Spelling matters to people. In America and Britain every day, members of the
public write to the media on spelling issues, and take part in spelling
contests. In Germany, a reform of the spelling system has provoked a
constitutional crisis; in Galicia, a 'war of orthographies' parallels an intense
public debate on national identity; on walls, bridges and trains globally, 'Punx'
and 'Anarkists' proclaim their identities orthographically. The way we spell
often represents an attempt to associate with, or dissociate from, other
languages. In Spelling and Society, Mark Sebba explores why matters of
orthography are of real concern to so many groups, as a reflection of culture,
history and social practices, and as a powerful symbol of national or local
identity. This 2007 book will be welcomed by students and researchers in
English language, orthography and sociolinguistics, and by anyone interested
in the importance of spelling in contemporary society.
Review of the hardback: 'Mark Sebba goes beyond a description of the
culture and the politics of orthography around the globe…such a
'sociolinguistics of orthography' has been missing from the literature'