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A COMPLETE SPELLER
A BOOK WHICH HATH BEEN CULLED FROM THE FLOWERS
OF ALL BOOKS. George Eliot.
COPYRIGHT, 1899, BY
W. H. WHEELER.
TYPOGRAPHY BY J. 8. CUSHING & 00., NORWOOD, MASS,
ENGRAVINGS AND PRINTING BY ROGERS & WELLS, CHICAGO.
Of all the alphabetic languages English is said to be the most difficult to spell. In a perfect language each letter always has the same sound, and each sound is always represented by the same letter; but in English a represents a different sound in each of the words hate, hat, far, all, ask, care, many, what, and so with other letters. A single sound may be represented by many different characters. Thus the sound of a as in hate is represented by different characters in each of the words faint, play, eight, they, great, gauge, and so with other sounds. In a perfect language there are no words pronounced alike and spelled two or three different ways; but in English there are hundreds of such words.
A thorough reform of this “monstrous English spelling" is in progress, and will prove a priceless boon to countless millions yet unborn, but the children now in school must be taught to spell according to the present standard. The more difficult it is to learn it, the more necessary it is to teach it. Inability to spell correctly is always considered an indication of a lack of culture, although the complaints from our universities, our colleges, our high schools, the press, and the school patrons all indicate that good spelling is rare.
In the preparation of “Graded Studies in Great Authors” the author was guided by the conviction that whatever we wish a