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English Spelling Society

New rools to make language more predictable for pupils

[subscription] “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the feelds and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surender…” This is how Churchill’s famous speech should be spelt, according to reformers who have voted on a new system after deliberating for nearly three years.

[Times,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-18]

Readers’ poll: should English spelling be reformed to make it easier to learn?

[subscription] A proposed new system of spelling, called Traditional Spelling Revised (TSR), makes changes to up to 18 per cent of words in the English language. The system has the support of The English Spelling Society and the American Literacy Council. TSR aims to make spelling more consistent and predictable: among many other changes, the word love would be spelt luv, and educate would be edducate. Supporters of the reform say the widespread inconsistencies in English impede children’s learning and prevent many from ever achieving a good standard of spelling. Those opposed say the changes are dumbing down learning and would destroy the richness and beauty of the language.

[Times,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-18]

Does korrect speling matter?

British universities are being told not to deduct marks for spelling mistakes and only judge students on ideas and knowledge of the subject. Is the ability to spell important?

There’s no denying that English spellings – among other aspects – are notoriously erratic. Many have called for reform. George Bernard Shaw, for example, felt that “consistency is not always a virtue; but spelling becomes a will o' the wisp without it.” And Benjamin Franklin once wrote that “the present bad spelling is only bad because contrary to the present bad rules: under the new rules it would be good.”

[Money_Control; Mumbai,_IN; 2021-04-17]

Student literacy: Minister 'appalled' by move on bad spelling

A minister has said she was "appalled" by a university's decision to ask staff not to dock marks for spelling errors.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said dropping the requirement was "dumbing down standards". Earlier this week, it was reported that the University of Hull believed requiring good written and spoken English could be seen as "elite". The university said it was committed to "removing barriers to learning" for students of all backgrounds.

[BBC; London,_UK; 2021-04-16]

Minister deplores literacy-lite exams at the University of Hull

Michelle Donelan told MPs she was “appalled” at the decision by the University of Hull to scrap the need for students to be able to meet literacy standards in assessments.

[subscription] A university is “dumbing down standards” by dropping requirements for good spelling, a minister has said. Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, told MPs she was “appalled” at the decision by the University of Hull to scrap the need for students to be able to meet literacy standards in assessments, and said the government “will act”.

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-16]

Christine Hamilton on Good Morning Britain to attack 'astonishing' University of Hull spelling policy

The university said marking students down for mistakes would be 'elitist'

Christine, who is married to former Conservative MP Neil Hamilton, shared her thoughts on the lack of acknowledgement for bad spelling. The author said: "Well I think it matters hugely. And as you said in that quote from me we should be levelling up not levelling down. Universities - frankly I'm astonished that Hull University has said this." She continued: "Universities should be encouraged to raise up, and encouraged to raise their standards, and people should learn to aspire, and sooner or later if you can't spell, if you don't know the difference between two, to, and too, or there and their..."

[Hull_Daily_Mail; Hull,_UK; 2021-04-15]

How to Remember the Correct Spelling of Commonly Misspelled Words

Spelling in the English language can be confusing because there’s at least one exception for every spelling rule (such as the words “neither” and “weird” for the rule “I before E except after C”).

This article provides some tips and tricks for remembering the correct spelling of some of the most commonly misspelled words.

[Programming_Insider; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-04-15]

Good spelling and grammar isn’t elitist… it’s the key to getting somewhere in life

FOR all their virtue signalling about how they’re on the side of the under-privileged, woke liberals don’t half do a good job at keeping those very same people in their place.

There is no use the Government hatching an emergency plan to improve the literacy skills of disadvantaged children if the educational institutions which are supposed to epitomise those very skills instead deliver the bigotry of low expectations.

[Sun,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-15]

Dyslexia Canada Supports Alberta's Review of English Language Arts Curriculum

Alberta's proposed update of the K to 3 English Language Arts curriculum is very encouraging.

It is estimated that 99,000 Alberta students struggle with reading, writing and spelling because of dyslexia. Therefore Dyslexia Canada supports the need for the Alberta Language Arts curriculum to be updated to meet their needs.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-04-15]

The Times Diary

Pleyn Inglish is old news.

