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About the books

The Inside Story on English Spelling

This is a book explains why English spelling is so difficult, much harder than most other languages. It answers many questions, like ‘Why doesn’t HIS have a Z?’ and ‘What’s O doing in WON and why is GH in THROUGH?’ or ‘What’s the point of silent letters?’ Also, ‘Why were Biblical FRUTE and TUNG discarded in favour of FRUIT and TONGUE? Is English the victim of a class plot?’

The many rules and codes which govern English spelling are explained and become keys to hidden treasure, the cultural inheritance of all English-speaking people. Spelling is presented as a game as serious as any sport, with as many rules and as many game changes. After reading this book you’ll actually enjoy spelling and no longer view English as ‘a funny language without many spelling rules’, which is the current standard reply to questions on spelling. Instead, you will want to share the inside story of English spelling with young and old. See the free sample in Buy the Books.

Reading with Rules Words Listed with Spelling Rules, Reasons and Rebels

This book explains how to spell out, decode, the written word into the spoken word, using Reading Rules. Where useful, Writing Rules are included in “WR” boxes. It is best to start at the beginning so that knowledge is acquired in the order it is needed. You can also look up a word using the disc inside the back cover to find its list in the book. Above each list in the book is a reading rule. Below each list are the exceptions to the rule, the rebel words. The rules come with reasons, the rebels with their excuses.

As you can see in the free sample, at Buy the Books, that with Rule One, the basic ‘ground rules’ — the sounds A spells in Ant, B in Bed etc. — the learner can read four hundred and fifty words. Just as in a simple game of bat and ball, the learner enjoys reading straight away. The lists build on each other, introducing new rules one by one, the same way we learn tennis and cricket, or any game for that matter.

By the end of Part One, the learner can read 3,600 words, including 80 of the 100 words which we use the most. The next three sections introduce increasingly complex words, carefully listed so that learners will not meet a word they cannot decode. Bran is in Part Two but brooch is later, in Part Three. Bread is not listed until it is fully decoded, in Part Four.

The book is long, but not daunting, if the learner is taken, step by step, along the ‘reading road’.

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