Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Before There Was Ghoti - An Earlier Example of Spelling and Pronunciation Inconsistencies in English

A previous post on this blog was about George Bernard Shaw's alternate spelling of the word 'fish' as ghoti. He supported using this spelling to demonstrate the inconsistencies in English spelling and pronunciation.

According to "The Word Weavers" by Jean Aitchison, before the spelling ghoti was used for 'fish' there was another word with an alternate spelling used by an individual who was unhappy with the spelling of English words.

In 1845, Alexander Ellis spelled the word 'orthography' as eolotthowghrhoighuay based on the following sounds: George, Colonel, Matthew, knowledge, ghost, rheumatic, Beauvoir, laugh, and quay.

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