English orthography is the alphabetic spelling system used by the English language. English orthography, like other alphabetic orthographies, exhibits a set of relationships between speech sounds and the corresponding written words. In most other languages, these relationships are regular enough to be called rules. In standard English spelling, however, nearly every sound can be spelled in more than one way, and most spellings and all letters can be pronounced in more than one way and often in many different ways. This is largely due to the complex history of the English language, together with the absence of systematic spelling reforms implemented in English, in contrast to the position in a number of other languages.
In general, English spelling does not reflect the sound changes in the pronunciation of the language that have occurred since the late fifteenth century.
Famous quotes containing the word english:
“The English are polite by telling lies. The Americans are polite by telling the truth.”
—Malcolm Bradbury (b. 1932)