Washington Post — Why Stevie Can’t Spell:
After more than three decades of mangling words, a mortified writer sets out to get some answers
Being humiliated by spell-check is pretty much a daily occurrence for me
It isn’t confusing just for bad spellers when there are at least a dozen ways to spell the long e sound: peel, key, tea, phoebe, tangerine, protein, fiend, she, people, ski, debris and quay. The bizarro spelling makes English incredibly difficult to learn, particularly for adults studying it as a second language, and acts as a drag chute on efforts to boost literacy. Ever since a 13th-century monk named Orm, no doubt tugging his halo of hair in frustration at the unholy mess he was forced to transcribe, became the first evangelist for spelling reform, men of letters have called for some serious tidying up of the English lexicon. They’ve included Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt, the editors of the Chicago Tribune and George Bernard Shaw, who famously pointed out that “ghoti” could logically be pronounced fish using familiar English letter combinations (the g-h from rough, o from women and t-i from motion).
Also he discusses recent studies showing poor spellers could have a form of dyslexia.