Following the continued success of a wave of spelling and punctuation titles published in the past eighteen months, James Essinger's 'Spellbound' is an engagingly written, unique and comprehensive account of why the English language is riddled with words that are difficult to spell. Starting with an analysis of the first writing systems, via the origins of English spelling and how this has evolved, the book concludes with the intriguing stories of the development of the spelling of many hard-to-spell words. 'Spellbound' lays bare many fascinating stories of the history of the words we speak every day. It reveals answers to the mystery of why many words are, on the face of it, spelled in such an irrational, chaotic and illogical manner. Explaining why we should care about spelling, the book is an entertaining and practical guide to effective communication, as well as an original historical study of one of the most curious linguistic phenomena in the world.
An Oxford graduate, James Essinger has published more than thirty books, including a book on how to write marketing copy. Both his previous writings and his time spent teaching English abroad leave him exceptionally well qualified in the linguistic field. His most recent book was published by Oxford University Press last year.