DS brought home a note about 'Spelling Practise' asking us to 'practice spellings with you're child.' Do I say anything or just feel at the teacher's own spelling mistakes? Has anyone else had similar mistakes in letters from school?
Perhaps, this is why, when not communicating verbally and face-to-face, most people indicate irony through the use of, say, inverted commas.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
Coming back to the problem of spelling mistakes. Of the 91 main English spelling patterns, 80 have some exceptions, but some have very few, e.g. the short /a/ sound is spelt differently in just 3 not particularly common words (plaid, plait, meringue). They are not much of a problem.
Only 20 patterns have more than 50 exceptions, and the most time-consuming to learn and therefore also most error-causing are doubled consonants, spellings for /ee/ and long /oo/ and heterographs. The latter cut across several spelling patterns.
I have a collection of 335 words which have different spellings for different meanings, but for about 80 of them most people learn just one (e.g. pigeon/pidgin, turn/tern). I have grouped the main 253 by the sound which they spell differently and will paste them in. They'll come out a bit jumbled, because i've got got them in tables, but just scrolling down will show u why they absorb much learning and teaching time.
If those 253 words all had just one spelling for their different meanings (like 'mean, lean, sound, found, bound and 2,000 others), learning to spell English would clearly be vastly less time-consuming than it is now. They also make clear that phonics is of very limited use for learning to spell English. More useful for learning to read.
I hope that even just a quick scroll down that list helps lucky gifted spellers to appreciate a bit more how much memorisation learning to spell English 'correctly' involves, and perhaps makes them a little more forgiving towards people who occasionally slip up.
Those 500+ words are the hardest, but they are only a fraction of the minimum of 4,000 common words with tricky bits in them.