How to Spell

How to Spell - John Irving, author of The World According...

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The World According to Garp , The Hotel New Hampshire , and Setting Free the Bears , among other novels— and once a hopelessly bad speller himself— teaches you how to improve your spelling Let's begin with the bad news. If you're a bad speller, you probably think you always will be. There are exceptions to every spelling rule, and the rules themselves are easy to forget . George Bernard Shaw demonstrated how ridiculous some spelling rules are. By following the rules, he said, we could spell fish this way: ghoti. The "f" as it sounds in enough, the "i" as it sounds in women, and the "sh" as it sounds in fiction. With such rules to follow, no one should feel stupid for being a bad speller. But there are ways to improve. Start by acknowledging the mess that English spelling is in— but have sympathy: English spelling changed with foreign influences. Chaucer wrote "gesse," but "guess," imported earlier by the Norman invaders, finally replaced it. Most early printers in England came from Holland; they brought "ghost" and "gherkin" with them. "Sh" can be written: shoe suspicion sugar nauseous ocean conscious issue chaperone nation mansion schist fuchsia pshaw Now the good news: The good news is that 90 percent of all writing consists of 1,000 basic words. There is, also, a method to most English spelling and a great number of how-to- spell books. Remarkably, all these books propose learning the same rules! Not surprisingly, most of these books are humorless. Just keep this in mind: If you're familiar with the words you use, you'll probably spell them correctly--and you shouldn't be writing words you're unfamiliar with anyway. USE a word-out loud, and more than once--before you
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How to Spell - John Irving, author of The World According...

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