the appointment letter of spokesperson and mentor.

[Global_Times; Beijing,_CN; 2018-07-25]

Shopping is more important than spelling

During the recent hot weather thousands of us searched Argo's site for a "trampiline", a "trampoline" or "tramploines" and for "charcole" and "barbacues".

[Punchline_Gloucester; Gloucester,_UK; 2018-07-19]

Why one Welsh city has 26 different spellings

Monmouthshire - Nestled in the rolling Welsh countryside, it is possibly the hardest place in the country to find. That is because the village of Trellech, in Monmouthshire, is spelled at least 26 different ways. Drivers, tourists and postmen must navigate their way to the village using a bewildering series of inconsistent road signs, each using a slightly different historic spelling from the past 1 000 years.

[Independent_Online; ZA; 2018-07-18]

English orthography

Hotdog or hot-dog?

In English orthography, compound words can be written in a variety of ways - as a single word, e.g. bedroom, with a hyphen (make-up) or with a space (washing machine). But what features actually determine the choice between these alternatives? "There is no official body that formulates orthographical rules for the English-speaking world," as Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer, Professor of Modern English Linguistics at LMU, points out. As a result, even the dictionaries cannot agree on the spelling of English compounds. "That may sound chaotic. But there are a few rules of thumb that can provide some guidance." To tease these rules out, Sanchez-Stockhammer took a closer look at the spelling of over 10,000 English compounds. Based on this data, she developed a spelling algorithm and a free online tool that suggests the most probable spelling of English compounds.

[EurekaAlert; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-07-11]

Don't mix-up: The four easy rules to help determine where to place pesky hyphens

Study of more than 10,000 words found four basic rules work 75% of the time. If word is a verb, adjective or adverb, it likely needs a hyphen (like chain-smoke). If second part has more than two letters, it should be spelt as one word (like coastline).

Christina Sanchez-Stockhammer, who is a linguistics professor at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, produced the simple set of rules after examining thousands of English words. Sanchez-Stockhammer worked alongside a programmer and a statistician to find the patterns in the English language. She said: ‘A whole range of factors can have an influence on how compound words are typically spelled. But on a general level, it all boils down to a few simple guidelines.’

[Daily_Mail; London,_UK; 2018-07-11]

Phonetic Symbol System Not Patent Eligible

Wang’s invention here offers a one-to-one system tying each vowel and consonant sound to a single phonetic symbol, and uses only English letters for the phonetic symbols.

[Patently-O; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2018-07-05]

Spelling and grammar increased in functional skills

There will be more focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar in new English functional skills qualifications, says Ofqual.

The reformed English functional skills qualifications will have a greater emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar than originally planned.

[TES; London,_UK; 2018-06-28]

MPs consider Lux language promotion centre

Luxembourg plans to create a centre for promoting the Luxembourgish language, responsible for standardising rules on spelling and grammar and streamlining information for language learners.

The “Zenter fir d'Lëtzbuerger Sprooch” would “centralise the various tools and dictionaries, such as lod.lu and spellchecker.lu, so that citizens have just one point of reference to learn the correct way to write Luxembourgish words,” the draft report says.

[Delano; Luxembourg,_LU; 2018-06-27]

How many words do you need to speak a language?

Learning a new language can be tricky, but how many words do you need to know before you can actually get by in a foreign tongue?

Linguists Paul Nation and John Read (who doesn't love a bit of nominative determinism?), along with their colleague Robin Goulden, came up with a test involving only 50 words. Words start off simply enough; dog, editor, immense but they quickly become more obscure, for example would you know how to use "oleaginous" or "cowsucker" in a sentence? And now Paul's free English vocabulary size test, using 100 words, is available online.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-06-24]

Pronunciation is key to mastering the language of the colonialist

Though English is at root Germanic, it has acquired an imposing Mediterranean (Latin and Greek) intellectual roofing which makes the language extremely troublesome, especially for non-European learners.

Among the chief problems posed by the language that England has imposed on much of the human world is that spelling makes it extremely difficult for many learners to master English pronunciation fully. Very often, English spelling violates its own pronunciation rules, making life extremely difficult for classrooms the whole world.

[Daily_Nation; Nairobi,_KE; 2018-06-23]

World Cup Soccer’s Spanish Accent Mark: For Mexico and a Times Editor, It’s a Win-Win

Thanks to Paulina Chavira, an editor at The New York Times en Español, the Mexican national team’s jerseys are finally correct.

It is far from clear what errors the Mexican national team might make this week at soccer’s World Cup on the heels of Sunday’s euphoric victory over Germany, but the team addressed one even before the games started. The way it displays players’ names on its jerseys is, finally, correct.

[New_York_Times,_The; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-06-23]

Spelling bees triumph

In an attempt to promote and conserve indigenous languages in primary schools, the Usiba Loluntu organisation, together with the National Library of South Africa’s Centre for the Book, held an Indigenous Spelling Competition at Ikhwezi Community Hall in Gugulethu on Youth Day. The purpose of the competition is to encourage learners to be proud of their languages­.

[News24; ZA; 2018-06-21]

Welsh Language Commissioner unveils place name list

Is there one "n" or two in Llangran(n)og? And should there be a hyphen in Aber(-)porth?

These are some of the spelling conundrums the Welsh Language Commissioner hopes to solve following the launch of a standardised list. The directory features 3,000 entries and took years to compile. It is hoped it will preserve place names as well as settle debates over contested spellings.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-06-20]

Will we stop speaking and just text?

The young often text more than make calls so is speech itself doomed? Texting may be closer to speech than formal written language.

Live internet vernacular English (let’s call it Live for short) got its real start in the 1990s. Usenet chat groups were sometimes interacting in real time and sometimes responding hours, days or even longer after the original post. IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and instant messaging used text and left a record but were mainly intended to be real-time or very close to it. Because they were a new context and style of use, people played around to discover potentials and to innovate. An early and striking example was a performance of Hamnet, a satirical version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet done in 1993 entirely in IRC.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-06-18]

We are barely functioning, literally

Secondary school students with NCEA Level 2, even those with a few Level 3 credits, are among the large number of people struggling with functional literacy.

If you're reading this and make it beyond the opening paragraphs, congratulations. You're regarded as functionally literate and capable of fully engaging in society. Sadly you represent a group that numbers barely above half the population. According to international research, the other 43 per cent are literate enough for day-to-day living but will survive rather than thrive; they will literally function and little else. The good news is that New Zealand appears to stack up well when compared with other nations. But the bad news runs between the lines of those bald findings. It shows that close to half of those surveyed make it only to level two in a scale that runs to five. That means they can read things like road signs and simple text, enough to get by. However, they will struggle with anything more complex.

[Stuff; Wellington,_NZ; 2018-06-16]

Linguistic change: Implications for teaching

Why study linguistics? Teachers and learners need an understanding of applied linguistics to better understand how languages work and the processes of L1 and L2 acquisition. In this article, I will discuss historical reasons for language change.

[MultiBriefs; Irving,_TX,_US; 2018-06-06]

Clever Illustrations Visually Define the “Same” Words With Different Meanings

Is it soar or sore? Led or lead? If you've ever doubted your spelling or mixed up two words, Homophones, Weakly is for you. For five years, illustrator Bruce Worden made it his mission to ensure that you'd never get your homophones confused again. In case you don't remember, homophones are two or more words having the same pronunciation, but different spelling and meaning.

[My_Modern_Met; CA,_US; 2018-06-04]

Uraeus, Bewusstseinslage, and other wildly obscure words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee

It seems just a bit unfair that Karthik Nemmani, an eighth-grader from Texas, won the 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee by spelling the word koinonia, meaning “the Christian fellowship or body of believers.”

[Big_Think; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-06-01]

US National Spelling Bee: 16 fantastic facial expressions – in pictures

Competitors in the Scripps National Spelling Bee often struggle to contain their emotions when asked to spell obscure or complicated words. This year’s contest featured a record 515 participants, 16 of whom advanced to Thursday night’s televised finals. Karthik Nemmani, 14, from Texas, romped to victory after his opponent failed to correctly spell ‘bewusstseinslage’

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2018-06-01]

I went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee—and felt illiterate

The world of spelling bees is hyper-competitive. Some parents spend as much as $200/hour on tutors (often former Bee participants or champions) to help their kids develop their phonetic and linguistic skills. Spelling bees sound quirky and quaint, but for the competitors and their families, they’re no easy lark—they involve years of training and hard work on the part of both students and their caregivers.

[Quartz; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-06-01]

International English Spelling Congress: live webinar from London

International English Spelling Congress, May 30

The English Spelling Society in the UK and the American Literacy Council present a live broadcast from London of an International Congress with the aim of choosing a new English spelling scheme. People from across the English speaking world will be able to participate in this international debate on the difficulties and problems of the current English spelling system.

[Berkely_Events; Berkely,_CA,_US; 2018-05-30]

How Are Spelling Bee Words Chosen? The Whole Thing Is Quite Mysterious

The annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is more mysterious than you might think. While the event has grown in renown and fandom over its 90-year history, there's still little known about how National Spelling Bee words are chosen — perhaps as little as you know about what the words themselves even mean.

[Bustle; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-05-30]

Why you will never spell anything correctly

English, we have pointed out repeatedly, is not a logical language. That hasn’t prevented attempts to impose logic on it, from people insisting that you can’t split an infinitive in English because you can’t do it in Latin (a twisted sort of logic) to the phonetic movement, which argues that words should be spelled the way they sound.

[Columbia_Journalism_Review; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-05-30]

For some children, reading feels like a cryptic code. We can help them crack it

With many children struggling with reading in some way, there’s a wealth of evidence to help teachers support students

In 2016, an OECD report found English teenagers are the most illiterate in the developed world, with many between the ages of 16 and 19 only having a “basic” grasp of maths and English. Children at risk of reading failure can easily become vulnerable learners, and lose their self-esteem, motivation and confidence without support. These children see reading as a barrier rather than a tool for learning. It’s no wonder, then, that teaching reading is one of the highest priorities in schools.

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2018-05-30]

Donald Trump's Twitter assault on the English language weakens him and America

One must give President Trump credit where it is due: Arguing he is innocent of obstructing justice by threatening to fire the investigator looking into whether he obstructed justice is a novel strategy. It would be like an accused arsonist ordering a judge to find him innocent or he’ll burn her new car to the ground.

[USA_Today; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-05-29]

Why Do We Spell Red Sox With An X?

I was wondering why the Red Sox and the White Sox are spelled with an “x” when the word is “s-o-c-k-s?”

[WGBH; Boston,_MA,_US; 2018-05-29]

Tough English teachers

This is for those tough English teachers who marked you down for such heinous crimes as not using a comma in the right place. At the time it seemed very stupid. But I have changed my thinking about that. It came about when I was looking through Craigslist and as usual was appalled at how rotten people spell nowadays. Someone spelled ‘accessories’ like this: accerraries. An ad for a motorcycle claimed it had new “breaks.” A car ad boasted that it had been “well taken car of.”

[Business_Farmer,_The; Scottsbluff,_NE,_US; 2018-05-24]

Toward International Spelling Congress: London, May 30, 2018

Since the congress is approaching, I decided not to wait for the “May gleanings” (next week) and answer the letters and comments I received. There is nothing in the discussion of Spelling Reform that has not been said many times, so that what follows is not new either.

[OUP_Blog; Oxford,_UK; 2018-05-23]

12 little things that prove English is the most annoying language to learn

People who speak English as a second language are explaining why they have it extremely difficult.

Whether you speak English as a second language or have been fluent since childhood, some things about the language are undeniably frustrating, from grammar to spelling. Reddit user jackandsomefrogs asked people who speak English as a second language on the website to list all of the annoying things that they’ve come up against while learning, and some of them are infuriating. Here are 12 of the best, which you might relate to quite a bit.

[Irish_Independent; Dublin,_IE; 2018-05-20]

Spelling whiz shares her tips to beating the competition: Steady discipline, not a blitzkrieg

Seventh-grader Ananya Vinay won the 2017 spelling bee. Now, she wants to help the next winner.

Ananya spent one to two hours each day studying definitions and roots to prepare for the spelling bee last year. Over time, she could spell hundreds of words in an hour.

[Washington_Post,_The; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-05-20]

Everyone gets British vs. American English wrong -- even Harry and Meghan

It's official, then: Meghan Markle, speaker of Standard American English, is now wed to Prince Harry, speaker of what he might call Grandma's English. And if the experience of expat Americans in the U.K. or Brits in America (like this writer) is any guide, the happy couple have years of fun ahead of them. Literally years in which one of them will utter some word or turn of phrase the other has never heard before.