[subscription] Molesworths of the world unite! This paper reported on Monday that some universities will not mark down those with por speling. While many readers decried this, there have long been efforts to change English so it is written as it is spoken. In 1945, George Bernard Shaw took 17 paragraphs in The Times to explain the time that could be saved if only “bomb” was spelt “bom”.

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-14]

Realy good at spelling, or aweful? Either way, it’s not disasterous

Shakespeare and Jane Austen were relaxed about spelling variants. We should be too.

[subscription] Smugness is unappealing, and I acquired it early in life. The reason was that I knew how to spell. Well into adulthood I believed there was something virtuous in knowing that it’s “minuscule” rather than “miniscule” and “supersede” rather than “supercede”. The advent of spellcheckers didn’t curb my complacency. In an office full of professional writers I acquired the reputation of being a go-to authority.

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-13]

Revealed: The UK’s most misspelt words from diarrhoea and zucchini to potato and conscience

Even as adults many of us still silently chant ‘I before E except after C,’ but even primary school rhymes can’t always save us from the ’embarrassing’ pit falls of the English language’s most troublesome words to ‘manoeuvre’ around.

According to research from UK training company The Knowledge Academy, ‘diarrhoea’ tops the list of words people which most commonly trip people up. Proving it’s neither fun to experience or spell, it had a whopping 189,000 failed Google searches, with 171,000 of those believing it should read ‘diarrea’.

[Press_and_Journal,_The; Aberdeen,_UK; 2021-04-13]

Putting the ‘fun’ in ‘phonetics’

I took my son Miles to get his hair cut this past weekend. Miles’ barber has recently moved into a new salon down the road. The new spot is inside a larger salon called Phenix Salon Suites, a national chain of salons. Although California-based Phenix Salon Suites has a growing nationwide presence, I can’t help but cringe at the business’ spelling: Phenix. It should be “Phoenix,” shouldn’t it?

[Journal_Review; Crawfordsville,_IN,_US; 2021-04-13]

Good spelling isn’t elitist - clear language is the great leveller

To say kids from poor backgrounds can't learn grammar is the soft bigotry of low expectations.

[subscription] When I was a critic for the student paper, I met the chief sub-editor at team-building drinks at a pub. He said he knew me by my copy. “You use long words and you spell them wrong.” Twelve years on and my cheeks still burn. So they should....

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-12]

Top 20 hardest words to spell in the English language

In honour of the #KZNLastKidStanding spelling bee, we've all decided to brush up on our spelling - and you can too!

According to a worldwide survey published on Statista.com, English is the most common language spoken worldwide in the year 2021 (natively or as a second language). It was still only a few million more than Mandarin Chinese, with Hindi and Spanish coming in third and fourth, respectively.

[East_Coast_Radio; Durban,_ZA; 2021-04-12]

An evidence‐based synthesis of instructional reading and spelling procedures using telepractice

A rapid review in the context of COVID‐19.

The evidence base for telepractice delivery of reading and spelling procedures is in its infancy in terms of both the quantity and the quality of the evidence. Insufficient evidence exists to draw clear conclusions about its efficacy, and therefore practitioners should proceed cautiously.

[Wiley_Online_Library; Hoboken,_NJ,_US; 2021-04-12]

Marking down students for spelling mistakes is ‘elitist’, says university

Lecturers at Hull University told to overlook grammatical blunders as part of inclusive marking policy that aims to ‘decolonise curriculum.’

[subscription] Marking down incorrect spelling, punctuation and grammar could be seen as “elitist”, a university policy says....

[Telegraph,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-11]

Letters to the Editor

Don’t blame Covid for illiteracy crisis.

[subscription] Surely, if children reach the age of 11 without being able to read properly, it is more likely to be the fault of inadequate teaching in previous years than the lack of tuition in their last primary year (“Johnson’s fears over lockdown illiteracy surge”, News, last week). Of course this year will have affected children, and some who were already struggling may need extra support, but if that many children still cannot read by the age of 11, there is something seriously wrong with our education system. Susan Hopkins, Harrogate

[Sunday_Times,_The_(UK); London,_UK; 2021-04-11]

Suburban spellers to participate in Scripps National Spelling Bee

Suburban spellers Sahasrad Sathish and Tejas Katira are among 13 regional spelling bee champions from Illinois who will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee this summer.

