The Man Who Made Spelling Simple
In English the spelling of words does not always represent the sound.So people say /rait/but spell it right,or write,or even http://m.wendangku.net/doc/50bb516983c4bb4cf7ecd175.html binations of
letters(like ough) may be pronounced in a number of ways.And some words just seem to have too many letters.
For Americans things are a little bit easier,thanks to the work of Noah Webster,a teacher who graduated from Yale University in 1778.As a young man he had fought against the British in the American War of Independence,and he felt that written English in the newly independent United States shoud have a distinctive “American” look.
So he began his work on American English. His first book,The Elementary Spelling Book,suggested simplifying the spelling of English words. The book was extremely popular. By the 1850s it was selling one million copies a year, making it one of the most popular school books ever.
Many of the suggestions were quickly adopted.Center instead of
centre,program instead of programme,and flavor instead of programme,and flavor instead of flavour. Others,however,such as removing silent letters like the s in island or the final e in examine,were not.
Webster is best known for his American Dictionary of the English Language,which first appeared in 1828.It introduced lots of new American words,with information about their pronunciation and use,and,of course,the new spelling. The British criticised the dictionary,but it quickly became a standard reference book in the States.Today,Webster’s dictionary is still the number one dictionary for American students.