[Mashable; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-05-19]

Embracing the cattle

TOWARD THE SPELLING CONGRESS, LONDON, MAY 30, 2018

After more than a century of inaction, we should first strive for a political victory and try to persuade the public that something can and should be done. If we succeed in making this step, the rest will take care of itself (with patience and time).

[OUP_Blog; Oxford,_UK; 2018-05-16]

Sats: How hard was today’s Spag test?

More than 600,000 pupils aged 10-11 were tested on their spelling, punctuation and grammar today.

Sats week began today with Year 6 children facing a "tough" spelling paper, as part of the spelling, punctuation and grammar (Spag) test. The test consists of two papers: a 45-minute question-and-answer booklet and a 15-minute spelling test in which the teacher reads out 20 words that the pupils have to write in their answer booklet.

[TES; London,_UK; 2018-05-14]

How hard is it to learn English?

Languages can be complex, but how hard it is to learn them really depends on your starting point, says one observer at the Financial Times.

When I taught English in the Greek port of Piraeus, a colleague and I used to spend idle time in the staff room speculating on what the hardest language in the world might look like. Perhaps there would be different verb endings for each day of the week. Or possibly the form of address might vary according to the height of the person you were talking to. The idea of a hardest language is, of course, nonsense. How difficult a language is depends on your starting point.

[Channel_NewsAsia; Singapore,_SG; 2018-05-04]

EU has no plans to downgrade use of English after Brexit

Despite jokes from Juncker, small print in proposed 2021-27 EU budget confirms position.

The EU’s executive body has no plans to downgrade the use of English after Brexit, despite occasional barbs that the language would be less significant in Europe when the UK leaves the bloc. Buried in the small print of the European commission’s proposed budget for 2021-27 is confirmation that it has no intention to reduce the use of English in its meetings or documents.

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2018-05-04]

Official SATS documentation contained ‘silly and careless’ spelling and grammatical errors

Bosses at the government's school testing department took it on the chin and responded in good humour - but some teachers aren't laughing.

“The DfE and government are piling the pressure on children with ridiculous expectations on grammar and spelling tests at the end of Year 6 but once again they show their own incompetence when they make silly and careless mistakes,” the headteacher told the Manchester Evening News. “Even if their own spelling standard is below that expected for our 10 and 11 year-olds, surely even they can use spell check." In a statement, a Standards and Testing Agency spokesman said: “I before e except after c.”

[Manchester_Evening_News; Manchester,_UK; 2018-05-03]

Etymology gleanings for April 2018

A Turning Point in the History of Spelling Reform?

On 30 May 2018 the long-awaited International Spelling Congress will have its first online meeting. “The Congress is intended to produce a consensus on an acceptable alternative to our current unpredictable spelling system. The goal is an alternative which maximizes improved access to literacy but at the same time avoids unnecessary change.

[OUP_Blog; Oxford,_UK; 2018-04-25]

Emoji Are Ruining Grasp of English, Says Dumbest Language Story of the Week

The award for the stupidest story about language this week (and every week has its candidates) must surely go to the British newspaper The Telegraph for its story headlined “Emoji ‘ruining people’s grasp of English’ because young rely on them to communicate.” Perhaps you’ve noticed how the stoplights during your evening commute (the red disk symbolizing “stop,” the green one meaning “go”), not to mention those pictorial road signs (🚸, etc.) make you all but unable to speak to your family in coherent sentences when you get home? No. Nor have I. Can the headline really be serious?

[Chronicle_of_Higher_Education,_The; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-04-23]

94% Of Brits Think Correct Use Of The Queen's English Is Slipping

research shows that over half (54%) of Brits are not confident with their spelling and grammar skills.

Today on English Language Day, YouTube reveals Brits have turned their backs on the Queen's English and its worldwide use. New research shows that over half (54%) of Brits are not confident with their spelling and grammar skills. In fact, 94% of Brits believe there has been a decline in the correct use of English language. The most common errors made by Brits are spelling mistakes (21%) followed closely by apostrophe placement (16%) and the misuse of a comma (16%). Misplaced commas are not the only cause for concern, more than half of Brits (56%) accuse swapping formal vocabulary for slang language.

[Female_First; Wigan,_UK; 2018-04-23]

The 25 Toughest Winning Words from the National Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee has been a yearly tradition since the 1920s. How would you fare trying to spell these baffling winning words?

Winning word 1928: albumen

[Reader's_Digest; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-04-23]

Teachers in UK report growing 'vocabulary deficiency'

Problem exists throughout primary and secondary school, leading to lower self-esteem and negative behaviour

Teachers are encountering increasing numbers of children with stunted vocabularies – haunting many pupils from primary to secondary school – and they fear “vocabulary deficiency” will hold them back educationally and socially. In response some schools said they had adopted approaches such as highlighting pupils’ use of informal words such as “innit” and encouraging them to improve and widen their use of language. A survey of 1,300 primary and secondary school teachers across the UK found that more than 60% saw increasing incidents of underdeveloped vocabulary among pupils of all ages, leading to lower self-esteem, negative behaviour and in some cases greater difficulties in making friends.

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2018-04-19]

Crying face: Emoji 'are ruining the English language because young people use them to communicate and don't bother with words'

Emoji may be a fun form of communication but they are destroying the English language, a study by Google has revealed.

Smiley faces, love hearts, thumbs up and other cartoon icons - rather than words - are the preferred method of communication by teenagers, who are considered the worst offenders regarding the decline in grammar and punctuation. More than a third of British adults believe emoji are the reason for the deterioration in proper language usage, according to the study commissioned by the Google-owned site YouTube. Of the two thousand adults, aged 16 to 65, who were asked their views, 94 per cent reckoned English was in a state of decline, with 80 per cent citing youngsters as the worst offenders.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2018-04-18]

Emoji leading to 'serious decline' in English skills

Nearly half of British adults are not confident with their grammar and spelling, YouTube research found.

Emoji is the fastest-growing language in history - and it is ruining young people's English skills, research by YouTube has revealed. Nearly everyone the video sharing website asked said they believed there had been a decline in the correct use of English 😢 Of the 2,000 people aged 16 to 65 they surveyed, 94% agreed with the statement, with four out of five saying young people were the worst culprits.

[Sky_News; Isleworth,_UK; 2018-04-18]

English, we hardly knew ye

When the English language finally gives up the ghost, who will mourn it?

I used to think that former English majors might stage a last stand, hunkering down in an abandoned coal tipple outside New Martinsville, W.Va. There, they could issue succinct, well-edited press releases that contained no dangling participles and offering rewards for the creative use of gerunds. But I lost hope when I read an article on Mashable.com that quoted a U.K. English Linguistics lecturer who praised millennials for “breaking the constraints” of written English.” How? By abandoning such useless items as apostrophes (cant, wont didnt, im) and standard capitalization – proper names are not always capitalized, while acronyms are, and brand names or countries may be. Even periods at the ends of sentences are sometimes eliminated because millennials apparently think they are better used to indicate that the texter is angry. As in: “OMG bobby ate all my Fritos I dont like him.” Apparently this is the text equivalent adding extra emphasis as if saying, “I don’t like him. Period!”

[Observer-Reporter; Washington,_PA,_US; 2018-04-16]

Jail pushes out gaol as language modernises

ENGLISH is a brilliant language.

There are endless exceptions to rules, one word can mean multiple and completely different things and of course, some words have different spellings. This sometimes leads to debate over which spelling is correct, not only in Australian usage, but modern usage. One reader queried our spelling of jail in a court story on Thursday, stating it should be gaol, and piquing our sometimes nerdy interest in language, it prompted us to do a bit of digging.

[Central_Western_Daily; Orange,_NSW,_AU; 2018-04-12]

Media bias hinders language learning

When I first heard expats in China say Chinese is the most difficult language in the world, I was flattered and took it as a compliment on my intelligence. After learning English for nearly two decades, I changed my mind.

[Global_Times; Beijing,_CN; 2018-04-12]

Gud Luk, Keeds! Fore Humbolt Stoodents Heded Too Staet Spelin Be

Four students are headed for State Spelling Bee competitions after successfully spelling their way through the 35th Annual Humboldt County Spelling Bee held at the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Sequoia Conference Center.

[Lost_Coast_Outpost; Ferndale,_CA,_US; 2018-04-12]

Think You Know a Word’s Origin? Think Again

A cupboard is more than a board for holding cups, but that is the word’s origin.

When we borrow a word from another language, we often shift its pronunciation and spelling to make it make sense in English, or at least to make it a combination of English words even if they don’t make sense.

[The_Chronicle_of_Higher_Education; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-04-04]

The falling standard of English usage in Nigeria

Keen observers of English language usage in Nigeria would have noticed persistent errors in the spoken or written output of most Nigerians, regardless of status or occupation

Students’ writing and spelling skills have been particularly jeopardised by social media, especially text and email messages, in which nonstandard coinages and abbreviations are employed, which are not allowed in school-work. To worsen the situation, many students don’t read assigned textbooks. Instead, they often rely on class notes and would readily go online to look for information on completing their assignments.

[The_Punch; Lagos,_NG; 2018-04-03]

Millennials destroyed the rules of written English – and created something better

The spelling and grammar rules do not apply on the Millennial Internet™.

Fonteyn says that on a superficial level, we can see millennials stripping anything unnecessary from their writing, like the removal of abbreviation markers in "dont," "cant," "im" and in acronyms like tf, ur, bc, idk, and lol. In a world where most of our conversations take place online, millennials are using a number of written devices to convey things that could typically only be communicated by cadence, volume, or even body language.

[Mashable; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-04-02]

Camille Bordas on Burglaries, Loneliness, and Spelling Problems

Is “ophthalmologist” the hardest word in the English language to spell, or are there better candidates?

[New_Yorker; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-04-02]

Govt plans to change English spellings of district names

On March 29, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam announced an initiative to update the English spellings of Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla, Bogra and Jessore, in accordance with their Bangla pronunciation.

[Dhaka_Tribune; Dhaka,_BD; 2018-04-01]

Pupils' wordplay fun

The focus of the day was on English skills, and children enjoyed a presentation, workshops and a tips session. Special educational needs coordinator Sarah Johnston said: “The workshops were extremely engaging, showing us fun, yet simple linking techniques to improve spelling as well as grammar...

[Halstead_Gazette; Braintree,_UK; 2018-03-31]

Existing between the lines: getting to know my daughter's dyslexia

Dyslexia is a lifelong, inherited condition that affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent reading and spelling. ... She teaches Sunny English the way others learn a second language: explicitly. ... In Canada and the UK, teachers are taught to spot the warning signs and early screening is routine.

[The_Guardian; London,_UK; 2018-03-31]

Cyclopaedia of WORDS

He worked as a lawyer. His most noteworthy work, however, came as a school teacher. As he was unhappy with the curriculum he decided to create his own three part curriculum –a three-part Grammatical Institute of the English Language. It included a spelling book, a grammar book, and a reader.

[The_Hindu; Madras,_IN; 2018-03-31]

The Trump Administration's Constant, Glaring Typos Are a Big Deal

As the English language and spelling historian Simon Horobin pointed out to me, although they have long been used as proxies for intellect, personal spelling and grammar errors almost never truly matter. They rarely affect our ability to discern meaning. English spelling especially, Horobin noted,...

[VICE; Brooklyn,_NY,_US; 2018-03-31]

President Donald Trump is in for a spell of trouble

The US President could use a similar argument to justify the spell he's cast on the English language. Or he could take a leaf out of a literary critic who, when challenged to choose his weapon in a duel with an author known for his unorthodox orthography, said, “I choose spelling: you're dead.” Except...

[Economic_Times; Mumbai,_IN; 2018-03-30]

St. John's Prep eighth grade spelling whiz Will Robson of Marblehead heads to Washington

(Spelling Bee)

By the fifth round, the words were monsters, terrorizing the spellers with their quantity of letters and odd sounding syllables. To someone average like me, I thought some of the words these kids had to spell were gibberish, and not from an English dictionary. Yet Will, along with many others, spelled these...

[Wicked_Local; Marblehead,_MA,_US; 2018-03-30]

Chullikkad And An English Chill

The other children, it seemed, could barely write anything in their own language–whereas I could already spell 'photosynthesis', and was inordinately proud of the fact. Mathematics in particular was a joke. But there was much I had to unlearn as well: I couldn't say four into five anymore; it had to be four...

[Outlook; New_Delhi,_IN; 2018-03-29]

The English evangelist: One man's mission to transform a panchayat in Kerala

Some of the tenets of "Baby Easy English", unveiled at the launch of the project's logo at a press conference in Delhi, include: "Never teach grammar formally or informally"; "If we teach the writing, only after learning to speak, there is no need to teach meaning, spelling and pronunciation"; "correcting...