Tejas started participating in spelling bees in fourth grade and is fascinated by words and their origins. He spends two to three hours a day training for nationals.

[Daily_Herald; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-04-11]

University students will not be marked down for bad spelling because it would be ELITIST

Academics have been told that insisting on good written English discriminates. Some universities have been adopting so-called 'inclusive assessment' systems. Regulator wants to reduce gap between white and black student attainment rate.

At the University of the Arts London, guidelines on marking written work say staff should 'actively accept spelling, grammar or other language mistakes that do not significantly impede communication unless the brief states that formally accurate language is a requirement'.

[Daily_Mail; London,_UK; 2021-04-11]

Why it’s so hard to fix maddening spelling systems

Those who have mastered the old ones hold all the power.

[subscription] “Keeping schools closed has DEVESTATING effects” on children, America’s Republican Party tweeted from its official account, before hastily deleting the post amid mockery. It’s not just American conservatives who stumble with their spelling even when writing about education.

[Economist,_The; London,_UK; 2021-04-10]

2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee season to launch June 12

The official competition schedule will include three live telecasts of virtual rounds in lead-up to July 8 in-person finals.

The final rounds of this year's Bee will be hosted in person at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, on July 8. The finals, featuring 10-12 accomplished spellers, will be broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2.

[Cision; Cleveland,_OH,_US; 2021-04-06]

Bloomington sixth-grader wins IU spelling bee again, spills secret to victory

Sixth grade student Yena has won the IU spelling bee three years in a row.

Park said that her secret to victory is systematically reviewing the Scripps yearly list with her dad, Seongin Park. Since the first grade when she started participating, they have always made sure to drill every word that could challenge her. “There was lots of stumbling along the way,” Park said. She particularly remembers that the word gyttja, which is a type of mud, gave her trouble. Over time she began to recognize patterns in spelling and pronunciation and memorized the words with greater ease. Hyun Kwon, Park’s mother, said she thinks Park’s affinity for math gave her an extra edge in the spelling bee because of her ability to recognize patterns.

[Indiana_Daily_Student; Bloomington,_IN,_US; 2021-04-01]

Meet 14-year-old entrepreneurs who work to popularise the spelling bee

The Chennai-based twins now have over 1,000 registrations from 10 countries in their website.

At the age of eight, the siblings participated in the Victoria County Spelling Bee, a State-level competition. And while Harpita won the title, Harpith was the first runner-up. “This encouraged us to participate in the Great Australian Spelling Bee. It was a tight competition with over 18,000 contestants. We emerged in the top 10,” she recalls.

[Hindu,_The; Madras,_IN; 2021-04-01]

Validation of systematic synthetic phonics programmes: supporting documentation

Since 2010, the government has sought to embed the effective teaching of phonics. We are committed to continuing to raise literacy standards ensuring all children, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, can read fluently and with understanding.

Validation will indicate that a programme has been self assessed by its publisher and assessed by a small panel with relevant expertise, and that both consider it to meet all of the most recent Department for Education (DfE) criteria for an effective systematic synthetic phonics (SPP) programme.

[Department_for_Education; London,_UK; 2021-04-01]

Why Spelling Mistakes In Google Searches Are Actually A Good Thing

Accidental typos and guestimated spellings actually train Google's spelling algorithm. Find out how.

Have you ever wondered how Google magically knows what you are looking for, even when your search query has typos? With one in ten search queries misspelled and new words being constantly flagged, Google has an entire algorithm dedicated to navigating spelling mistakes.

[Search_Engine_Journal; Boca_Raton,_FL,_US; 2021-03-30]

How do you pronounce “Among Us” in Japanese?

Simple question has linguistically deep answer.

The first thing we need to do is break down the actual English pronunciation of the word “among.” English spelling is notoriously silly, and nowhere is it more ridiculous than its vowels. English has between 14 and 20 vowel sounds depending on the dialect. Just for an example, the letter “a” pronounced wildly different in words like “apple,” “comma,” “father,” and “face.” Because of this, linguists use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to spell out words accurately.

