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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]

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]

Page editor: N Paterson. Contact by email or form.