Monday, June 6, 2016

Archaic English Spellings

The English language has a number of archaic spellings. Many words are spelled differently than in the past. In most cases, though, the spellings are not so different from today. Here is a list of ten words:

angell bicause citie colde daye eare garlick hym mirrour noyse

The modern spellings of these words are angel, because, city, cold, day, ear, garlic, hymn, mirror and noise.

Most of the modern spellings are simpler than the archaic ones. This is the case with angel, cold, day, ear, garlic and mirror. The modern spellings of garlic and hymn are more complicated than the archaic ones. The spelling citie appears in the plural cities and the spelling noyse has the same number of letters as the modern noise.

Many of the archaic spellings have an extra word-final e. This is thc case with cold, day and ear. In the words angell and mirrour we see an extra l and u. The extra u of mirrour appears in the British spelling of many words such as colour, flavour and honour.

English spelling is highly irregular. Many modern spellings represent archaic pronunciations. For example, the word knife used to be pronounced with a k, but the k is now silent. Though English spelling is not so phonetic, a number of words have simpler spellings than they did in the past.

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