[Sora_News_24; Tokyo,_JP; 2021-03-21]

Readers reply: how were the small words in English created?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts.

Basic pronouns, articles, and connectives exist in virtually every natural language. They certainly existed in Proto-Indo-European, the oldest ancestor language of English that we know about, which was probably spoken about 6000 years ago in the Pontic steppe (north of the Black Sea).

[Guardian,_The; London,_UK; 2021-03-21]

The word most Aussies can’t spell

It's official, our spelling has gone to ..... well, diarrhoea.

Literacy expert Dr Jennifer Buckingham said the English language was full of traps for unwary spellers and it was no wonder we needed help. "Double letters are the things that catch people out. They often don't look wrong when you write them, so they often catch people out," Dr Buckingham said. She said Australian spellers also had to contend with different US and UK spellings, as well as changing spelling conventions over time, such as the trend to remove the first "a" from encyclopaedia.

[Queensland_Times,_The; Sydney,_NSW,_AU; 2021-03-20]

QuillBot's New Grammar Checker Uses Cutting-Edge AI to Perfect Your Writing

The AI writing platform now has an arsenal of productivity-enhancing tools that are already changing the way the world writes.

QuillBot announced the release of its highly anticipated grammar checker today. QuillBot's AI-based writing platform now hosts a variety of time-saving tools that help make writing painless for 5 million global monthly active users. This new tool combines spelling, grammar, and punctuation correction tactics backed by powerful AI models, flagging errors and suggesting edits.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-03-18]

Kiang West holds LBS spelling bee contest

The Kuteh Jumbulu Kafoo of Tankular in the Kiang West District recently held a spelling bee competition for pupils in the Lower Basic Schools in Region Four.

Contestants from Tankular, Joli, Kuyang, Karantaba and Gissay impressed educational authorities in Lower River Region and communities in the western Kiang with their skills in calculation of syllables and pronunciation of words from the English dictionary.

[Point,_The; Banjul,_GM; 2021-03-17]

Spelling bee buzz for BOP students

Teachers and educators in the Bay of Plenty can now enter their schools into New Zealand’s national spelling bee competition.

Students in Years 9 and 10 will start learning the 2021 spelling list from March, sit a test mid-year, and the top 200 spellers from throughout the country will work their way through the semi-finals to culminate in the national final later in the year.

[Sun_Live; Tauranga,_NZ; 2021-03-17]

Has a gap in old-school handwriting and spelling tuition contributed to NZ’s declining literacy scores?

The recently reported decline in student performance in international tests for literacy, science and maths confirmed a view in some quarters that New Zealand’s curriculum is in need of an overhaul.

The teaching of spelling has been undervalued, too. Teachers have been guided to help children work out spelling rules but the complex code of English spellings needs explicit teaching. As with handwriting, spelling may seem unimportant in an age of digital spellcheckers. But spelling ability reflects what children know about words, including word meanings. Children I speak to report that difficulty with spelling puts them off wanting to write at all.

[Conversation,_The; London,_UK; 2021-03-17]

Wheeler’s Kim wins 2021 State Spelling Bee

Seoyon Kim is Rhode Island’s top speller.

Kim was given the championship word “bout,” which she also nailed, securing her spot as the first-place winner in this year’s R.I. State Spelling Bee.

[Valley_Breeze,_The; Lincoln,_RI,_US; 2021-03-16]

"Finna," "Chile," & Other AAVE Words Added To Dictionary.com

The inclusion of these words is a step toward acceptance of African American Vernacular English as a legitimate dialect.

According to a recent update from Dictionary.com, hundreds of new words, including finna and chile, have been added as legitimate entries. These words originated from AAVE, also known as African American Vernacular English, and have been a part of the dialect for decades. Dictionary.com describes finna as “a phonetic spelling representing the African American Vernacular English variant of fixing to, a phrase commonly used in Southern U.S. dialects to mark the immediate future while indicating preparation or planning already in progress.”

