Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sometimes Suffolk stifles successful spelling.

It's a cliché, but the English language is one of the hardest in the world to learn, not least of all for those who speak it as a first language.  It's not so much that it's difficult to speak correctly (although there are several famous folk who appear to struggle), it's not even the case that it is particularly difficult to structure written sentences correctly (although those who have read my writing may claim I struggle, especially when I use too many brackets, like right now).  The real challenge (in my opinion) is spelling the words we wish to use.

The English language isn't phonetically accurate, and when we take into consideration regional dialect the issue becomes more complex, and I think that's the murky swamp from whence the beast that is my problem with spelling arises from.

Growing up in Suffolk and learning to pronounce local place names confuses the issue of spelling correctly , when in my formative years I was learning the alphabet, and where convention dictates we scatter silent vowels I was unable to put the theory into practice.  I won't go into great detail and list many examples, in fact I'll give you just one: when I was a teenager I worked in a village called 'Debach', now I'd like you to take a moment to consider how that name is pronounced.... Got it?  Unless you read ahead you might be surprised to learn that Debach is in fact pronounced as 'Debbagge'.  Interesting? Not really to be honest, but when I woke up this morning I thought it might make a half passable blog post...