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Why is there a "b" in doubt? - Gina Cooke

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Say the word "doubt" aloud. What is that "b" doing there? Does it have any purpose? Gina Cooke explains the long and winding history of "doubt" and why the spelling, though it seems random, is a wink to its storied past.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Animator Andres Bernal
  • Artist Daniela Bernal
  • Director David Bernal
  • Educator Gina Cooke
  • Narrator Gina Cooke
Additional Resources for you to Explore
This is a map of the wheel-ruts of modern English. Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago. http://www.etymonline.com/
We all know certain spelling errors are very common, such as miniscule or geneology. But how common exactly, and are they getting more or less common as time goes on? http://keithbriggs.info/spellometer.html
Spelling is the writing of one or more words with letters and diacritics. In addition, the term often, but not always, means an accepted standard spelling or the process of naming the letters. http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/spelling
On the history of spelling. by the Rev. Professor W. W. Skeat, LIT.D., LL.D., D.C.L., PH.D. Published on behalf of the Simplified Spelling Society by Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. London. January 1941. First published December 1908. http://www.spellingsociety.org/journals/pamflets/p1history.php
Real Spelling www.realspelling.com
WordWorks www.wordworkskingston.com
Real Spellers www.realspellers.org
This is a past TED conversation. Read throught the comments to see what other people think about spelling. "Punctuation marks are symbols that indicate structure and organisation. Spelling is the action of writing symbols so that these constitute meaningful structure (words) that in turn create longer structures (sentences, paragraphs, etc.) that convey meaning. But in the current world where technology is used more and more for communication purposes, what is the importance of correct spelling and punctuation? Isn't spelling reform a good idea? Do we still need punctuation?" http://www.ted.com/conversations/8529/does_punctuation_and_spelling.html
For other language and literature lessons from TED-Ed, check out this YouTube playlist: http://www.youtube.com/course?list=ECF9A468788928A351
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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Animator Andres Bernal
  • Artist Daniela Bernal
  • Director David Bernal
  • Educator Gina Cooke
  • Narrator Gina Cooke