This first ran in January, 2010.
How did spelling in English get so messed up? If you have a child who is learning to spell, you may have taken the approach that I have – there’s no rhyme or reason to how it happened so you simply have to memorize it. It turns out that there is a reason, if a bit convoluted, that is often hidden in the rhyme. It’s a small comfort for the many people around the world, young and old alike, that have to learn how to write the most popular language, but it’s at least a great story.