The Way We Talk

I have thoroughly enjoyed the class I am taking on the orthography of the English language. The material has expanded my view of literacy, and the discussions have kept my brain sharp. We are at the point in the curriculum regarding phonology (units of speech that construct meaning).

Our teacher emphasized the point that many spelling errors are problems of orthography, not phonology, with this story. A fellow doctoral student is teaching a college level English 101 class. In an assignment, some of her students wrote the following phrases:

from the gecko

hammy downs

While we may laugh at these errors that seem like cards in Mad Gab, phonemes are rarely pure. Which just reinforces the truth I have firmly come to believe- in English, we spell things the way they mean not the way they sound.