Word wizards go beyond the letter

Students join a preliminary round for the Spellbulary contest.

Young contestants are brushing up on their vocabulary in preparation for the city's annual Spellbulary competition on Sunday.

Tuesday, 21 May, 2013, 11:53am

Book review: Does Spelling Matter? by Simon Horobin

Book review: Does Spelling Matter? by Simon Horobin

Oxford professor Simon Horobin argues against spelling reform on the grounds that the complex and inconsistent detail of English spelling is "testimony to the richness of our linguistic heritage and a connection with our literary past".

19 May 2013 - 3:40pm

Autocorrect spells trouble for those with hang pets

A spectator uses her mobile phone to send a text ... but will autocorrect spoil her day? Photo: Edmond So

Predictive text is the backseat driver of the tech world. It messes with your head ... and your words. It can get you into all sorts of mix-ups, especially at the Sevens, when you try to send texts, even early in the day. Stumpy fingers, small keyboards, blurred eyeballs and rugby distractions can spell trouble.

24 Mar 2013 - 8:47am

Who said it?

It's the first time the vigil would be held without Uncle [Szeto] Wah's presence, but his spirits will be with us

Albert Ho Chun-yan, Democratic Party chairman, on today's June 4 vigil in Victoria Park

As with any business in a 30-month-old industry, the path to success will have twists and turns, moments of brilliance and other moments of sheer stupidity

4 Jun 2011 - 12:00am


My son is in Primary Four. He gets good marks on his dictation but a few days after the test, he can't spell the words. What should I do?

Education consultant Florence Robertson replies:

16 Feb 2008 - 12:00am

Phonics a tonic, say NETs

IT HAS BEEN CALLED the PH factor and involves a family of words that are either educational jargon or crucial to the teaching of the English language, depending on whom you speak to.

Phonics, phonetics, phonology and a host of derivatives have to do with the sounds of spoken words and are at the centre of an international debate on language acquisition.

15 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

Spellbound by words

When my daughter was six, she had what we took to be a nervous habit. In class or at dinner, sitting and listening intently to the flow of conversation, she would trace patterns on her thigh. One day I asked whether hearing others talk made her anxious. She was puzzled, until I pointed out that her thumb and forefinger had been looping back and forth across her leg while I spoke.

8 Mar 2006 - 12:00am

Contest leaves audience spellbound

How good is your spelling? Can you spell HELLEBORE without looking in the dictionary?

What about PALIMPSEST? Could you manage to spell that without any help?

Even a short word like BANNS can be tricky. Does it have one or two Ns? It's time to get your spelling thinking cap on.

21 Jan 2004 - 12:00am

Even robots need to rest for a spell

Almost every English-language phone conversation that I have with a government department or a local company seems to involve the spelling of words. I do not recall such an emphasis on spelling in other non-English-speaking countries in which I have worked.

4 Oct 2003 - 12:00am

Word processors the key to better English

I refer to the comments made by Andy Ho in his column on October 30 ('Queen's English or anyone's - simply be consistent') concerning the use of British and American English in Hong Kong.

14 Nov 2001 - 12:00am

Criticism of English test 'mistakes' brushed aside

The Examinations Authority yesterday brushed aside accusations that its mock benchmark test for English-language teachers was riddled with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

The authority admitted to a number of 'slips' but rejected claims in a newspaper advertisement taken out by Maria College private school that the papers contained more than 60 mistakes.

23 Sep 2000 - 12:00am