Spelling Identity

a black and white painting of a man sitting in a chair and holding a piece of paperI recently found a copy of Noah Webster’s Elementary Spelling book, a version apparently published in the 1840’s, that includes an intriguing discussion of spelling. A primary motivation that informed Webster’s work on the spelling book was generating national unity through consistent pronunciation and spelling. Webster’s work included differentiating American English from British English, as his book appears to be the source for the absence of a “u” in words such as color and favor and spelling “center” with an “er” instead of an “re”. Continue reading “Spelling Identity”