[Hot_New_Hip_Hop; 0; 2021-03-13]

Pinkston Middle School student heads to state spelling bee

Declan Whitlock can spell the word "arrondissement."

"The English language is incredibly stupid," he said. "All the rules about words being I-E or E-I — some words having apostrophes and some words don't — that messes people up. Some words sounds the same, but are spelled different. It's all really stupid, if you ask me."

[Baxter_Bulletin; Pittsford,_NY,_US; 2021-03-12]

Now Here

The Papa Files

English is a perplexing language. Writers praise its wealth of words and flexibility, but I’m not impressed, though I grew up with it. My home language is a conglomeration of many languages, as any advanced language must be. But I have never liked the similarities of spelling, and the annoyance of similar pronunciation.

[Hernando_Sun; Hernando,_FL,_US; 2021-03-12]

10 Popular APIs for Words

With all the changes in technology in the last half century, a main form of communication remains relevant: the written or spoken word.

[Software] Developers may want to create applications that offer word definitions, synonyms, word data, word translations, quotes, word visualizations, grammar and spelling corrections, pronunciations, NSFW word detection, cyberbulling word detection, words for games, keywords, semantic functions, and many other word-related functions. To get the most suitable words functions into applications, developers need Words APIs.

[Programmable_Web; San_Francisco,_CA,_US; 2021-03-12]

Newark students competing in Regional Spelling Bee

Two seventh graders from Newark Middle School will compete in the regional leg of the annual Scripps Spelling Bee on March 20 at the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES Conference Center in Newark.

[Wayne_Post; Pittsford,_NY,_US; 2021-03-11]

A video game makes math and English classes a full-body experience

An online platform lets kids learn critical math and English skills through playground skills.

The games can also be customized to meet several state and Common Core standards. Early grade students may practice math vocabulary and learning to count, while older students practice math operations, language and vocabulary skills, and sentence structures and spelling.

[Hechinger_Report,_The; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-03-11]

How to boost your little brainboxes

They've finally gone back to school after months at home, but even the brightest children need help to catch up. Now read our indispensable guide for parents and grandparents.

This week marked a return to school like no other. After months of homeschooling, there is concern that many children have fallen so behind in their learning it will take months — or even years — to catch up. The Government is focusing on plans to enable teachers to bridge the gap — with Mail Force's Computers for Kids campaign helping deliver the much-needed laptops to children who might otherwise have no access to online learning tools. But there are many ways parents and grandparents can help, too, stresses teacher Lorrae Jaderberg, joint founder of London-based education consultancy, JK Educate.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-03-10]

Printer William Caxton was born in Hadlow, or perhaps Tenterden, or maybe even Sevenoaks Weald

That we can all understand written English today might be said to be the result of the work of one Kentish man - William Caxton.

Prior to Caxton's times, the country was a mess of different dialects giving rise not just differences in spelling, but with actual different words being used from one region to the next.

[Kent_Online; Rochester,_Kent,_UK; 2021-03-10]

When was the spelling of the English written language codified, and what was happening before?

English developed from the West Germanic languages of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Germanic languages had a writing system based on runes - an ancient alphabetic writing system, partly related to the early Phoenician and Etruscan writing systems, but which developed separately.

[Quora; Mountain_View,_CA,_US; 2021-03-09]

6 features that make English difficult language to learn

English is considered a relatively easy language to learn by many language learners, but it is not that easy after all.

Even English native speakers know that English spelling is a mess. There are many different causes for this mess like the influence of Latin and French languages, gradual vowel changes, etc. As the result, we see a language with so many irregular spelling cases that you have to learn the spelling of each word one by one.

[Mehr_News; Tehran,_IR; 2021-03-07]

Brexit means … Euro-English?

An academic argues it’s time for the EU to develop its own version of the language of Shakespeare.

“It’s time for the people in mainland Europe who have English as a second language to determine the future of English for the European Union,” Marko Modiano, a professor of English at the University of Gävle in Sweden, told POLITICO’s EU Confidential podcast. Modiano proposes that the EU should take the lead in defining and promoting what he calls Euro-English, complete with its own “punctuation, spelling, some grammar, and some vocabulary.”

