Spellbound by the connections I see in word families, morphemes and etymons, I dreamily mutter, “What’s more pleasing than finding out that English spelling really does make sense?!?”
“Are you joking? No it doesn’t!” some plea. Others quip, “English has too many words in which the spelling does not make sense!”
“Give me an example of this nonsense,” I plead.
A distraught person nearly shouts, “My students never spell ‘please‘ right, they leave off the final <e> (*pleas). I can see why they do this; the digraph <ea> says the sound for ‘eee’ already. That extra <e> on the end is not even necessary!”
Another adds, “Well, I can never remember to put the <a> in the middle (*plese) because the <e> on the end already makes the first vowel say its name.”
“Oh! this simply will not do,” I plead, “We must open our eyes and our minds to the structures of words!”
The room begins to buzz with even more tension and grumblings of ways people misspell this word! I gather my voice, talk above the rest and scratch out the word ‘please’ on the whiteboard in front of me. “Please, let’s investigate, let’s see if there is more to be discovered other than letters and sounds.” The buzz in the room begins to settle and we begin our journey with one simple word.
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