Word Ways

Article Title

Sound Spelling


Stuart Kidd


Some years ago now, I was interested to realise that there seemed to be many different spellings in English words of the sound 'SH.' I began collecting these and soon branched into other sound spellings as well. The linguistic term for a sound unit is the phoneme. Now though I dabble in language curiosities I am no linguist, so I realise that I am entering 'tiger country' by presenting this list! Its purpose is more to celebrate the amazing range of phonemic spellings in English - many being obvious borrowings form our parents languages - than to provide any definitive corpus (a la Rex Gooch or Susan Thorpe!).