This page contains the complete bibliographic reference list for the The English Spelling Society website.

The TESS citation and reference style has been designed to acknowledge authorship and enable any reader who wishes to dig deeper into the subject to know where to start digging, while not getting in the way of a general reader who simply wishes to read the pages on the website. It is also designed to allow references to be added to the list without changing any existing citation or reference. It is based on the Harvard (ie author-date-page) style, slightly modified for the specific needs of the website.

Each entry begins with the relevant citation, followed by the reference. The entries are in citation order.

(CACP 2008). HURON, D, JENKINS, L, SCHMOLKA, V, (Eds), 2008. Literacy Awareness Resource Manual for Police. [online] [accessed 2017-11-06]. Literacy and Policing Project of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), and its Crime Prevention Committee. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

(Clark 2008). CLARK, C,  and DUGDALE, G, 2008. Literacy Changes Lives: The role of literacy in offending behaviour. [online] [accessed 2017-11-06]. National Literacy Trust. London.

(Franklin 1806). FRANKLIN, B, 1806. The complete works ... of ... Benjamin Franklin. Ed 2. Vol 2. Johnson & Co, London. [Online] [accessed 2018-01-25].

(Jones 2010). JONES, D, 2010. Illiteracy and innumeracy are the UK's dirty little secrets. [online] [accessed 2017-11-06]. The Guardian. London.

(Kirsch 2002). KIRSCH, I S, et al, 2002. Adult Literacy in America. 3rd Ed. [online] [accessed 2017-11-06]. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Washington.

(OECD 2000). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2000. Literacy in the Information Age: Final Report of the International Adult Literacy Survey. [online] [accessed 2017-10-30]. Canada.

(Orwell 1947). ORWELL, G, 1947. As I Please.  Tribune, (14 March 1947). [online] [accessed 2018-01-24].

(Roosevelt 1906). ROOSEVELT, T, 1906. The Roosevelt Fonetic Spelling Book. Simplified Spelling Board. [online] [accessed 2018-01-25].

(Scragg 1974). SCRAGG, D G, 1974. A history of English spelling. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

(Seymour 2003). SEYMOUR, P H K, Aro, M, and Erskine, J M in collaboration with COST Action A8 network, 2003. Foundation literacy acquisition in European orthographies. British Journal of Psychology (2003), 94, 143–174.​

(Seymour 2005). SEYMOUR, P H K, 2005. Early reading development in European orthographies. The science of reading - A handbook, pp 296–315. Malden: Blackwell Publishing.

(Twain 1997). TWAIN, M and FATOUT, P (ed), 1997. Mark Twain Speaks for Himself. Purdue University Press.

(Twain 2013). TWAIN, M and GRIFFIN, B (ed), 2013. Autobiography of Mark Twain: The Complete and Authoritative Edition. Vol 2. Hardcover. University of California Press. ISBN-13: 978-0520272781.

(UK Education 2017). United Kingdom Government, Department for Education, 2017. National curriculum assessments at key stage 2 in England, 2017 (interim). [online] [accessed 2017-10-30]. London.

(UNDP 2009). United Nations Development Program, 2009. Overcoming barriers: Human mobility and development. Human Development Report 2009. [online] [accessed 2017-10-30]. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

(UNESCO 2017). United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS), 2017. Literacy rates continue to rise from one generation to the next. Fact Sheet No. 45 September 2017 FS/2017/LIT/45. [online] [accessed 2017-10-30].

(Woolliscroft 2013). WOOLISCROFT, C, 2013. Is there a causal link between education and crime in the UK? [online] [accessed 2017-11-06]. Access Economics. UK.

(World Bank 2017). World Bank Open Data, 2017. [online] [accessed 2017-10-30]. Washington, DC, USA.

spelling in the news VIEW ALL

The News System is being replaced in the next few days. Check back for the new look and content.

Did You Know:

• Ask your friend what Y-E-S spells. They won't have any difficulty saying yes. Then ask what E-Y-E-S spells. It's easy when it's written down, but surprisingly difficult when it's spoken. See a YouTube video of this.

• Who has not heard i before e, except after c. A University of Warwick statistician put it to the test. He plugged a list of 350,000 English words into a statistical program to see if the math checked out. It didn't.

• When Adam met Eve for the first time, he said Madam, I'm Adam. This is a palindrome — a phrase or sentence in which the letters, words or even lines read the same in either direction. Adam hoped to impress the most beautiful woman in the world, but she more than matched him by replying simply, Eve. Not bad given that writing, and therefore palindromes, and English ones in particular, had not yet been invented! More palindromes, and a wonderful palindromic poem.

• How would you pronounce ghoti? Pronounce it like this:

and you get ... fish! Thanks to Charles Ollier for writing this in 1855 — and for showing that English spelling has been ludicrous for quite some time.

• One of the arguments in favour of keeping English spelling unchanged is to show the etymology of words. For example, the silent s in island shows the link to the Latin insula. But island actually derives from the Old English íglund, not from the Latin at all. More examples at Mental Floss.


Page editor: N Paterson. Contact by email or form.

​Spelling reform is not a new idea!

Benjamin Franklin "The same is to be observed in all the letters, vowels, and consonants, that wherever they are met with, or in whatever company, their sound is always the same. It is also intended that there be no superfluous letters used in spelling, i.e. no letter that is not sounded [...]"  Franklin proposed a spelling scheme with 6 new letters. (Franklin 1806 p359)

Theodore Roosevelt "It is merely an attempt [...] to make our spelling a little less foolish and fantastic." Theodore Roosevelt promoted the Simplified Spelling Board's gradual reform (see Twain below). (Roosevelt 1906, p3)

Mark Twain "It is my belief that an effort at a slow and gradual change is not worth while. [...] It is the sudden changes [...] that have the best chance of winning in our day. Can we expect a sudden change in our spelling? I think not. But I wish I could see it tried. [...] By a sudden and comprehensive rush the present spelling could be entirely changed and the substitute spelling be accepted, all in the space of a couple of years; and preferred in another couple. But it won't happen, and I am as sorry as a dog." (Twain 1997, pp208-212)

Page editor: N Paterson. Contact by email or form.