[Politico; Brussels,_BE; 2021-02-27]

Scripps National Spelling Bee returns this summer

Finals to be held July 8 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

"Since its beginnings nearly 100 years ago, the Scripps National Spelling Bee and its spellers have inspired audiences across the globe with a compelling combination of academic excellence and engaging entertainment," said Adam Symson, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company.

[Cision; Cleveland,_OH,_US; 2021-02-22]

Gyles Brandreth heads to High Wycombe with new live show

Break a Leg! is the title of the latest show from Gyles Brandreth – and it’s coming to High Wycombe next year.

A star of Celebrity Gogglebox, a veteran of QI and Have I Got News For You, a reporter on The One Show and a regular on Just a Minute, he has written many books. These include The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries and three recent bestsellers: The 7 Secrets of Happiness; his celebration of good English, punctuation, spelling and grammar, Have You Eaten Grandma?; and his anthology of poetry to learn by heart, Dancing by the Light of the Moon.

[Bucks_Free_Press; High_Wycombe,_UK; 2021-02-20]

The need for good spelling is a controversial topic, but not in the classroom

For many people, the ability to spell accurately is important and of equal importance is teaching children to spell correctly.

[subscription] In fact, the teaching of spelling has a long history, as evidenced by Quintilian the Roman rhetorician, who begins his …

[Education_HQ_Australia; Melbourne,_VIC,_AU; 2021-02-15]

Is spelling the bee-all and end-all of the HSC?

Unsurprisingly, the mechanics of writing have become the latest cudgel to be wielded in the culture wars.

The news this week that NSW students aren't being penalised for spelling errors in HSC English exams was received - and reported - in some quarters with all the panic and sensationalism you might expect.

[Canberra_Times,_The; Canberra,_ACT,_AU; 2021-02-12]

Speller100

A speller for 100-plus languages in Microsoft.

At Microsoft Bing, our mission is to delight users everywhere with the best search experience. We serve a diverse set of customers all over the planet who issue queries in over 100 languages. In search we’ve found about 15% of queries submitted by customers have misspellings. When queries are misspelled, we match the wrong set of documents and trigger incorrect answers, which can produce a suboptimal results page for our customers.

[Microsoft_Research_Blog; Redmond,_WA,_US; 2021-02-08]

Why bother with the Orthography?

A great advertisement for a product is one that lures you into buying or using the product.

Anyone who has tried to read CHamoru tracts, like novenas and prayers, that were printed before the orthography was established, knows how daunting the pronunciation of words can be when spelling is not standardized. Nor do the major CHamoru dictionaries referenced today reflect a consistent application of the orthographic rules. This has added to our uncertainty about how to spell. People writing in the past have done their best. While not using standardized spelling, such efforts have nonetheless been extremely valuable for documenting the language. Now going forward, we can eliminate confusion by being consistent in our spelling.

[Guam_Daily_Post,_The; Tamuning,_GU,_US; 2021-02-07]

Is this the reason our kids can't spell?

HSC students aren't penalised for making basic grammar and spelling mistakes in their final English exam - and experts are calling for a change.

High school students are not penalised for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors when taking their HSC English exams, outraging experts. Students are currently graded on their understanding of the books, poems and literature they have been studying throughout the year.

[Mail_Online; London,_UK; 2021-02-07]

ECOVIEWS

How do animals get their names?

Some people consider Geoffrey Chaucer the father of English literature. I doubt anyone thinks of him as the father of modern English spelling. He writes of “squyrelis & bestes smale of gentil kynde” in one of the first references to those ubiquitous rodents. Squirrels are native to the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

[Aiken_Standard; Aiken,_SC,_US; 2021-02-06]

Spoilt Or Spoiled? Irregular Verbs Explained

For most verbs in the English language, changing to past tense is as simple as adding ‘ed’ on the end. But then there’s a whole host of words that don’t conform to that rule.

It might surprise you to know that what we now call irregular verbs were actually once the common past tense of verbs, which made much more sense in older forms of English. So words like ate, drank and rode are remnants of these times. Other words like clamb (for climb) and chode (for chide) didn’t quite make the cut.