[THE_WEEK; Tampa,_FL,_US; 2018-03-29]

Fifth-grader wins Connecticut Spelling Bee at USJ

(Spelling Bee)

Webster's Dictionary serves as the final authority for the Scripps National Spelling Bee and its affiliates. Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language is the original source for today's Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Even in his own lifetime, Noah Webster recognized the changing...

[West_Hartford_News; New_Haven,_CT,_US; 2018-03-29]

Trump's spelling is so bad, online dictionaries are seeing an 'unpresidented' boost in traffic

Every time Trump tweets a misspelling or misuses a word, there is a surge in dictionary searches for the "exact configuration" of the letters he used, according to data released by Dictionary.com. These searches indicate people are taking it upon themselves to fact-check the president in real time.

[New_Zealand_Herald; Auckland,_NZ; 2018-03-28]

Trump's spelling is so bad, online dictionaries are seeing 'unpresidented' boost in traffic

Data was not immediately available for Trump gaffes like “hereby,” “Barrack” Obama, “payed,” and “enormously consensual presidency.” But Stamper said she wasn't worried about any damage to the English language inflicted by the misspellings and typos, as high profile as they are. “He does have a...

[Portland_Press_Herald; Portland,_ME,_US; 2018-03-28]

Students receive prizes at spelling bee competition

(Spelling Bee)

FUN Block Edutainment Sdn Bhd (Fun Block) organised its second Spelling Bee competition at Fun Block Hua Ho Manggis Mall recently as a way to ... young children to develop their spelling skills, vocabulary and their public speaking skills to showcase their proficiency in the English Language.

[Borneo_Bulletin; Gadong,_Brunei,_BN; 2018-03-27]

Americans and British people spell things differently largely thanks to one man with an opinion

In the late 1700s, Webster took issue with some of the inconsistencies of British spelling and the troubles they posed for American students learning the language. "Jail," for example, was a much easier word for an English learner to pronounce than "gaol," which was the more popular spelling of the word...

[Business_Insider_(EU); London,_UK; 2018-03-27]

Trump's spelling is so bad, online dictionaries are seeing an 'unpresidented' boost in traffic

Data was not immediately available for Trump gaffes such as “hearby,” “Barrack” Obama, “payed,” and “enormously consensual presidency.” But Stamper said she wasn't worried about any damage to the English language inflicted by the misspellings and typos, as high-profile as they are. “He does have...

[The_Washington_Post; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-03-27]

The Prodigal Tongue, review: why we should all learn to embrace 'American English '

In all the "Pedants' Corner" correspondence I receive, the thing that steams people up more than anything is undoubtedly the use of "Americanisms". Our style guide, like that of many newspapers and broadcasters in the UK, prefers "British English " spellings and formulations. But the amount of copy we …

[iNews; London,_UK; 2018-03-23]

WINNER: Western 8th grader crowned champion at regional spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

Western Middle School 8th-grader Abigail Origer exchanges a smile with Western Intermediate School 4th-grader Khadiga Moawid after the North Central Indiana Regional Spelling Bee is narrowed down to just the two of themon Thursday, March 22, 2018. Origer went on to win the Bee and Moawid …

[Kokomo_Tribune; Kokomo,_IN,_US; 2018-03-23]

Rebekah Zeigler: When it comes to bees, she deserves an 'A-plus'

(Spelling Bee)

What is your favorite dictionary? I like the Merriam-Webster Third Edition. I have two of them. I do not own the Oxford English Dictionary.

[Sauk_Valley; Sterling,_IL,_US; 2018-03-23]

Secret Teacher: we're setting dyslexic children up to feel like failures

This gave me space to develop my creative writing without worrying about perfect spelling. I gained the confidence in myself as a learner – starting out in the remedial maths and English set at school and ending up with a PhD in health education. The picture is very different for the children I teach.

[The_Guardian; London,_UK; 2018-03-23]

The Prodigal Tongue by Lynne Murphy

While the work is certainly scholarly (Murphy is a professor of linguistics) and probes the minutiae of grammar, spelling, phonetics etc., the engaging, thoughtful and humorous approach makes for a readable and informative experience. English is full of inconsistencies and pitfalls and to claim superiority …

[The_Irish_Times; Dublin,_IE; 2018-03-23]

Lynne Barrett Lee: How grammar can suck the joy out of reading and teaching

Because, according to the UK Government's current National Curriculum for English in England, if you don't know your fronted adverbials by the time you are eight, you are … Having to stand and drone at little ones about metalinguistic concepts, before they have a hope in hell of even spelling it?

[Wales_Online; Cardiff,_UK; 2018-03-23]

The North Shore's best pint-sized spellers are coming to Lynn Friday night

(Spelling Bee)

LYNN — Fifty-five spellers will face off Friday night in the largest Daily Item Regional Spelling Bee to date. The bee, which is co-sponsored by Flagship Travel, includes … She is a graduate of Salem State University, where she majored in journalism and English. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

[The_Daily_Item; Lynn,_MA,_US; 2018-03-22]

Le Brief – Roll up, roll up – for free French classes

In between, France's culture minister was Jack Lang – a true Frenchman whose name spelling definitely smacked of English. Nevertheless, France insisted on financing the spread of its language, la Francophonie, through l'Alliance Francaise and other outlets, but it was an uphill battle ultimately …

[EurActiv; Brussels,_BE; 2018-03-21]

WHHS Theatre Workshop to present "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" this weekend

(Spelling Bee)

WHHS alums Mark Hanke and Mark Denny "have come home to play the dads" in the play, said Margaret "Margi" Maher, director of the WHHS Theatre Workshop — and the play — and an English teacher at the high school. The play's principal players include Olivia Coppola as Rona Perritti, Gillian …

[New_Haven_Register; New_Haven,_CT,_US; 2018-03-21]

Students show off spelling acumen

(Spelling Bee)

"I'm doing it because I wanted to challenge myself," said the young Fitchburg resident, whose favorite word in the English language is "mustang." According to his mother, Jennifer Vaughan, Dow didn't seem to take much of an interest in spelling until he started winning competitions held at his school.

[Sentinel_&_Enterprise; Fitchburg,_MA,_US; 2018-03-21]

English teaching: Australia faces a slide into national illiteracy

For 10 years, I ran a first-year professional writing program at Monash University, where we actually taught such things as spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage. It was not uncommon to fail some of the work of students who, in the previous year, had attained spectacularly high marks in VCE English.

[The_Age; Melbourne,_AU; 2018-03-21]

II PU students to get grace marks for English and Physics

Sources said that the subject experts had decided to allot grace marks due to spelling or typographical errors, which led to ambiguity in some of the questions. While 6.9 lakh students, who appeared for the second pre-university examination, will benefit from the grace marks in English, as many as 2.32 …

[The_Hindu; Madras,_IN; 2018-03-21]

Karnataka: Grace marks for Physics, English papers

The decision to grant grace marks has been taken due to grammatical errors, spelling mistakes and typographical errors in the question papers.

[The_New_Indian_Express; New_Delhi,_IN; 2018-03-21]

Mid-Ohio Valley students prepare for Marietta Times Regional Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

With the bated breath of friends and family, Ayers and another 63 local students will compete Friday in The Marietta Times Regional Spelling Bee. The bee will begin … "The hardest category is German (roots) because some of the letters sound different than what they look like or do in English." Matthew …

[The_Parkersburg_News_and_Sentinel; Parkersburg,_WV,_US; 2018-03-21]

Elected to lead, not to proofread': Typos, spelling mistakes are commonplace in Trump's White …

If the past 14 months in the White House are an indication, he and his team also have the worst spelling. Among … Announcing the visit to the White House of British Prime Minister Theresa May, the official schedule misspelled her name three times as "Teresa May," which the London-based Independent …

[The_Washington_Post; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-03-21]

Perez crowned Spanish Spelling Bee winner for second year

(Spelling Bee)

The school held its first Spanish Spelling Bee last year when English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher Emily Francis came across information online about the National Spanish Spelling Bee. She was inspired by the event and decided to give her students the opportunity to participate in their own …

[Independent_Tribune; Concord,_NC,_US; 2018-03-20]

ST now offers SkillsFuture approved English course amid decline in advertising revenue

The seven-hour English course will help participants to avoid common spelling and grammatical errors, ST said. They will also learn how to write e-mails that will get their message across clearly, it added. The ST reporter, Angelina Choy, who is the instructor for the English course also urged people to …

[The_Online_Citizen; Singapore,_SG; 2018-03-20]

Kasapoglu spells his way through eight rounds in state bee

(Spelling Bee)

Spelling it with a "c" instead of a "s," DelMoro finished 9th in round 11. Donna Morelle, former superintendent of Cumberland schools, Martha Correia of Navigant Credit Union, and Leigh Martin, CCRI professor of English, judged the 2018 Rhode Island Spelling Bee Championship. Tom Ward, Valley …

[Valley_Breeze; Lincoln,_RI,_US; 2018-03-20]

II PU English exam blunder: Panel to look into demand for grace marks

While the II Pre-University (PU) students on Saturday wrote their English paper which had several grammatical and spelling errors, the PUE department has now asked for students to file their objections. The PUE department will now not take a call on the grace marks and an independent committee will …

[Bangalore_Mirror; Bangalore,_IN; 2018-03-19]

Narayana student emerges Spell Bee champ

(Spelling Bee)

Mr. Mahesh Shetty, COO, Entertainment Network (India) Limited said, "Every year Spell Bee is connecting more integrally with students, parents and teachers. Having started off as a spelling competition, it is today a landmark event that propagates the education of the English language at the highest …

[The_Hans_India; Hyderabad,_IN; 2018-03-19]

Migrant children top the class in Australia, OECD report finds

NAPLAN results last year revealed children who grew up speaking a language other than English were outperforming native English speakers in spelling in some states. The OECD report goes further, showing how well specific migrants groups perform at school. Associate Professor Ken Cruickshank, …

[The_New_Daily; Melbourne,_AU; 2018-03-19]

Bee provides valuable lessons

(Spelling Bee)

For Grace McKeegan, victory was spelled “Moscow” Saturday afternoon. That was the winning word in Saturday’s Jefferson-Harrison County Regional Spelling Bee, Presented by the Herald-Star.

[The_Herald_Star; Steubenville,_OH,_US; 2018-03-18]

Lucknow girl tops in International Benchmark Test, secures 100 percentile in English

IBT is an internationally administered programme of assessments with tests appropriate for grades 3 to 10 in subjects like English, Mathematics, Science and Arabic Language (A and B).

"Anahita has topped in all five skills of English language that includes comprehension, grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary by achieving 100th percentile in the IBT," said senior principal Manjit Batra who awarded her a cash prize of Rs 50,000. "I aspire to join the Indian Foreign Services.

[Hindustan_Times; New_Delhi,_IN; 2018-03-17]

Local professor serves as pronouncer for the 2018 Regional Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

Dr. Thomas DuBose is an English professor at LSU-Shreveport and the pronouncer for this year's regional spelling bee. "As and English teacher and a linguist I'm very conscientious of pronunciation but, a lot of young people are going to be depending on this going well for them and I don't want to …

[KTBS; Shreveport,_LA,_US; 2018-03-17]

The decimation of the English language

Partly because it incorporates so many other languages, and partly because of the rich traditions of Western culture, English is the most expressive, … to a need for all of us to take seriously the need to safeguard our language, not to consign that duty to " spell-check," which often produces these errors.

[American_Thinker; El_Cerrito,_CA,_US; 2018-03-16]

Am I OK with my son oinking in Swedish?'

