Just enough time for one more gift idea for book lovers: “Spell It Out –The Singular Story of English Spelling”, by David Crystal. In the words of the publishers, Profile Books:
Seventy-five per cent of English spelling is regular but twenty-five per cent is complicated, and in Spell It Out, our foremost linguistics expert David Crystal extends a helping hand to the confused and curious alike. […] He unearths the stories behind the rogue words that confound us, and explains why these peculiarities entered the mainstream […] By learning the history and the principles, Crystal shows how the spellings that break all the rules become easier to get right.
This book would make a good present for anyone looking for a not-too-heavy read on the history of English and how the language developed. Or for people learning English and trying to make sense of the spelling. Or indeed for teachers, struggling to answer their students’ awkward questions about the language (there’s nothing like students’ awkward questions for showing up the gaps in your own knowledge).
The bonus is, it’s too late to buy it at Amazon in time for Christmas so you’ll be able to support your local bookshop.
Previous posts about spelling:
Spelling bees in my bonnet
By Marian Dougan
Published by Marian Dougan
Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster.
From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group.
She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options.
Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland.
She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.
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It’s on my wish list…
I hope Santa’s taken note and is good to you!
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