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English Spelling : A Reference Guide - Trevor Schindeler

English Spelling

A Reference Guide

By: Trevor Schindeler

Hardcover | 22 October 2024

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Is there a purpose for the extra "p" in "shopped"? Does the letter "e" in "prince" have a function?  Is there a reason for spelling "muscle" with a silent letter "c"? Why are the letters "cc" in "accident" and "account" pronounced differently? Why does the letter "e" in "bake" disappear from "baking"?

These are just a few of the mysteries of English spelling that Trevor Schindeler, a lifelong student of the English language, explores in this unique book.  He answers these questions and many others in a clear and understandable fashion by setting out the structures and conventions that govern English spelling.

In this age of smartphones with spell checking capacities, some people question the need to learn about spelling. There are, however, benefits to understanding how spelling works beyond getting words typed out correctly. Spelling remains vital because it forms a foundation for both reading and writing. A good knowledge of our English spelling system is required to read accurately and to write proficiently. Spelling skills are fundamental to good communication, and open the door to vast stores of human knowledge.

This book will be helpful to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of written English including teachers, English instructors, students seeking to master the English language, and general readers. It sets out, in a systematic and comprehensive manner, all of the spelling patterns found in written English. Becoming aware of a spelling pattern will help you to notice it when reading and, eventually, to apply it when writing. In time, reading and writing skills will improve, and a deeper appreciation of our complex spelling system will be acquired.

This book also describes the structures and conventions that govern the spelling of words. While dictionaries tell us how to spell a word, this book explains why! 


The Structures of English Spelling

Long Vowel Spelling Patterns

Short Vowel Spelling Patterns

Other Vowel Spelling Patterns

Consonant Spelling Patterns

Consonant Blends


Root Words


Grammatical Considerations



Onsets and Rimes

Compound and Hyphenated Words



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