More than half of Europeans speak more than one language, and 90% of Swedes do - with English by far the most popular second language. I'm still surprised … That means my wife speaks Swedish to our son and I speak English. … Well, the Swedish spell it "mu", but it's basically pronounced the same.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-03-16]

Northwest Louisiana Regional Spelling Bee to be held Saturday at LSU-S

(Spelling Bee)

(SHREVEPORT, LA) - The best young spellers in the area will go head-to-head Saturday competing in the Northwest Louisiana Regional Spelling Bee. LSUS and KTBS/KPXJ CW 21 are sponsoring this year's event which will be held in University Center Theater on March 17 at Louisiana State …

[KTBS; Shreveport,_LA,_US; 2018-03-16]

Dedham students face off in annual spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

This past Friday March 9, the annual Dedham Education Foundation [DEF] Spelling Bee was held at the Middle School. At the event, teams from the middle school and elementary schools went head to head in a competition of letters, using all they have learned about the intricacies of English word to …

[Wicked_Local_Dedham; Needham,_MA,_US; 2018-03-16]

Navajo Spellers Compete To Go To National Bee

(Spelling Bee)

A century later, these brutal methods were shut down, but Northern Arizona University professor Manley Begay said English has become the dominant language. "When you come from this historical trauma impact on language use, it's amazing any Native child is actually competing in the spelling bee …

[Fronteras; Phoenix,_AZ,_US; 2018-03-15]

LSUS to host regional spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark and KTBS-TV anchor/reporter T.W. Starr will welcome the students, parents, teachers and guests present for the event, and Starr will serve as moderator. LSUS English professors Dr. Thomas Dubose and Dr. Jason Rachal will serve as pronouncer and recorder, respectively …

[Shreveport_Times; Shreveport,_LA,_US; 2018-03-15]

English swearing's European origins

To decipher the code, we have to bear in mind the differences in both the alphabet and spelling between then and now: the letter "w" did not exist, instead, one could use "vv" to represent this sound. You could also use "j" in the place of "i", and "v" in the place of "u". Fuck also appears in Middle English …

[The_Conversation; London,_UK; 2018-03-15]

How handwriting is helping EAL pupils to leap the language barrier

With more than one million children aged between five and 15 in UK schools for whom English is an additional language (EAL), teachers have to work hard … Another study of children aged nine to 10, published in 2015, found that handwriting improved students' spelling and composition, because the …

[The_Guardian; London,_UK; 2018-03-15]

Fourth-grade spelling whiz from Friendswood crams for state contest

(Spelling Bee)

"I quiz him on his words and I try to help him understand the meaning, but because English isn't my mother tongue I can't always hear the words like he does," she said. "He can hear sounds that I can't." With the next competition fast approaching, Alexander said he's looking for the win. "I want to go to …

[Chron; Houston,_TX,_US; 2018-03-14]

Food Truck Race, Ice Breakers, Buoy, Craeft

Pronunciation of English words isn't always easy. There really are solid rules about spelling, but those rules all have exceptions. And it doesn't help that as spellings and grammar were getting locked down in the 1800s, the clowns who wrote the rulebooks got weird, horrible ideas and now we have to …

[Rhino_Times; Greensboro,_NC,_US; 2018-03-14]

Belvidere's Mera Moucharrafie wins regional spelling bee title

(Spelling Bee)

MACHESNEY PARK — Nothing seemed to faze 13-year-old Mera Moucharrafie Wednesday night at the 35th annual Boone Winnebago Regional Spelling Bee, but her hands gave her away. "I was so nervous at the end. I could barely pick up the microphone," Moucharrafie said. "My hands were so …

[Rockford_Register_Star; Rockford,_IL,_US; 2018-03-14]

10 words English borrowed from Swedish (and what they really mean)

While the protective medieval glove known as gauntlet has French origins, the other word with the same spelling – as in, to run the gauntlet – has an entirely separate back story. The second version is derived from the earlier English gantlope, taken from "gatlopp", which as the Swedish speakers may …

[The_Local; Stockholm,_SE; 2018-03-14]

What made the difference

The smallest things can totally change the course of your life

Now I can look back on that day and laugh at how a silly little country girl thought that she had it all figured out, and how her Southern accent had humbled her back to reality. She now understands the difference between what she thought that she was “post” to do and what she learned that she was supposed to do. And what a difference that has made.

[The_Sand_Mountain_Reporter; Albertville,_AL,_US; 2018-03-14]

Rhode Island State Spelling Bee in Lincoln Saturday

(Spelling Bee)

LINCOLN – Local district spelling bee winners will gather together this Saturday, March 17, for a chance at being named the state's top speller. The Rhode … Other judges are Martha Correia, of Navigant Credit Union, and Leigh Martin, an English professor at the Community College of Rhode Island.

[Valley_Breeze; Lincoln,_RI,_US; 2018-03-14]

Yankton Adult Spelling Bee Looking For Competitors

(Spelling Bee)

Anyone who wants assistance, can call 605-760-4803 to sign up for personalized tutoring in math, spelling, reading, writing or English as a Second Language. Books are given away at the Kid's Art Fest, sponsored by Yankton Area Arts, May 29 in Riverside Park from 5-7:30, on May 29 this year, and at …

[Yankton_Daily_Press_&_Dakotan; Yankton,_SD,_US; 2018-03-14]

SATs exam papers cancelled at Indian Queens Primary School after investigation

"Following an investigation into the administration of the 2017 Key Stage 2 tests at Indian Queens Community Primary School, the English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling (paper 2) and mathematics (paper 3) test results were annulled," a Department for Education spokesperson said …

[Cornwall_Live; Truro,_UK; 2018-03-13]

John Muir Middle School student finishes second in spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

With help from her father, Yogendra Chechi, and her English teacher, Ted DeVirgilis, Mihika said she studied the official list of words given to contestants. Fortunately for her, the list of words was the same as the one she received last year, saying that she did not have to spend too much time memorizing …

[Los_Angeles_Times; Los_Angeles,_CA,_US; 2018-03-13]

Future nuclear physicist faces second Scripps spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

Now in its 90th year, the annual contest of words known as the Scripps National Spelling Bee was started by the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, as a way to promote literacy and appreciation for the English language. Students compete first in their home states. Each year the state event is hosted …

[VTDigger; Montpelier,_VT,_US; 2018-03-13]

Spelling Bee, a competition for all brave learners

(Spelling Bee)

Primary school students from various schools displayed their English skill and battled it out until the very end. Some left unhappy as they did not make it to the finals, others were ecstatic as they were crowned finalists. Each finalist received a certificate from Waiden Strachan just a few days after the …

[Westside_Eldos; Johannesburg,_ZA; 2018-03-13]

Charleston's Ranitha Kumarasinghe advances to National Spelling Bee

"He's very self-motivated, and he just works very hard," Roma Wallen said. "He reaches well beyond what our expectations are," added Matt Wallen. Asher said it also helped that his eighth-grade English teacher, Chris Garner, taught him to recognize spelling patterns and root words from various...

[Charleston_Post_Courier; Charleston,_SC,_US; 2018-03-09]

Teddy Roosevelt's Bold (But Doomed) Battle to Change American Spelling

"Mr. Carnegie has long been convinced that English might be made the world language of the future, and thus one of the influences leading to universal peace," the New York Times reported. "He believes that the chief obstacle to its speedy adoption is to be found in its contradictory and difficult spelling.".

[History; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-03-09]

Yeh Yi-jin finishes last in Tainan primary after calling for scrapping of 'BoPoMoFo'

Yeh Yi-jin drops to dead last in Tainan mayoral race after suggesting Taiwan's Zhuyin phonetic system be replaced with Chinese Pinyin

... to pronunciation of English words. Some netizens suggested that once the country moved to pinyin, she would call for the phasing out of Chinese characters entirely, and how ridiculous that would be since there are so many words that are have the exact same spelling in pinyin. One netizen listed out...

[Taiwan_News; Taipei_City,_TW; 2018-03-09]

How to get spelling right at key stage 2

Most of them did get 10 out of 10. Full marks, week in, week out. And yet, the writing in children's books looked more like something not in English but in another language, with random strings of letters seemingly thrown together. So we began the process of improving pupils' spelling by introducing more...

[TES; London,_UK; 2018-03-09]

Good luck, spellers: Livingston County youth vie for national bee

(Spelling Bee)

The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies and learn concepts and correct English usage that will help them throughout their lives. It also provides another opportunity for the region's academically-talented students to step into...

[The_Livingston_County_News; Geneseo,_NY,_US; 2018-03-09]

The many colours in our lives

"Color" is American English spelling. The additional "u" in British usage makes this well-rounded adjective, part of official Indian usage. "Losing colour" refers to colour fading on fabric or a variety of surfaces and textures, including hair. "Turning white" describes a human being losing colour and becoming...

[The_Tribune; Chandigarh,_IN; 2018-03-09]

Our common language, up to a point

In U.S. English, we use the verb ending –ize, and British English uses -ise. Noted. Nothing could be simpler to understand. But, Lynne Murphy points out, the –ize suffix was original in British and American spelling, and survives in both. In the nineteenth century, Noah Webster favored the -ize suffix while...

[Baltimore_Sun; Baltimore,_MD,_US; 2018-03-08]

Royalton 8th-grader wins Lakes Spelling Bee, headed to Washington DC

(Spelling Bee)

Royalton eight-grade speller Chloe Holoman (right) embraces her mother after spelling "einkorn" to win the 2018 Lakes Spelling Bee in Staples. ... Those three words‚–featuring nuanced pronunciations and difficult, non-English roots‚–Royalton eighth-grader Chloe Holoman had to spell correctly to...

[Brainerd_Dispatch; Brainerd,_MN,_US; 2018-03-08]

REMALJ Jolly Clinic sensitizes over 20 basic and preschool teachers on Jolly Phonics

In a bid to rescue children from reading and learning difficulties which is one of the major problems most Ghanaian youths are battling with, REMALJ Jolly Clinic, an NGO has moved to organize a 2-day training workshop which witnessed over 20 basic and preschool teachers within the Accra Metropolis...

[GhanaWeb; Accra,_GH; 2018-03-08]

Julie Washington's Quest to Get Schools to Respect African-American English

The speech pathologist believes that helping kids switch seamlessly between dialects is a key to their success.

The girl‚–4 years old, homeless, and a heavy speaker of the dialect known as African-American English, or AAE‚–listened attentively as Washington .... AAE-speaking kids are presented with an enormous number of words that are all pronounced the same yet spelled in nonsensically different ways.

[The_Atlantic; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-03-08]

Solano County speller takes the top prize with 'vengeance'

(Spelling Bee)

At about 7:45 p.m., in the sixth round, one hour and 45 minutes after the 2018 Solano County Elementary Spelling Bee started, word pronouncer Dave ... trophy as he fielded a few questions near the stage, Diego said he had always "been good at ELA," using the acronym for English Language Arts.

[The_Reporter; Denver,_CO,_US; 2018-03-08]

Spelling bee: Wichita Falls ISD to host district event

(Spelling Bee)

The contest aims to help competitors ratchet up their vocabularies and improve spelling while absorbing concepts and correct English usage. This year's district bee is smaller than the regional since it isn't drawing from 17 area counties, but about the same number of WFISD students are competing as...

[Times_Record_News; Wichita_Falls,_TX,_US; 2018-03-08]

Fifth-grader makes 'bee'-line to spelling title

(Spelling Bee)

28 during the Plymouth-Canton Community Literacy Council's fifth annual Youth Spelling Bee. ... Andrea Hug explained the goal of CLC is to "assist adults who have limited English language abilities in developing vital reading, writing and communication skills" to help them participate in their community...

[Hometownlife; Northville_Township,_MI,_US; 2018-03-07]

Words take spellers to top

(Spelling Bee)

The second regional spelling bee held in Kimberley proved to be a huge success, with a lot of fun, through the inclusion of vernacular languages Afrikaans, Tswana, Xhosa and English. The competition, lauded for bringing together some of the brightest learners of nine local schools, took place at the...

[News24; ZA; 2018-03-07]

Spelling bee winners battle for top spot

(Spelling Bee)

The Dillingham elementary and middle school spelling bee was held last week, with several students taking home awards for their command of English spelling. August Reigh took the third grade championship spot, while Gunnar Johansen was named fourth-grade champ and the second place winner...

[Bristol_Bay_Times; Anchorage,_AK,_US; 2018-03-05]

Student wins with "insubordinate" at Japan Times Bee

(Spelling Bee)

Forty-one students from elementary and middle schools around Japan participated in the ninth Japan Times Bee on Saturday in Tokyo, with one spelling star advancing to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington this May. This year's winner was 14-year-old Hanna Yoshida, an eighth-grader...

[Kyodo_News_Plus; Tokyo,_JP; 2018-03-05]

Top spellers face off at Scripps Regional Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

The Bee helps students to increase their vocabulary, improve their spelling and develop improved English usage. Each of the competitors had to win a spelling bee at their own schools to advance to the regional Spelling Bee. To watch the competition online, go to guampdn.com, beginning 9 a.m....

[Pacific_Daily_News; Hagåtña,_Guam,_US; 2018-03-04]

Ionia County Literacy Council prepares for 'Great Grown-up Spelling Bee' fundraiser April 19

Executive Director Janet Balice said tutors are available to work with students who need help with reading, writing, math and English-speaking skills. That's important, because statistics show that lack of literacy can lead to a variety of struggles during their lifetimes. "It's a quality of life issue. Reading...

