Peculiar to the English Language by
(13 Stories)

Prompted By Spelling

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Misspelled words always jump off the page for me. How lucky I am.

Spelling problems are primarily peculiar to English language, based on its strength of incorporating foreign words. My Russian instructors said that spelling bees would make no sense for Russian speakers, but that indicating where the accent goes on a particular word is a challenge.

Although some say French spelling is awful, it is remarkably consistent. The French may not pronounce, at least to our ears, all the letters in a word. French speakers tell me they are there for a reason, and that they’re all perfectly placed.

RetroFlash/100 Words

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  1. Suzy says:

    Excellent RetroFlash! I don’t think they have spelling bees in any language except English. I know that in Spanish you can hear a word that you have never heard before in your life, and you will know exactly how to spell it, because there is only one way to make each sound. From what you say, the same is true for French and Russian.

  2. Thanx Mister Ed, now we can say we heard it from the horse’s mouth.

  3. Interesting to note that spelling difficulties are often due to our adoption and integration of foreign words. I love that our language reflects our fluidity just as our population does. Wonderful RetroFlash, Mister Ed…and a perfect example of how just a few words can pack in a lot of food for thought!

  4. Laurie Levy says:

    I love that you did this as a RetroFlash, Mr. Ed. Yes, the English language is filled with spelling landmines.

  5. Marian says:

    Right you are about other languages, Mr. Ed. In Lisbon I could figure out how to pronounce Portuguese easily, and Hebrew, once you master the alphabet, isn’t too bad. Pity the poor English learners who come from other countries and cultures.

  6. Betsy Pfau says:

    Thanks for this insight, Mr. Ed. Besides English, I’ve only studied French. Though there are irregular verbs, the spelling is quite consistent, making your point. Once you know how to spell something, you’ve got it made. English befuddles many. Lucky you that misspellings pop out at you. That’s a gift.

  7. Hey Mr Ed! I love this phrase: Spelling problems are primarily peculiar to English language…
    Almost a tongue twister!
    Enjoyed reading this!

  8. Joe Lowry says:

    Ed, your fun with the Russian reminded me of my choices at San Jose State. To get a chemistry degree, one had to take Russian or German or take a minor. I took the minor route. Ironically, the only languages I could have used after I graduated were French and Spanish. As a side note, San Jose State offered French, German, Russian, Spanish, and minors in Italian, Japanese and Latin.

    • Mister Ed says:

      Russian always intrigued me, but it turns out I had no talent for it. So after 15 units of it, the professor said “we like you, and you’ve put in the effort, but it’s not going to work. You shouldn’t take any more Russian.” Should have done Spanish as well.

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