“I” before “e,” except after “c,”Or when sounded as “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh.” This easy-to-remember jingle is one of the first spelling rules we learned as children. It has been […]
Andrew Carnegie and Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Effort to Simplify Spelling
Wy duz English hav such weerd spelling? Sum words uze silent letters. Others use dubel letters inconsistently for ekwal sounds, such as “blizzard” and “lizard.” Wat if we cud mak it eezy? […]
The Chaos — The Aptly-Named Poem About the Insanity of the English Language
Those of us who love the English language have to admit to a bit of schizophrenia about the love affair. On the one hand, English is an utterly-flexible and ever-changing language, allowing […]
Should Moby-Dick Have a Hyphen?
Herman Melville’s novel about an obsessive hunt for an elusive whale is Moby Dick. Or is it Moby-Dick? The answer to that question drives obsessive scholars of literature and seems to be […]
Was He Brilliant, Lucky, or Bonkers? The Eccentric Life of Lord Timothy Dexter
In the world of eccentrics, Lord Timothy Dexter stands in a class by himself. He made several fortunes through either the keenest business instincts in history or by the wildest strokes of […]
How Many Ways Can You Spell ‘Scissors’?
How many ways are there to spell the word scissors? Even accounting for typical misspellings, we were hard-pressed to come up with more than four variations. Fortunately, there is a better authority […]
Improve Your Memory With These Helpful Mnemonics
Who hasn’t wished to have a better memory? Whether you struggle with recalling the names of people whom you just met, have difficulty with how many “c”s and “m”s to include in […]
From the Hand of the Bard
Some of the most beautiful and inspiring words in the English language have come from the hand of William Shakespeare. 422 words were added to English by his fertile and creative mind. […]