[Sentinel-Standard; Ionia,_MI,_US; 2018-03-04]

I'm a cacographer, and here's 'y'

(Spelling Bee)

If "language is wine upon the lips," as Virginia Woolf espoused, English is sometimes the language of winos. Take that pesky letter "Y"; is it a vowel or ... Alaska's recent 26th BizBee competition. I was a judge, which is painfully ironic, since I exemplify one of the spelling words, cacography (bad spelling).

[Fairbanks_Daily_News-Miner; Fairbanks,_AK,_US; 2018-03-03]

MSUM Spelling Bee Raises Awareness for Cancer Research

(Spelling Bee)

"I'm an English major but I've always had autocorrect so I'm absolutely terrified I'm going to make a complete fool of myself," said Logan Peterson, a spelling bee participant. All of the words are in some way connected to cancer. "We wanted to make it easy enough but also hard enough so we didn't run...

[KVRR; Fargo,_ND,_US; 2018-03-03]

Spelling bee

Like that last sentence, it passed the spell check but there are too misspells in it. Hour English language is complicated buy its spelling variations. As a rationalization for pour or week spelling, one teacher friend of mine often said, "It takes a poor brain to know only one way to spell a word." In the recent...

[Swnews4u; Lancaster,_WI,_US; 2018-03-03]

Los Lunas Middle School seventh-grader wins Spanish Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

Winners of the Los Lunas Schools district Spanish Spelling Bee are third-place winner Los Lunas Middle School seventh-grader Sara Guzmán Nuñez, left, second-place winner Ann Parish ... Second-place winner Michelle Castillo's winning word was "esfinge," which in English translates to "sphinx.".

[Valencia_County_News_Bulletin; Belen,_NM,_US; 2018-03-03]

Ardent about spelling

(Spelling Bee)

Joel Chandler of Grace Christian School smiles Tuesday, moments after being declared the winner of the Cloverleaf Spelling Bee. This year's contest was held at ... My mom's got an English degree, and I've got an English education degree, so he comes by it honestly," she said. Final competitive shot.

[Herald_Palladium; St_Joseph,_MI,_US; 2018-03-02]

'Woah' shows no sign of being reined in

The earliest spelling of the sound in English is "ho," and traces to about 1374, the Oxford English Dictionary says. It's also been spelled "whoo," "who," whoe, "whoh," "wogh," "woa," etc. The "whoa" spelling first showed up around 1467, the OED says, though the verb form wasn't recorded until about...

[Columbia_Journalism_Review; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-03-01]

Delaware State Spelling Bee set for Saturday

(Spelling Bee)

Seventy-six public, private and home schools across the state have registered to compete this year, according to Anne Marie Eanes, chair of St. Mark's English Department and spelling bee coordinator. The bee is open to the public but to avoid the potential for distractions, very young children will not be...

[Delaware_State_News; Dover,_DE,_US; 2018-03-01]

America claims its stake in the Spanish language

Ever since the 1990s, linguistic policies and norms – including the content of dictionaries, grammar books and spelling guides – have enjoyed a broad consensus. This was made possible through cooperation between the RAE and the Association of Spanish Academies (ASALE), which represents 23...

[El_Pais; Madrid,_ES; 2018-03-01]

CMS 7th-grader to represent Cartersville at district spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

Sixth-grade English language arts teacher Kim Poe, the middle school's spelling bee coordinator, said Grey will "represent the school system very well" at the district competition. "I was lucky enough to have Grey in my class last year," she said, noting he won the sixth-grade spelling bee last year but...

[Daily_Tribune_News; Cartersville,_GA,_US; 2018-02-24]

A rough guide through the various sounds of English

[letter] In his Feb. 17 Free for All letter, William A. Hall pointed out that the syllable "ough" has at least four other sounds ["A rough pronunciation guide"].

[The_Washington_Post; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-02-24]

Area schools to compete in spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

North Ridge Middle School English language arts teacher Christy Wagers said she has "four great kids" that are eager to compete in this year's spelling bee. "We started practicing at the end of October," she said. "We practiced once a week until Christmas break, and now we've been practicing twice a...

[Danville_Commercial_News; Danville,_IL,_US; 2018-02-23]

Mea Culpa: How to read the writing on the wall — you need a Daniel

Ancient stories, arbitrary spelling rules and an inverted inference in this week’s Independent

The difference with principle, meaning basic rule, and which comes from the same Latin root (princeps, first, chief), is one of the more pointless and arbitrary conventions of modern English spelling. But pointless and arbitrary spelling conventions are one of the ways we advertise our command of the...

[Independent; London,_UK; 2018-02-23]

P.4 boy commits suicide after failing spelling test

We gave the boy a spelling exercise, but he failed to spell the words correctly. We encouraged him that he would master spelling the words with more practice.

After failing an English spelling exercise at home, 13-year-old Kenneth Were promised his grandfather he would improve the next time.

[New_Vision; Kampala,_UG; 2018-02-23]

Inside the OED: can the world's biggest dictionary survive the internet?

For centuries, lexicographers have attempted to capture the entire English language. Technology might soon turn this dream into reality — but will it spell the end for dictionaries?

In her office at Oxford University Press, Paton was drafting a brand new entry for the Oxford English Dictionary.

[The_Guardian; London,_UK; 2018-02-23]

Poor English results attributed to neglect of local languages, not slang

Educational authorities as a first step, should aim at persuading the unwilling public to accept education through the local language

Such teachers who are not proficient in English themselves rely more on drilling and memorisation of knowledge so as to maintain an appearance of 'doing the lesson', while little learning is actually taking place. Hence their students will have difficulty in grammar, spelling, tenses, punctuations and...

[New_Vision; Kampala,_UG; 2018-02-22]

SGMS Spelling Bee Winners Advance To Conference

(Spelling Bee)

Ashley Mertzlufft and Kelly Jokerst, SGMS English teachers, were the judges. The winners advance to compete on Tuesday, February 27, at the conference spelling bee at North County High School. The alternate (runner-up), will participate if one of the winners is unavailable. (Photos, information from...

[Ste._Genevieve_Herald; Ste._Genevieve,_MO,_US; 2018-02-22]

Dufour is county's spelling bee champ for second year in a row

(Spelling Bee)

We're going to be here a long time," joked first-year bee coordinator Denise Hunt, also the center's gifted coordinator. For Hunt, the bee isn't just about the English language. "I wanted to make sure the students knew that there's more lessons than just spelling happening here," she told the Star Beacon.

[The_Star_Beacon; Ashtabula,_OH,_US; 2018-02-22]

Magnanimous' wins spelling bee for Morgan

(Spelling Bee)

[subscription] The Watertown Daily Times annual Spelling Bee was held Tuesday night at Watertown High School. The spellers are from back, left: Sophia Bittorf, Garrett Heth, Skylar Morgan, Zander Koellen, Madeline Kilps, Anna Schmid, Kayla Fillmore, Anna Huffstutler and Mikaylah Fessler. Front row, Dylan...

[Watertown_Daily_Times; Watertown,_WI,_US; 2018-02-22]

MVMS seventh grader wins local spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

Marblehead Veterans Middle School seventh grade English teacher Laura Nash said that Thursday's spelling bee was "by far the furthest we've ever gotten," in terms of competition rounds. In the end, there were four out of 18 students who fought doggedly to advance to the regionals; Massimo Bottari,...

[Wicked_Local; Marblehead,_MA,_US; 2018-02-22]

Warrensburg-Latham second-grader aces Braille Challenge

"It was spelling tests and proofreading and normal reading, and I answered the questions," Olivia said. Olivia won her age group and was awarded an iPad, ... English-speaking countries adopted a common format known as Unified English Braille in 2016. Even with Braille, books for the blind are much...

[Herald_&_Review; Decatur,_IL,_US; 2018-02-21]

Issues In Academic Writing In Higher Education

While this isn't an issue for most English-first students, many international students can find it challenging to use syntax accurately and may have problems with spelling. There is no quick fix to this issue. The major problem with not being able to use proper grammar or spelling is that a teacher who is...

[Nibletz; Opelika,_AL,_US; 2018-02-21]

Seventh-grader takes Avon spelling bee title

(Spelling Bee)

The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies and learn concepts and correct English usage that will help them throughout their lives. For more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, go to spellingbee.com.

[The_Livingston_County_News; Geneseo,_NY,_US; 2018-02-21]

Former education minister blames complacent parents for school results

"Kids from non English-speaking backgrounds are doing better in Australian schools than Australian kids with English-speaking backgrounds - in the same schools," ... For example, the average spelling score for year 3 students from a non English-speaking background was 31 points higher than for their...

[The_Sydney_Morning_Herald; Sydney,_NSW,_AU; 2018-02-21]

Manchacha' or 'Man-chac'?

The history of Texas (Mis)pronunciations

"Koening (pronounced Kay-nig) Lane" -- the German pronunciation of that lane would be 'Koo,' but the 'Koo' is not a sound that exists in English or ... Perkins is now working with Austin City District 3 Council Member Sabino "Pio" Renteria to formally change the spelling of the road from "Manchaca" to...

[WFAA; Dallas,_TX,_US; 2018-02-21]

Spelling matters

Although languages are alive and always changing, the impact of digital personal communication on the written English is more pervasive and poses a greater threat to coherent and constructive written communication than anything we've seen. Schools should emphasize correct spelling as an...

[Wilkes_Journal_Patriot; North_Wilkesboro,_NC,_US; 2018-02-21]

Growsmart kicks off its ninth year of boosting quality education for Western Cape children

The programme started out nine years ago as a humble English spelling competition to help boost literacy. Since then, it has helped thousands of children and hundreds of teachers. It has expanded to include literacy, story writing, maths, and science. As a measure of its success, its story writing initiative...

[eProperty_News; Melrose_Arch,_Gauteng,_ZA; 2018-02-20]

Cumberland County spellers battle incredible 53 rounds

(Spelling Bee)

Kendal, for whom English is a second language, sees similarities between computer coding and learning all the rules for spelling. Her parents are Dr. Ne Win, a physician at the VA Medical Center, and Kathleen Chug. She'll now be focusing on preparing for her second trip to Washington for the national ...

[The_Fayetteville_Observer; Fayetteville,_NC,_US; 2018-02-16]

Love of reading helps Beverlye Magnet School's Chaz Spence win Houston County Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

Chaz Spence said that a good foundation in reading helped him win a county spelling bee and advance to the state spelling bee, which will be held in Alabaster ... He said that the toughest part of correct spelling is remembering all the words in the English language that are exceptions to common rules.

[Dothan_Eagle; Dothan,_AL,_US; 2018-02-15]

Steinbach advances to Multi-Regional State Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

Steinbach advances to Multi-Regional State Spelling Bee ... Indus School student Chase Steinbach participated in the Regional Spelling Bee Feb. ... Benefits for students include improved spelling, increased vocabulary, learning concepts, developing correct English usage, developing poise in public ...

[International_Falls_Journal; International_Falls,_MN,_US; 2018-02-15]

McKayla Long is top spelling star at East Clinton Middle School

(Spelling Bee)

Seventh-grader John Orchard and sixth-grader Austin Hodson finished close behind, tying for the runner-up position. To determine finalists for the annual school-wide bee, students recently participated in preliminary Spelling Bee competitions in their English Language Arts classes. Grade-level finalists ...

[Wilmington_News_Journal; Wlimington,_OH,_US; 2018-02-15]

Patient spellers take spelling bee 12 rounds

(Spelling Bee)

In 1998, Lewis began the spelling bee tradition. "I was so pleased to come back one more time for the spelling bee," she said. All middle school students participated in a classroom bee in their English classes. The top three spellers from each class participated in a grade-level bee to decide the top five ...

[California_Democrat; California,_MO,_US; 2018-02-14]

Adult spelling bee returns in April; teams of 4 can sign up now

(Spelling Bee)

The Literacy Project is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that provides all levels of English language tutoring to adults and children through volunteerism and financial support. Adult, middle school, and family and children programs are available for free. For more information about the programs offered by ...

[Vail_Daily_News; Vail,_CO,_US; 2018-02-14]

Top spellers honored at Hilltop

(Spelling Bee)

The contest came down to the "Words of Champions" round where eighth grader Zion Anderson eked past fifth grader Cailyn Moore by correctly spelling the word "yacht" to end the round, and the earn the first place trophy. "The students were amazing!" said English teacher Melissa Nesbitt who ...

[Chinook_Observer; Long_Beach,_WA,_US; 2018-02-13]

GREGARIOU-S'

(Spelling Bee)

USING THE METHOD of "writing" out words with her finger on her palm, Lyric Marler took first place at the 2018 Mildred Maupin Spelling Bee on Tuesday night. Banner photo, DANIEL GUY ... "They also showed they have a true love and excitement for English language arts." Though their teachers had ...

