Most difficult aspect of English spelling?

What's the most difficult aspect of English spelling? Tell everyone your thoughts on this. And it will also help me know what's most useful to address on The Spelling Blog.

We'd love to know. Tell us in the AnswerGarden word cloud below by either clicking on an existing word or phrase that you agree with or writing something new in the box. You can only contribute once every 24 hours. And you have to keep it short. (If you want to say more please leave a Comment in the usual way.)

Trickiest thing about English spelling... at



  1. It's the completely irregular words like "one" that cause the biggest problem in learning to spell, I think. The rest is driven by rules: complex rules, but still rules.

  2. Doh! I apparently cannot spell. "load words" should be "loan words".

    In particular, loan words that are not respelled to follow the usual rules of English spelling are a stumbling point.

  3. Haha, William. I'm afraid there's no way to edit something once it's on an AnswerGarden. You should have made up a new definition for 'load words'! But I completely agree with you - English doesn't change the spelling of loan words whereas many languages do - have you seen my post on this?
    Thanks for dropping by.

  4. Indeed, I should have come up with a definition for "load words". I wonder what a load word would be? To be honest, I'm drawing a blank. Maybe words loaded up with apparently useless letters?

    It seems somehow appropriate that in a discussion about spelling difficulties, one of the contributions should be misspelled. :)

  5. Good definition, William!

    Don't worry, yours isn't the first spelling-related spelling error - and they haven't all been by commenters either! However, all mine are deliberate ... obviously ;-)

  6. Hi Johanna,
    Thanks for using AnswerGarden. There is a way of editing the contents and title of an AnswerGarden. By providing a password when creating a garden you can be in control! Best,
    Sander / Creative Heroes

  7. Thank you Sander. I'll certainly do the password thing then. I think AnswerGarden is a really nice idea, by the way. Thanks for making it available.

  8. I'd say the way that the same sound can be spelled in different ways. This is compounded by the way correct spelling is considered important.

  9. I think the hardest part to teaching Spelling is to get the students to carry over their knowledge of spelling words to their daily writing. You always see those students that are great at memorizing things, but can't use the words properly when they have to when writing.