Spelling is the writing of a word or words with the necessary letters and diacritics present in an accepted standard order. It is one of the elements of orthography and a prescriptive element of language. Most spellings attempt to approximate a transcribing of the sounds of the language into alphabetic letters; however, completely phonetic spellings are often the exception, due to drifts in pronunciations over time and irregular spellings adopted through common usage.
Whereas uniformity in the spelling of words is one of the features of a standard language in modern times, and official languages usually prescribe standard spelling, minority languages and regional languages often lack this trait. Furthermore, it is a relatively recent development in various major languages in national contexts, linked to the compiling of dictionaries, the founding of national academies, and other institutions of language maintenance, including compulsory mass education.
In countries such as the U.S. and U.K. without official spelling policies, many vestigial and foreign spelling conventions work simultaneously. In countries where there is a national language maintenance policy, such as France, the Netherlands and Germany, reforms were driven to make spelling a better index of pronunciation. Spelling often evolves for simple reasons of alphabetic thrift, as when British English "catalogue" becomes American English "catalog".
The opposite viewpoint was voiced by President Andrew Jackson who stated "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word."
Since traditional language teaching methods emphasize written language over spoken language, a second-language speaker may have a better spelling ability than a native speaker despite having a poorer command of the language.
Spelling tests are usually used to assess a student's mastery over the words in the spelling lessons s/he has received so far. They can also be an effective practice method. There are many free spelling tests on websites on the Internet.
Spelling bees are competitions to determine the best speller of a group. Such events have grown in popularity and are often televised, particularly in the U.S..
While some words admit multiple spellings, some spellings are clearly incorrect and thus labeled as misspellings. A misspelled word can be a series of letters that represents no correctly spelled word of the same language at all (such as "liek" for "like") or a correct spelling of another word (such as writing "here" when one means "hear", or "now" when one means "know"). Misspellings of the latter type can easily make their way into printed material because they are not caught by simple computerised spell checkers.
Misspellings may be due to either typing errors (e.g. typing teh for the), or lack of knowledge of the correct spelling. Whether or not a word is misspelled may depend on context, such as American / British English distinctions. Misspelling can also be a matter of opinion when variant spellings are accepted by some and not by others. For example "miniscule" (for "minuscule") is a misspelling to many, and yet it is listed as a legitimate variant in a number of dictionaries.
A well-known Internet scam involves the registration of domain names that are deliberate misspellings of well-known corporate names in order to mislead or defraud. The practice is sometimes referred to as "typosquatting".
Spelling tests show these kids aren't exactly gifted; Aaron Spelling's kids are following in daddy's footsteps - if they don't trip over themselves on the way.(SOURCE)
Mar 22, 2007; Byline: Neal Justin; Staff Writer The late Aaron Spelling dabbled in just about every TV genre, from prime-time soap opera...