[Lifehacker; Surry_Hills,_NSW,_AU; 2021-02-01]

The books that help children learn to read that also come with helpful guidance for parents and carers

Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling…

If your child is at the stage of learning to read in lockdown, fear not, there are so many materials out there for early readers that also provide guidance to parents and carers. Here are some reading schemes and resources suggestions to support your child as they acquire their reading wings and fly!

[Bishop's_Stortford_Independent; Bishop’s_Stortford,_UK; 2021-01-24]

BCSS crowns AMS 7th-grader as new spelling bee champion

Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini congratulates Adairsville Middle School seventh-grader Ethan Rollax as the event's champion as runner-up Damaya Norwood of Cass Middle School looks on.

Mrs. Sarju said she knows her son "worked hard" because he began practicing the words about a week and a half into the school year and learned one whole section of words and half of a second section. "I wanted him to learn all 4,000 [words], not just part of them," she said. "I told him, 'You don't know which word you're going to get.' He was not prepped for this, really and truly. I had second thoughts, but he told me, 'Don't worry, I'm going to do this, and I'll prove it to you.'"

[Daily_Tribune_News,_The; Cartersville,_GA,_US; 2021-01-24]

The words that went their own ways

How similarly-sounding words can come to have such different meanings.

A word with two or more different meanings is technically a polyseme. An English example is wood, which can refer to wood as a material as well as to a tree-covered area of land. Neck is also polysemous: it refers to the part of the anatomy which joins the head to the rest of the body; a particular part of certain garments; a narrow isthmus of land; and the neck of a bottle.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-01-23]

Phonics revolution: War of words over how to teach kids to read

"The answer to New Zealand's declining literacy rates isn't to tinker around the edges, it's to change the way in which reading is taught," Clothier said.

The Government is set to roll out 2.4 million copies of new phonics-based reading material to the nation's schools in an bid to arrest our declining literacy rates. But the move has sparked a war of words between academic experts who disagree whether it's the best way to teach kids to read. One fears the move is simply an "educational fad" and warns there's "no magic bullet".

[New_Zealand_Herald,_The; Auckland,_NZ; 2021-01-22]

McKinney ISD ‘elevating both languages’ at first districtwide Spanish spelling bee

McKinney ISD will host its first Spanish spelling bee this week. Winners will compete at a regional spelling bee in February.

“Spanish is being valued in our district,” Gonzalez said. “We’re elevating both languages. It truly goes hand in hand with what we’re trying to promote.” The students in grades 3 through 5 will verbally wrestle with words such as aizoáceo (aizoaceous), escenificación (staging) and organogénesis (organogenesis). Competitors had to study and memorize the spellings of 1,400 Spanish words for this occasion.

[Community_Impact; Pflugerville,_TX,_US; 2021-01-19]

Same Spelling, Different Meaning

Katherine Shurlds offers examples of how complicated the English language can be.

[audio] Some of the most difficult languages to learn include: Chinese, Finnish and Arabic. Although English isn’t on the list, it is still no cake-walk to learn. Languages can become difficult to learn for grammatical reasons, because of colloquial terms

[KUAF; Fayetteville,_AR,_US; 2021-01-19]

Ebenezer Middle School student wins spelling bee

Wren Pratt from Ebenezer Middle School won the Effingham County school district spelling bee and will represent the county at the region spelling bee to be held on Feb. 27.

[Savannah_Morning_News; Savannah,_GA,_US; 2021-01-18]

Among Us Impostor vs. Imposter: Why InnerSloth Spells It Different [sic]

In Among Us, the killer in the game is known as the Impostor. So, why does InnerSloth spell it that way, instead of spelling it as Imposter?

The reason for InnerSloth's Impostor spelling is actually pretty simple. That's the correct way to spell the word. Whether using it to explain why someone feels like a fraud (Impostor syndrome) to using it plurally to describe several wolves-in-sheep's-clothing (impostors), the word is typically spelled with an "o-r" at the end. The other spelling, "imposter," is technically an incorrect spelling that's been used so often for hundreds of years that it's now just an excepted [sic] variation. This is actually quite common in the English language.

