Was that “i” before “e”?

Regardless of how often I manage to mangle it, I love the English language. We have so many words (over half a million at last count) that we can use to express ourselves perfectly. I’m pretty sure, though, that few of us actually have that many words at their command. I know that my daily vocabulary is actually pretty limited, even though I’m a well-read university graduate. And my spell, well it’s just awful.

With that in mind, I picked up a bargain book from ChaptersThe Art of Spelling: The Madness and the Method by Marilyn vos Savant. It was an interesting book giving a brief history of the development of standardized English spelling as well as some tools to help improve one’s spelling. (I can use all the help I can get.) Ms. vos Savant also provides some interesting links in the back of the book, and through them I found SPELL (Society for the Preservation of English Literature and Language) and Verbivore. The former site is a very fun read for anyone who loves our language.

What I have managed to take away from all this reading in the past couple of days is a renewed respect for the English language, as well as a desire to improve my spelling especially of words that are spelt different by Canadians. It has also harden my resolve to continue to write properly online, whether through email, instant messaging or in a game. Our language is beautiful and deserving of respect. Using “4” instead of “for” or “2” instead of “to” or “too” is a very sad thing to those of us who love words.

As for grammar… well, that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.