Friday, August 30, 2013

Spelling in 19th Century Indiana

One of my great grandfathers learned to spell from an old Indiana State Series Spelling Book from 1891. It presented spelling words in matrices based on phonetics. Matrices of words fascinate me with the unexpected meanings they generate. On one page:

herd     person    sir    chirp
nerve    hermit    dirt    circle
serve    fertile    first    kirtle
terse    fervent    shirt    girdle
verse    mermaid    verse    irksome

curd    blurt    surloin     turban
furl    churn    murder    turbid
lurk    curse    murmer    world
slur    nurse    furnish    worst
turf    purse    purport    worth

corpse    morsel    true    rural
forty    normal    prude    gruel
order    sordid    fruit    truant
corner    gorgeous    cruise    abstruse
border    torpid    cruet    extrude

"Surloin" appears to have been an accepted spelling in those days, as was "murmer"

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