[Cleveland_Daily_Banner; Cleveland,_TN,_US; 2018-02-13]

Shifa wins National Spelling Bee contest

(Spelling Bee)

Together with her parents, Mr Kassim Amankwa-Gabbey and Madam Diata Soalihn, Shifa expressed her gratitude to the school for the overwhelming reception accorded her and was grateful to her teachers, especially her English teacher and coach, Mr Seth Kofi Owusu for his assistance.

[Graphic_Online; Accra,_GH; 2018-02-13]

Eighth-grader at Portland's Lyman Moore Middle School wins Cumberland County Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

James Boswell was a Scottish lawyer and writer best known for his biography of English writer Samuel Johnson. Scala will join all the other county champions at the Maine State Spelling Bee at Hannaford Hall on the campus of the University of Southern Maine in Portland on March 24. Stefan Bell, an ...

[Portland_Press_Herald; Portland,_ME,_US; 2018-02-13]

Master that spelling: When to write 'ch' or 'tch' in a word

One of the most important things to heed in English language spelling is that the language combines several other languages especially Latin and Greek. This leaves the language so rich in vocabulary but also comes with disturbing variations in spellings as well. Many sounds are not written as they ...

[The_New_Times; Kigali,_RW; 2018-02-13]

Henley Middle School student wins county spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

Bouber said she studies lists of spelling bee words from previous years and expands her vocabulary by reading in her free time. Her favorite word is also the longest one in the Oxford English Dictionary: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, "a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash.".

[Charlottesville_Tomorrow; Charlottesville,_VA,_US; 2018-02-12]

This week in Fairbanks: BizBee, GoRedForWomen

(Spelling Bee)

The agency helps people learn to read, write and speak English, as well as manage some computer skills to better function in everyday life. This evening celebrates all those programs, but it is often an intense and suspenseful evening, as the teams sometimes struggle to correctly spell words for the ...

[Fairbanks_Daily_News-Miner; Fairbanks,_AK,_US; 2018-02-12]

How to Re-Invigorate Your Language in Five Easy Steps

Throughout my more than half century, I had heard, learned, and experienced everything in English and so very little of my language. I butted my head into a ... I wheedle and charge and retreat at the director of the spelling bee to open it up and allow me to enroll my son's school into it but it is a no go.

[Intercontinental_Cry; Winnipeg,_MB,_CA; 2018-02-12]

Evans: In honor of Mardi Gras, a primer on some more unusual names

Within a few years, Mardi became the most common spelling, surely influenced by Mardi Gras' fame. ... English names for days of the week have also been used as first names or nicknames. ... In 2016, there were 50 Wednesdays born in the United States, along with 46 Sundays (12 spelled "Sundae").

[Omaha_World-Herald; Omaha,_NE,_US; 2018-02-12]

McCauley wins Spelling Bee on 'adios'

(Spelling Bee)

In the 12th round, Morenci's McCauley correctly spelled the word "adios" to win the 2018 Greenlee County Spelling Bee and advance to the state bee on ... Pictured are, back, from left, fifth- grade teacher Rebecca Nations, Greenlee County Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Powers and English ...

[Eastern_Arizona_Courier; Safford,_AZ,_US; 2018-02-11]

Is it really that difficult to learn Dutch?

It rhymes with "knee" in English! But unlike in English, you do pronounce the "k" and the "ie" is always pronounced the same. Just compare the words "babies" and "cries". Can you see that the spelling has nothing to do with the pronunciation? At least in Dutch, the pronunciation is logical and consistent.

[IamExpat; Amsterdam,_NL; 2018-02-11]

UAE- 'Xenolith' helps student win Dh25,000 spelling bee prize

(Spelling Bee)

Shaun Fernandes, 15, claimed the grand prize of Dh25,000 at Kellogg's Coco Pops Spelling Bee Championship held at Dubai Parks and Resorts, besides winning an all-expense paid trip to Washington ... Zone winner for Northern Emirates: Prajod CP, Grade 9, Our Own English High School, Fujairah.

[Menafn; Amman,_JO; 2018-02-11]

General Court confirms rejection of FACK JU GÖHTE; rare application of Article 7(1)(f)

(blog) Secondly, it was argued that the spelling 'fuck ju' is different from 'fuck you' and that the mark at issue is distinctive, satirical and ironic, which can be easily understood by the relevant public. The court stated that it was clear that this was a phonetical transcription in German of the English expression 'fuck ...

[World_Trademark_Review; London,_UK; 2018-02-11]

Broomfield fifth-grader casts winning spell at regional competition

(Spelling Bee)

Henry has been in every school spelling bee since third-grade, and participated in the regional once before in fourth grade. Like Bao, Henry is also interested in subjects other than English. "I want to be an engineer," he said. Henry's sister Gretta, a fifth-grader, also participated in the regional with him.

[Boulder_Daily_Camera; Boulder,_CO,_US; 2018-02-10]

Why we are so charmed by Tharoor's English

Also, because English is the language of aspiration and advancement in India. Not so long ago, children were told to circle difficult words in newspaper editorials and learn them. This is why Indian kids abroad regularly win spelling bee contests. They notice language, having grown up with more than ...

[The_Times_of_India; Mumbai,_IN; 2018-02-10]

Seventh-grader, fifth-grader win Gainesville Schools district spelling bees

(Spelling Bee)

Hannah said her dad taught English and she's always liked reading more than math or science, which is why she thinks she's good at spelling. She was nervous, but even so she beat 17 other students after 11 rounds to win the bee with the word "infraction." Ella Beccue, a fifth-grader at Centennial Arts ...

[Gainesville_Times; Gainesville,_GA,_US; 2018-02-09]

25th Times-News Spelling Bee is Thursday, Feb. 15

(Spelling Bee)

First prize also includes a $100 Series EE U.S. Savings Bond, an Encyclopedia Britannica online premium subscription, a Merriam-Webster unabridged online subscription, and a Spelling Bee Champion plaque. The pronouncer for the T-N Spelling Bee is Linda Lee, a former high school English teacher ...

[Burlington_Times_News; Fairport,_NY,_US; 2018-02-08]

How Amazon Alexa Will Forever Change How We Name Companies

Way back in 2007, a news aggregator named Grazr made sense--it was an odd spelling for the English word grazer. But how do you pronounce it? Users could say "gray-zer" or "graaah-zer" and, who knows, maybe both are correct. How you name a company is going to change in 2018. With the rise of ...

[Inc; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-02-08]

Competition, sportsmanship reign at St. Columbkille spelling bee

(Spelling Bee)

When St. Columbkille Catholic School spellers tackled the English language last week, about the only word they didn't seem to know the meaning of was "defeat.'' There were equal parts hope, optimism, suspense and raw nerves in the tense showdown, evident in the audience of teachers, parents and ...

[Omaha_World-Herald; Omaha,_NE,_US; 2018-02-08]

Lawmakers want all insurance contracts in English

Saying voters made English the official language of the state, the House of Representatives voted Thursday to spell out in law that versions of insurance contracts in that language are valid, even if customers are given copies in another language that promise something else. HB 2083 is ...

[The_Daily_Courier; Prescott_Valley,_AZ,_US; 2018-02-08]

Second annual Spanish Spelling Bee celebrates Waxahachie ISD's bilingual students

(Spelling Bee)

According to the Texas Academic Performance Report, eight percent of students in WISD are English Language Learners. At Dunaway Elementary, 32.8 percent of students are English Language Learners. Meanwhile, 30.5 percent are English Language Learners at Wedgeworth Elementary.

[Waxahachie_Daily_Light; Waxahachie,_TX,_US; 2018-02-08]

How Americans preserved British English

Americans today pronounce some words more like Shakespeare than Brits do… but it’s in 18th-Century England where they’d really feel at home.

The Great Vowel Shift that ended soon after Shakespeare's time is one reason that English spellings and pronunciations can be so inconsistent now. So what's popularly believed to be the classic British English accent isn't actually so classic. In fact, British accents have undergone more change in the ...

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-02-07]

IU Bee gives students chance to compete

(Spelling Bee)

The Scripps National Spelling Bee's goal is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives, according to the Scripps National Spelling Bee's website. The winner of the local competition Saturday will ...

[Indiana_Daily_Student; Bloomington,_IN,_US; 2018-02-07]

Pyongchang vs. PyeongChang vs. Pyeongchang

The spelling of this year’s Olympic host city, explained.

The problem here, though, was that for foreigners, its name—traditionally spelled in English as Pyongchang—looks an awful lot like Pyongyang, the capital of nuclear-armed pariah state North Korea. So, the Olympic bid committee came up with an idea to distinguish the South Korean town: add an e and ...

[Slate_Magazine; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-02-07]

Lost in translation

An Irishman's Diary on the hidden depths of Hiberno-English

A footnote to the novel's English translation explains the "Gaelic pun": that in Irish, sor means "louse". This may be part of the reason why, as I've also since been reminded, the Irish phonetic spelling of "sir" features in Terence Dolan's A Dictionary of Hiberno-English, defined as follows: "a title of respect ...

[The_Irish_Times; Dublin,_IE; 2018-02-07]

Town-wide Spelling Bee winner announced

(Spelling Bee)

This is the second year the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society will co-sponsor The Connecticut Spelling Bee with The Hartford Courant. Noah Webster, the original American lexicographer responsible for publishing the 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language was born in ...

[West_Hartford_News; New_Haven,_CT,_US; 2018-02-07]

You've probably been pronouncing "PyeongChang" wrong

How do you pronounce “PyeongChang”?

Korean uses a different writing system than English, but the names of its cities can be written using the Roman alphabet. And based on the way "PyeongChang" is spelled in English, it looks like it should be read "Pyong-chang." But the Korean language includes sounds that aren't represented by English ...

[HelloGiggles; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-02-06]

Educationist Decries Poor Spelling, Grammar Among Students

The wrong usage of words and improper spellings among students at all levels of education in the country

Speaking at the 5th Scholars Quiz Primary Spelling Competition in Ota, Ogun State on Monday, Waniko attributed poor spelling skills as one of the ... to look seriously into the effect of incorrect spellings and wrong usage in the English language in order to redress the declining education outcomes.

[Independent_Newspapers_Limited; Ikeja,_NG; 2018-02-06]

Etymology gleanings for January 2018

Part 2

Our correspondent asked why oar (see the post for 17 January, 2018), or, and ore are spelled differently. Oar goes back to Old English ƒÅr (with long a). In Middle English, long a became, by a regular sound change, long o, but there were two ≈ç's in Middle English: closed (the continuation of Old Engl. ≈ç) ...

[OUP_Blog; Oxford,_UK; 2018-02-06]

Winners crowned at Ashland County Spelling Bee

(Spelling Bee)

These winners were crowned at Tuesday night's Ashland County Spelling Bee. ... Cacao: the five-letter word made Dalton the 6th grade champion for the 2018 Ashland County Spelling Bee. .... "I'm not surprised (they won)," said Sondra Hays, the 6th grade English teacher at Hillsdale Middle School.

[Richland_Source; Mansfield,_OH,_US; 2018-02-06]

Selinsgrove sixth-grader ready for the spotlight

(Spelling Bee)

Selinsgrove middle school student Emerson Dent Zobal, 11, said he'll be nervous, but well prepared for competing in WITF's Grand Championship Spelling Bee — with the winner qualifying for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The event is Feb. 24 at the WITF TV studio in Harrisburg.

[Sunbury_Daily_Item; Sunbury,_PA,_US; 2018-02-06]

Master that spelling: when to write '-el', '-le' or '-al' at the end of the word

We write ‘table’ NOT ‘tabel’; we also write ‘towel’ NOT ‘towle’; and write ‘local’ NOT ‘locle’.

English learners who master spellings know that we write 'table' NOT 'tabel'; we also write 'towel' NOT 'towle'; and write 'local' NOT 'locle'. The sound /el/ in English is one of the confusing sounds whose accurate corresponding letter(s) are uncertain. Sometimes it is represented by el, le or al in a word.

[The_New_Times; Kigali,_RW; 2018-02-06]

Many Food Names in English Come From Africa

Words English has taken from African languages

In the late 1500s, the Portuguese changed the word to inhame; the Spanish changed it to i√±ame. Its first usage in English was igname. By the mid-1600s, the English spelling had changed to y-a-m. And today, in Jamaican Patois — an English-based language with African influences — the word nyam still ...

[Voice_of_America; Washington,_DC,_US; 2018-02-06]

Should English spelling be simplified?

