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Virginia J Allum

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Publisher:  Virginia Allum ISBN-10:  EnglishforMedicalPurposesSpellingandVocabulary


Copyright:  June 29,2012 ISBN-13:  9781471765629

English for Medical Purposes:Spelling and Vocabulary

When reading and writing medical and nursing texts, Health Care Professionals require an understanding of medical, hospital and everyday health terminology.
As well as this, Health Care Professionals need to be able to write fluently in patient notes, in referral letters and when completing care plans or care pathways.


Glossary of Terms

U.S and British English

Why is it hard to spell in English ?

Silent Letters

Various Spellings for the same sound

Homonyms, Homophones and Homographs

Medical Homonyms

Why bother to spell properly?

Consonant Doubling

Medical Terminology


Compound Words and Collocations

Plural Words

Uncountable Nouns

Use fo Definite and Indefinite Articles

Use of Capital Letters




Common phrases

Glossary of Hospital Terms


Why is it so hard to spell in English?

There are many reasons why English is considered one of the most difficult languages to spell. Here are a few:

English is not a phonetic language. In fact, it is called an ‘orthographically deep’ language because English letters often bear no resemblance to the sounds they represent. Around 90 sounds of English can be spelled in over 200 different ways. This makes spelling very difficult for everyone. The English writing system doesn’t match the sound system. There are too many sounds with not enough letters for each sound. Some sounds are spelled in a very strange way e.g ‘ph’ = ‘f’

There have been many historical changes which have given us a rich language (the upside) which is difficult to spell (the downside). Unfortunately, English has never had an Academy to regulate it and Spelling Reform hasn’t happened either.

English has a lot of ‘empty’ or silent letters. English has borrowed from many languages
over many centuries. Words were adapted and often changed in some way. One of the adaptations was a change in pronunciation sometimes without removing the letter which is no longer pronounced.

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