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  1. #1
    fullupkorea is offline Newbie
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    Default Meaning of "spell-it-like-it sound system"

    I have trouble understanding the meaning of "spell-it-like-it sound system".
    I can't give you the context where it was used as I don't remember right now.
    Could someone tell me what it is?

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Meaning of "spell-it-like-it sound system"

    Quote Originally Posted by fullupkorea View Post
    I have trouble understanding the meaning of "spell-it-like-it sound system".
    I can't give you the context where it was used as I don't remember right now.
    Could someone tell me what it is?
    "Spell it like it sounds" is a description of phonetic spelling. English would be a much easier language to learn if it worked like that. Spanish works like that so when you hear a word, you can pretty much guess exactly how to spell it and you will probably be right.

    Some words in English work like that - "hat" for example. It would be quite difficult to spell that incorrectly. However, the word "borough" is pronounced "burra" - if you heard the word and had no idea how to spell it, you would probably get it wrong. If English used the "spell it like it sounds" method, it would be spelt "burra". We have so many homonyms, the method wouldn't work. Only the spelling and the context can tell you the difference between "through" and "threw", or "bow" and "bough".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of "spell-it-like-it sound system"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "Spell it like it sounds" is a description of phonetic spelling. English would be a much easier language to learn if it worked like that. Spanish works like that so when you hear a word, you can pretty much guess exactly how to spell it and you will probably be right.

    Some words in English work like that - "hat" for example. It would be quite difficult to spell that incorrectly. However, the word "borough" is pronounced "burra" - if you heard the word and had no idea how to spell it, you would probably get it wrong. If English used the "spell it like it sounds" method, it would be spelt "burra". We have so many homonyms, the method wouldn't work. Only the spelling and the context can tell you the difference between "through" and "threw", or "bow" and "bough".
    Except that we say "burro" and not "burra," so if we spelled it like it sounds, it would be different.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Meaning of "spell-it-like-it sound system"

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Except that we say "burro" and not "burra," so if we spelled it like it sounds, it would be different.
    That's one phonetic spelling would have problems in English. The word 'borough' would be burra, burrer, /bʌrə/ in British English, but burro(h), /bɜ:roʊ/ in AmE. The present system causes problems, but at least most varieties of English use generally the same spelling.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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