Spelling Reform And Americanization Of The English Language
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This research paper will attempt to scratch the surface, on the subject of spelling reform and the Americanization of the English Language in America. For hundreds of years there have been many attempts to differentiate American English from our former rulers, the British. A precious few of the attempts have been victorious and most were complete blunders. We will look at who the proponent(s) were, most notably, Noah Webster, the man considered by many to be ‘America’s Teacher’. We will examine the inconsistent condition of the English Language in the early American colonies, in order to come to a conclusion as to why so much time and effort were being put into changing the British way of spelling. Finally, we will take a short look at the spelling reform that was accepted and the many suggest reforms that were rejected.
“American attempts to reform ‘archaic, cumbrous, and ineffective’ English spelling have generally failed and now the forms are relatively fixed. But the history of the many attempts to change them is fascinating.” (Hodges, R.E., 1964)
Keywords: English, American, British, reform
The Americanization of the spelling of British words
People in America often wonder why our spelling of certain words is different than the British spelling of the same word with that same meaning. Noah Webster is considered to be the man most responsible for the differences, by changing the archaic British spelling to a way of spelling based on the phonetic sound of the