Monday, May 25, 2009

But WHY?

Dear Word Spy,

All these words rhyme but they are spelled differently.


And, even EYE!!!

So my question is - WHY????

From Greg (ory)

Dear Greg(ory),

That is some question. I guess you don't need me to tell you that spelling in English is a bit strange. Okay, VERY strange. One reason for this strange spelling is all the silent letters we have - like in sigh and lie and eye. Silent letters came into English in a few different ways - some came because of borrowing from other languages, and some were just plain mistakes that we all got used to! But probably most of them are there because the way people used to say words in English changed, but we have kept the old spellings.

I kind of like the old spellings, even though they can be hard to learn. It reminds you of all the millions of people who spoke English hundreds of years ago...

your olde worlde friende, The Word Spy

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