Strengths and weaknesses of English orthography

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The method of spelling words in the English language or English orthography has its own set of strengths and weaknesses. This mainly comes through because of the many inconsistencies between the spelling and pronunciation of words. Underlined below are a few significant points to highlight both strengths and weaknesses.


Finally the experienced reader in English is served well with the language.
Homophones: Differentiation between homophones or similar sounding words is achieved successfully by English orthography. For example, the words hour and our though pronounced similarly are distinguished by the usage of h in the first word. This can help to remove any ambiguity when a reader reads the written language.
Etymological relationships between words: Usually an abstract underlying representation or morphophonemic form is seen to be represented for English words. For example, dipped, loomed and looted have different pronunciations of the usage of -ed, which is pronounced as (t), (d) and (Id) not represented to the reader. The abstract representation of words is also a relative strength as it indicates the etymological relationship between words. Thus while writing English becomes a little difficult, it makes learning English a relatively easy process (Chomsky 1970:294, Rollins 2004:17).
Creativity: The inconsistency in English spelling can also be considered advantageous as it gives way to creativity and allows people to pronounce words in their own personal way. Slogans in creative communications are witness to the fact, which is an activity that can not be taken up for other languages (Venezky, Children of the code interview, undated).
Spelling and pronunciation inconsistency: As per Laubach, "English is ...
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