[audio] How is your spelling? Do you ever struggle with words like "definitely", "accommodation" and "embarrassed"? If so, you are not alone. The English Spelling Society is going to host an International Congress in the spring with the aim of choosing a new English spelling scheme. It says our current system, which has not been reformed since Shakespeare was writing, poses too many problems. Dan Damon heard more from Stephen Linstead of the English Spelling Society.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-02-05]

The case for ‘Columbia’: why misspelling ‘Colombia’ isn’t as ignorant as you think

In Colombia, it’s a common phenomenon to be corrected on how best to spell the name of this amazing country. But the practice has grown beyond grammar-nazis catching people unawares. It’s a movement, a meme and a T-shirt. Yet, despite the good intentions of those behind this cause, many native speakers of English continue to mistake ‘Columbia’ for the accepted spelling ‘Colombia’. As it turns out, the reasons for doing so are neither a lack of education nor a sign of disrespect. On the contrary, English speakers may in fact be justified in using ‘Columbia’ as an alternative spelling.

[Colombia_Focus; Medellin,_CO; 2018-02-05]

How many points is 'finsta' worth?

Urban Dictionary for Scrabble?

These kinds of words are no more or less "real" than anything else we say in our 21-year-old varieties—more formally referred to as idiolects—of English. I asked: should we not be able to play "bougie" or "ghosted" or "turnt," words that we type, say, spell, and use all the time, words that we all understand ...

[Columbia_Daily_Spectator; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-02-05]

Mill Creek Middle eighth-grader wins Catawba County Schools spelling bee

You never know what you might learn from television.

Mill Creek Middle’s Amare Rearden has seen enough commercials advertising medicine for colds and the flu so when he was asked to spell “influenza,” he wasn’t worried. He took a breath and spelled it correctly. It left the eighth-grader as the final student standing in the eighth round of the Catawba County Schools Spelling Bee. The entire family worked with Amare to prepare him for the bees this year.

[Hickory_Record; Hickory,_NC,_US; 2018-02-05]

Lautenschleger is spelling bee champ at Strasburg

(Spelling Bee)

Rachel Ripley, high school English teacher, was the pronouncer. Judges were Carisa Pryor and Samantha Raber, both middle school teachers, and Sarah Henry, elementary teacher. Lautenschleger will participate in The Repository Regional Grand Final Spelling Bee at 1:30 p.m. March 3 at the Glen ...

[New_Philadelphia_Times_Reporter; New_Philadelphia,_OH,_US; 2018-02-05]

Sakshi and Mukta shine at French Spell Bee contest

(Spelling Bee)

Mukta Vedpathak and Sakshi Kanade from class VIII of Vidya Pratishthan's English Medium School, Vidyanagari, Baramati were awarded a gold medal, a gift hamper as well as certificates at the 5th International French Spell Bee competition, held at C D Deshmukh auditorium, Delhi recently.

[The_Times_of_India; Mumbai,_IN; 2018-02-05]

Kanawha Spelling Bee winner has intense study routine ahead of regional contest

The Kanawha County spelling champ, Jonathan Bushay, will compete in the Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee in March. He practices spelling and vocabulary for hours each week.

Jonathan is the Kanawha County Spelling Bee winner, who will go on to compete in the Gazette-Mail Regional Spelling Bee on March 3. The winner of the regional bee will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., this spring. He’s been studying for the spelling bee for weeks with his parents, Calvern and Monique Bushay, often spending several hours each night digging into his extensive list of words.

[Charleston_Gazette-Mail; Charleston,_WV,_US; 2018-02-02]

Henry County spelling bee champs move on to regionals

Ananya Augustine, a fourth grade student at Hickory Flat Charter Elementary, is the new spelling bee champion for Henry County Schools. According to Ananya, practice was the key to her success and this practice took many hours over the semester break and each night during the school week.

[South_Metro_Neighbor; Forest_Park,_GA,_US; 2018-02-01]

CF Middle School students spell for the top spot

In a battle of the brains (b-r-a-i-n-s, brains) Chippewa Falls Middle School students went head-to-head with the dictionary Thursday morning for the school round of the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee. After beating their peers in nine team rounds, 27 sixth through eighth grade students spelled words like produced, entrepreneurs, incessant, maline and fluorescent for the chance to be crowned spelling champion of their school.

[The_Chippewa_Herald; Chippewa_Falls,_WI,_US; 2018-02-01]

Educationist advises parents to assist children in developing spelling skill

An Educationist Mrs Oluwakemi Waniko, has advised parents to assist their children in developing proficiency in spelling. Waniko gave the advice at the 5th Scholars Quiz Primary Spelling Competition in Ota, Ogun State, an event the educationist said was born to reduce the rate of failure in English Language in Nigeria. She said the motive is to save children from the negative effect of technological advancement, which oftentimes has created addiction for abbreviation among children of nowadays. “It is pertinent that we take seriously the effect of incorrect spellings and wrong usage in order to reduce the mass failure in our education system today,” she said.

[The_Nation; Lagos,_NG; 2018-02-01]

Radio 5 Live

[audio at 2h42m] (interview with Jack Bovill, Chairman)

[BBC; London,_UK; 2018-01-31]

How do good readers and spellers think about words?

These new apps teach struggling children the essential skills.

Literacy expert Betsy Sewell and app developers Minty Hunter and Bek Farr have pooled their talents to produce a series of New Zealand accent apps to help struggling readers and spellers. “English is an alphabetic language,” explains Betsy, “which simply means the letters on the page represent the sounds of speech. It is very complex, with multiple ways of representing many speech sounds, but underneath this complexity there is a system that makes sense. Successful readers and spellers consciously or unconsciously figure it out.”

[Scoop; Wellington,_NZ; 2018-01-31]

'Tremendous' Speller: WMS 8th-grader wins county spelling bee

Abigail, 13, correctly spelled “charismatic” and “tremendous” to win the title of county spelling champ after the runner-up, Cass Middle School sixth-grader Justin Peace, misspelled his word. “I’m happy,” she said. “I was in this competition in fifth grade, and I finally got back to it.” The daughter of Micki and Joe Carlsen of Euharlee, Abigail said she didn’t do a lot of preparation for the bee. “On nights that I didn’t have much homework, I would go over some of the words, not too much at once,” she said. “Just kind of glanced over it the night before.” But her father begs to differ. “She prepared a lot more than she said she did,” he said, noting his daughter is “pretty humble” and “very quiet.” “She studied a lot.”

[The_Daily_Tribune_News; Cartersville,_GA,_US; 2018-01-31]

Learn English without hassles

Jolly Phonics shows the way

Christopher Jolly, a former teacher from London is a happy man now as ‘Jolly Phonics’ he co-propounded with two other teachers has spread globally beyond imagination. Mr. Jolly, Sue Lloyd, and Sara Wernham developed the concept in 1992 in London as they found children struggling to understand the complexities of English even in English-speaking countries.

[The_Hindu; Madras,_IN; 2018-01-31]

Noah Webster House, Hartford Courant To Host Statewide Spelling Bee March 10

Forty youngsters from across the state are expected to compete for the title of Connecticut Spelling Bee champ with the hopes of competing in the 91st annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. The Noah Webster House of Hartford and the Hartford Courant will host the statewide qualifying spelling bee on March 10 at 9:30 a.m. at the University of Saint Joseph’s Hoffman Auditorium, 1678 Asylum Ave., according to Noah Webster House public programs manager Sophie Huget.

[Hartford_Courant; Hartford,_CT,_US; 2018-01-30]

Poor Tutoring On Spellings Negatively Affecting Education Standard

“It is pertinent that we take seriously the effect of incorrect spellings and wrong usage in order to reduce the mass failure in our educational system today,’’ she said. Waniko also said that there was the need for more academic competitions that could help children boosts their performance in school “We want to see how we can help our children at this tender age to develop their spelling skills so as to improve the standard of education in the country,’’ she said.

[Leadership; Abuja,_FCT,_NG; 2018-01-30]

Pronouncer named for The Jersey Journal's 59th annual Hudson County Spelling Bee

When students from 54 schools take the stage Saturday at The Jersey Journal's 59th annual Hudson County Spelling Bee, they will be depending on one person to accurately pronounce the words they must spell. It's a tougher job than it sounds because a number of the words that will be used have foreign origins. The task is being entrusted to James Broderick.

[The_Jersey_Journal; Secaucus,_NJ,_US; 2018-01-30]

De Jesus is state spelling bee champ

“We actually ran out of words from this year’s spell list so we used another spelling list from two years ago and that’s how we were able to determine the winner,” said San Nicholas. She said the students were so passionate about the competition that they completely memorized the spell list they were given, resulting in the use of a spell list from a previous competition year.

[Saipan_Tribune; Garapan,_Saipan; 2018-01-29]

Taking on our spelling adversaries

[audio] English Professor Anne Curzan recently asked her students to pick the word that they would most like to respell. To do this, students created a tournament bracket and had to present arguments for the words they chose.

[Michigan_Radio; Ann_Arbor,_MI,_US; 2018-01-28]

Welsh spelling blunder sees Tesco withdraw Six Nations t-shirts

The supermarket giant has been left red faced after wrongly spelling a very famous Welsh rallying cry

Tesco has apologised after a Welsh spelling blunder saw staff hastily remove thousands of “Cymru am byth” t-shirt. The saying, synonymous with Welsh passion, translates as “Wales forever” in English but the supermarket giant plastered the phrase “Cymru am buth” instead.

[Daily_Post; Bryn_Eirias,_UK; 2018-01-27]

The difficulties of leaning (sic) English

In 2010, the city of Lino Lakes adopted a resolution that English was its official language. Although the nearby city of Lindström had a controversy when the state eliminated the umlaut (two dots) on their “o,” I doubted Lino Lakes was afraid of a Swedish onslaught. New Prague is too far away for them to worry about the Czechs. Perhaps they feared an influx of French from Lac qui Parle?

[Savage_Pacer; Savage,_MN,_US; 2018-01-27]

Lost in translation!

From dodgy tattoos to dangerous road signs, the comical blunders that prove even the smallest spelling mistake can lead to a VERY different meaning.

The English language can be difficult to master - and as these images prove, sometimes the smallest slip-up can change the entire meaning of a sentence. Now, an Instagram account has been created to share these comical mistakes from all over the world - and it's racked up thousands of followers.

[Daily_Mail; London,_UK; 2018-01-26]

Language has always evolved over time. Why can’t the internet teach us a new vocabulary?

In a new book, the copy chief at Buzzfeed argues for easing up on the rigidity of language.

In Internet Linguistics, in fact, David Crystal introduces the possibility that English spelling will shift to rid itself of unnecessary letters: “It may well be that Internet users, voting (as it were) with their fingers, will introduce simplifications of the kind the reform movement has so long desired, such as the dropping of silent letters” – for instance, “mnemonic” eventually being spelled acceptably as “nemonic”. And I am here 
for it. I mean, doesn’t “phlem” just look so much more pleasant?

[Scroll; Delhi,_IN; 2018-01-26]

Play On Words

I do not think that I could get command of the English language without it being my native tongue. I guess “redneck” vocabulary can be considered an offshoot of the King’s English. As an example, when I am around intellectuals like Dimwit Fitts, they do not understand terms like “busting a gut.” All of us hicks know that the term is a great description of straining to perform a task, which is exactly what I am doing now.

[The_LaFayette_Sun; LaFayette,_AL,_US; 2018-01-26]

Spelling Bee is more than just minding your P's and Q's

Spelling bees are a combination of smarts and stamina, not to mention a showcase of some rarely heard words (raillery, anyone?). But spelling bees also offer life lessons that are useful to everyone, even if you use spell-check on everything from formaldehyde to ichthyosaurus.

[Kenosha_News; Kenosha,_WI,_US; 2018-01-25]

A Cane Bay Middle Schooler and former English Language Learner is Berkeley County's top speller again

By the eighth round, only Brent and Nicholas Smith of Berkeley Middle School were left on stage, after sailing through words like "teriyaki," "elixir," "omnipotent" and "quell." Then Brent was asked to spell a word he wasn't sure he'd ever heard before, "baba," defined by Merriam-Webster as "a rich cake soaked in a rum and sugar syrup." He silently debated whether there were two "b's" in the middle or one.

[The_Post_and_Courier; Charleston,_SC,_US; 2018-01-25]

New to English, but 11-year-old 'information sponge' is nailing school spelling bee

Marios Al Bazi came to Newfoundland with mom and brother 2 years ago as refugees

Spelling words like fluorescent, paralysis, despondency and instantaneous might be a challenge for any native English speaker. But thanks to his drive to learn, and help from mentor Peter Jackson, Marios has quickly wrapped his head around words just like those.