[ScreenRant; St_Laurent,_Quebec,_CA; 2021-01-18]

Spelling matters!

Standardized spelling is essential, especially since our children are learning to speak, read and write our Mother Tongue as a second language in school.

“Do you really think that changing the spelling of a word with one or two letters can transform its meaning and change a person’s perspective?” My response is yes, absolutely. The words we use and the way we spell them create context and influence meaning.

[Guam_Daily_Post,_The; Tamuning,_GU,_US; 2021-01-17]

How the English language slipped up when it came to spaghetti

Like most British people of my age, I first encountered spaghetti in a tin, in tomato sauce.

When I was a child, spaghetti on toast was one of my favourite breakfasts.I write was here rather than were, because English speakers decided long before I was born that the word spaghetti was singular. We say “this spaghetti is good”, not “these spaghetti are good”. This is in spite of the fact that the pasta itself – and so the word – first came to Britain from Italy, and that in Italian spaghetti is plural.

[New_European,_The; Norwich,_UK; 2021-01-15]

Our year of pandemic words

THOUGH THESE FIRST FEW DAYS have already given us quite a year, let us not forget 2020 and the words that categorized it.

Oxford [University Press] listed forty-seven WOTYs. The top sixteen, arranged chronologically by when each spiked in lookups, were “bushfire,” “impeachment,” “acquittal,” “coronavirus,” “covid-19,” “lockdown,” “social distancing,” “reopening” (if only), “Black Lives Matter,” “cancel culture,” “bipoc,” “mail-in,” “Belarusian,” “moonshot,” “superspeader,” and “net zero.”

[Columbia_Journalism_Review; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-01-14]

The best electronic dictionary

Considerations when choosing electronic dictionaries

[review] Electronic dictionaries have an extensive database and an array of tools to make searches and learning easier. Our top pick, the Franklin Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, has phonetic spell correction, entertaining word games, a crossword solver, and a number of other impressive extras.

[Chicago_Tribune; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-01-13]

A Word, Please

The word ‘manakin’ [sic] crosses this editor’s eyes

This happened to me recently while I was reading an article about a study on the efficacy of cloth masks for COVID-19 protection. Researchers tested masks by putting them on mannequins, the article reported. Except the illustration that accompanied the article didn’t call them mannequins. In the images, the dummies were referred to multiple times as “manikins.”

[Los_Angeles_Times; Los_Angeles,_CA,_US; 2021-01-12]

50 of the Most Commonly Misspelled Words in English

We all make spelling mistakes from time to time — in fact, “misspelled” is itself often misspelled as “mispelled.”

It’s easy to get many words wrong, particularly homophones. These are words that sound the same but have different spellings. For example, “there,” “their,” and “they’re” are all pronounced the same way but have different meanings and are often confused.

[24/7_Wall_St; New_York,_NY,_US; 2021-01-10]

English learning at home trend with Monkey Stories app in Southeast Asia

Monkey Stories is the optimal solution for Indonesian parents with children aged 2-10, which helps their children learn English at home and comprehensively develop 4 skills of Listening - Speaking - Reading - Writing.

"Monkey Stories" is an application that proudly helps children excel in English before the age of 10; the app is developed by Early Start, an English-software-for-children publishing company based in the U.S. Having been in the market for more than 6 years, with the Monkey brand, Early Start has won a number of international awards: First Prize of Global Innovation through Science and Technology in the US, First Prize of Design at Asian Entrepreneurship Award in Japan, Gold ICT Award in Brunei. Additionally, the company apps have, multiple times, been on the top-trending list on Play Store and App Store.

[PR_Newswire; Chicago,_IL,_US; 2021-01-07]

Homeschool essentials: The best learning resources for teaching English, history and geography

With the stay at home order in place, these are the educational tools you need to make teaching from home a breeze.

For younger children, Fun Phonics has made its digital products free for home learning which includes lettering, flashcards, word searches, objectives, name labels and spelling cards. It ranges from children who are just developing key speaking words and vocabulary up until kids who can identify words using a digraph – when two letters put together to make a sound such as "ph".

[Independent; London,_UK; 2021-01-05]

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