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  • Why do we spell “Doubt” with a “b” in English?

    I remember being curious about this when I was a child. Where does the “b” in “doubt” come from, when the word is pronounced like “dowt?”

    Even as an adult I’ve wondered why English spelling isn’t more like Spanish, where every word is spelled like it sounds. But, according to the TED video below, there’s a good explanation for this spelling that actually made me appreciate the unusual way English words are sometimes spelled. Watch the video below, then see if you can answer the listening questions below it.

    Write your answers in comments and we’ll respond.

    1. Most folks can’t ____ ___ what it’s doing there.
    2. Why would anyone in their _____ ___ reinsert a silent letter into a spelling?
    3. What does the expression above mean?
    4. If we look even deeper, we can see ____ __ ____ ___ __ doubt just revealing that “B” can be.
    5. It ____ ___ that if we ____ __ their history, we can see that they both derive from the same Latin forms.
    6. What does it mean when we “second guess ourselves?”
    7. What does it mean when we are “of two minds?”
    8. Do you think that this justifies the spelling of “Doubt?”

    Ok thanks! If you’re interested, we’ve got classes to help you improve your English writing and English pronunciation too.