[CBC_News; Toronto,_ON,_CA; 2018-01-24]

Phonetic combat: Students battle it out in districtwide bee

Twelve-year-old Prajwal Saokar, a seventh-grade student at Riverwatch Middle School, was the champion of Saturday’s Forsyth County Schools Spelling Bee

“They’ve just been amazing,” Tobin said, during a break halfway through the bee. “We’ve got a wonderful group of spellers this year.”

[Forsyth_County_News; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-01-24]

LASD's new English curriculum draws opponents, defenders

The Los Altos School District’s new English curriculum for its two junior high schools has drawn criticism from parents, but district officials defend the strategy-based system that allows students to choose their own reading materials.

[Los_Altos_Town_Crier; Los_Altos,_CA,_US; 2018-01-24]

Oak Hall seventh-grader wins spelling bee

Miller said her mom, dad and grandma helped her study. Her strategies included writing down the words and closing her eyes as she spelled them during the competition so she could visualize the words written on a page.

[The_Gainsville_Sun; Gainsville,_FL,_US; 2018-01-24]

Master that spelling forever: Drop or retain the last 'e' in a word

Such spelling changes do not just happen; there are spelling rules that govern last letter ‘e’ and if you master the rules you can never be confused again.

[The_New_Times; Kigali,_RW; 2018-01-24]

Kazakhstan: plans to adopt Latin-based alphabet sparks backlash

Following the presidential decree to adopt the alphabet with the apostrophe, Kazakh netizens launched a petition against it but with major online petition websites blocked in Kazakhstan the campaign gained little traction. However, perhaps in response to public indignation, authorities backtracked and said that the proposed alphabet wasn’t final and that it would be modified in due course.

[Equal_Times; Brussels,_BE; 2018-01-23]

Why can’t my son use apostrophes properly – is grammar still taught in English classes, a parent in Hong Kong asks

Few would deny that conventional spelling and grammar are being eroded with ‘text speak’ and short cuts used in social media, but good schools and teachers can still impart grammar lessons without sacrificing creativity

A Hong Kong parent writes: it really frustrates me that my Year Six son cannot use apostrophes correctly. The teaching of the English language appears very arbitrary these days, and it seems that instruction in the basic skills is being forgotten in the name of “creativity”.

[South_China_Morning_Post; Hong_Kong,_CN; 2018-01-23]

Allie Hand wins MHS spelling bee

“I did it last year, and I came in third, so I wanted to see if I could win it,” Hand, a sixth-grade student said. She plans to “study, study, study” in preparation for the countywide bee.

[The_Clanton_Advertiser; Clanton,_AL,_US; 2018-01-23]

Who says so?

Today, instead of focussing on fine grammar points, let’s talk about the larger picture

When we are refining our knowledge of English, we sometimes get frustrated and start asking, “Who makes all these complicated rules?”

[The_Hindu; Madras,_IN; 2018-01-23]

Classmate Spell Bee is back with its 10th season and taking Indian Schools by storm

The focus this year is to create a holistic educative experience for participants using a versatile mobile app and web based learning and practice solutions.

[The_Siasat_Daily; Hyderabad,_IN; 2018-01-23]

Don't blame yourself for mispronouncing "indict," blame the Renaissance

Don't feel embarrassed if you've ever mispronounced "indict" to sound more like "edict" or "verdict." Your only fault was the assumption that English always makes sense.

[Michigan_Radio; Ann_Arbor,_MI,_US; 2018-01-21]

Teaching Donald

A couple of months ago the TV displayed a document hand-written by Donald Trump that made me gasp. It was so full of spelling and punctuation mistakes that were typical only of a dyslexic writer, that I instantly saw what was causing his other behavioral oddities.

[The_Berkshire_Eagle; Pittsfield,_MA,_US; 2018-01-21]

English spelling, sense and meaning

Scientific Word Investigation — SWI — is having a profound effect on the education of a growing community of students and teachers. The premise of SWI is simple: children learning to read and write through instruction that accurately represents how their writing system works.

[Daily_American; Somerset,_PA,_US; 2018-01-19]

National Handwriting Day Is Coming

Is January 23 just another so what, like National ­Popcorn Day?

It was no fun writing lessons in cursive, and no better in the hybrid connected printing I developed in obedient defiance to the nuns’ complaints of my handwriting’s illegibility. My mother couldn’t read anything I wrote, either, which may be why she insisted I take typing in high school summer school. On my own, I signed up at the same public school to learn Chancery script, a pretty Renaissance cursive. I’ve used both skills throughout my life.

[Bay_Weekly; Annapolis,_MD,_US; 2018-01-18]

English is no longer a foreign language in NL, but it has a unique character here

Are the Dutch now native speakers of English, and is Dutch-English a distinctive thing? Deborah Nicholls-Lee meets linguistics expert Alison Edwards to find some answers.

Far from being inferior, Dutch-English is becoming the English of choice in some spheres. Research has shown, says Edwards, that incoming international students choose the Netherlands, not just because it is cheaper, but because they deem the English to be ‘easier’. ‘The Netherlands has become an English-speaking education destination,’ she says, much like Singapore in Asia.

[Dutch_News; Amsterdam,_NL; 2018-01-17]

49 county students qualify for Jan. 27 spelling bee

Representing 11 elementary and five middle schools, the contestants will take the Taylor Middle School auditorium stage at 10 a.m.

[Fauquier_Now; Warrenton,_VA,_US; 2018-01-17]

Los Lunas Middle School spellers reign at county bee

Los Lunas Middle School swept the Valencia County English Spelling bee, with Andrea Sasser, Diego Carrillo and Isabella Jolly in the top three spots. Sasser and Carrillo will go on to compete in the state spelling bee in March.

“It as a fun experience,” Sasser said of the bee. To prepare, she studied with her parents and looked up words and studied on her own time. With the statewide bee in the not-to-distant future, Sasser and Carrillo said they would be putting in extra time studying. “I need to really crack down on the words,” Carrillo said. “I didn’t study enough this time. I got lucky.”

[News-Bulletin; Belen,_NM,_US; 2018-01-17]

France's fight against new English words is 'totally stupid'

After the language police ordered the French to ditch smartphone and use "telephone multifonction" instead Camille Chevalier-Karfis, founder of the language site French Today says France's fight against new English words is "totally stupid". The French government seems determined to protect the French language at all costs. But what does “protecting the French language” really mean?

[The_Local; Stockholm,_SE; 2018-01-16]

The Misuse of "It's" Has Become Rampant, with No End in Sight

Anyway, the reason why I've dragged you to this dusty corner of Blogtown is to discuss the rampant misuse of "it's." (Talk about a buried lede!) If I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone use "it's" when he/she/they meant "its," I could buy the Washington Post from Jeff Bezos... and pay the Trump family's legal fees.

[The_Portland_Mercury; Portland,_OR,_US; 2018-01-16]

Necedah students advance in spelling bee

“Being able to showcase (skills) in things other than athletic competition allows for an even playing field,” Necedah Teacher Keith Crispell said. “It's great to see young minds develop, whether it's done with a creative platform like our upcoming 3rd-grade invention fair or the student demonstrating their command of the English language in what was one of the best spelling bees I've witnessed in a very long time.”

[Juneau_County_Star-Times; Mauston,_WI,_US; 2018-01-15]

Judge Orders Lawyer to Have English Teacher Review Work

Legal complaint filed in Florida was incomprehensible

A complaint filed on behalf of a housekeeping employee suing a hospital was just plain incomprehensible. Legalese wasn't the problem, however. The judge cited "nonsensical sentences," sentence fragments, grammatical errors, spelling errors, punctuation errors, etc.

[Newser; Miami,_FL,_US; 2018-01-15]

Spelling, grammar errors abound in paper

But now we regularly see Herald articles that contain spelling errors, duplicate words, subject/verb agreement issues, and other problems our grade school English teachers labored so diligently to expunge from our writing.

[Durango_Herald; Durango,_CO,_US; 2018-01-13]

The Real Reason Some English Words Have Silent Letters

There are legitimate explanations for why words like pterodactyl and tsunami exist.

The English language is notorious for its use of silent letters, which is one of the reasons these are the hardest English words to pronounce. In fact, about 60 percent of English words contain a silent letter. But these often distressing words weren’t intended to be so confusing.

[Reader's_Digest; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-01-13]

The Most Complicated Word in English is Only Three Letters Long

Three little letters, 645 meanings

You might think it’s absurd (and maybe it is), but Oxford English Dictionary editors recently revealed that “run” has indeed become the single word with the most potential meanings in all of English, boasting no fewer than 645 different usage cases for the verb form alone.

[Reader's_Digest; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-01-13]

Battle of the words at 2018 District 32 Spelling Bee

The speller deemed winner today at the Gadsden Elementary School District 32 spelling bee was a 7th grade Southwest Junior High boy named, Sergio Moreno. He says he studied all the words given to him for two months straight, three hours everyday. His focus was to be number one and that he achieved today.

[KYMA; Yuma,_AZ,_US; 2018-01-12]

Trump Misspells Simple Words, Doesn't Read

Can He Qualify As a Genius?

President Donald Trump’s recent tweets insisting that he is, and has always been, a “very stable genius” have escalated the dialogue about whether or not that's true. Is there a way to prove that someone is or isn't a genius? Do spelling errors in Trump's tweets contradict his declaration?

[Newsweek; London,_UK; 2018-01-11]

Aussie kids from migrant backgrounds do better in English than their peers

My hunch is that Anglo-Australian kids are suffering from a whole bunch of negative linguistic influences which can be summed up as a general lack of vigilance or care about the state of the English language.

Australia’s literacy and numeracy testing for 2017 showed that children from non-English speaking migrant backgrounds across most states outdid their peers in English language proficiency, for whose parents it is the native tongue. Those from a language background other than English received markedly higher marks in reading, writing and spelling in almost all of the country’s states and territories.

[Study_International; Bristol,_UK; 2018-01-11]

Why It’s Right, Education Is Now Focusing On English

If one has to check thoroughly, surely some recent graduates, including those with university degrees, never had any mastery of the language at all. Some cannot construct a simple declarative sentence, either orally or in writing. They cannot spell common, everyday words. Punctuation is apparently no longer taught. Grammar is a complete mystery to many graduates.

[Fiji_Sun; Suva,_FJ; 2018-01-09]

Denison ISD gets first spelling bee winner

“I am a reading and language arts person,” Ashley Dorius said. “Words are my favorite. My favorite book is Harry Potter.” Denison ISD Director of Instruction Shonda Cannon said Ashley Dorius’ strategy of writing the words with her finger may have helped her win.

[Herald_Democrat; Fairport,_NY,_US; 2018-01-09]

The English words Spain begrudgingly added to its dictionary this year

Big changes to reading en español

The latest edition of Spain’s most prestigious dictionary has been released (link in Spanish). And it has a lot of English in it.

[Quartz; New_York,_NY,_US; 2018-01-09]

You're Probably Pronouncing These British Towns Incorrectly

In this week's Maphead, Ken Jennings explores towns with unexpected pronunciations

Most travelers to the U.K. (or buyers of fine condiments) are probably aware that Worcestershire isn't a four-syllable word with the "-shire" at the end, pronounced the way a Hobbit would; it's "WUSS-tur-shur." "Gloucester" and "Leicester" have the same silent "ces" syllable. In 2010, a coffee shop in Towcester displayed giant portraits of celebrities painted in Marmite on toasted bread—which is appropriate, since Towcester is pronounced, yes, "toaster."

[Condé_Nast_Traveller; London,_UK; 2018-01-08]

We should write words the way they are pronounced

In any language, pronunciation, not spelling, is the basic significance of words. For, while humanity has always spoken a language, writing was invented only very long after humanity had evolved. In practically all languages, indeed, spelling and pronunciation are identical. Only in the Western European languages of English and French do we find the strange phenomenon in which spelling and pronunciation clash heavily and gratingly.

[Daily_Nation; Nairobi,_KE; 2018-01-06]

Justine Greening unveils new drive to improve child literacy in England

Education secretary says schemes aim to ensure that ‘every child will get the best literacy teaching’

Phonics roadshows and English hubs are among a range of measures announced by the government in an attempt to improve child literacy. The programmes will form part of the drive to tackle inequality and ensure “every child will get the best literacy teaching”, the education secretary, Justine Greening, has said.

[The_Guardian; London,_UK; 2018-01-06]

Helensburgh head's 'back to basics' plea over pupils' spelling and grammar

HERMITAGE Academy’s head teacher says his profession needs to get “back to basics” by ensuring that pupils’ spelling and grammar is up to scratch. Robert Williamson told Helensburgh and Lomond councillors recently that he believed the focus of English teaching needed to move away from creativity and back to making sure pupils can get the basics of English right.

[Helensburgh_Advertiser; Glasgow,_UK; 2018-01-04]

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