Spelling is the writing of one or more words with letters and diacritics. In addition, the term often, but not always, means an accepted standard spelling or the process of naming the letters. In the sense of a standard, spelling is one of the elements of orthography and a prescriptive element of alphabetic languages.
Spellings attempt to transcribe the sounds of the language into alphabetic letters, but phonetic spellings are exceptions in many languages for various reasons. Pronunciation changes over time in all languages, and spelling reforms are irregular in most languages and rare in some. In addition, words from other languages may be adopted without being adapted to the spelling system, non-standard spellings are often adopted after extensive common usage, and different meanings of a word or homophones may be deliberately spelled in different ways to differentiate them visually.
Famous quotes containing the word spelling:
“We drove the Indians out of the land,
But a dire revenge those Redmen planned,
For they fastened a name to every nook,
And every boy with a spelling book
Will have to toil till his hair turns gray
Before he can spell them the proper way.”
—Eva March Tappan (18541930)
“My spelling is Wobbly. Its good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places.”
—A.A. (Alan Alexander)
“As to spelling the very frequent word though with six letters instead of two, it is impossible to discuss it, as it is outside the range of common sanity. In comparison such a monstrosity as phlegm for flem is merely disgusting.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)