The orthography of a language is the set of rules of how to write correctly in the language. The term is derived from Greek ορθο ortho- ("correct") and γραφος graphos ("that writes") and, in today's sense, includes spelling and punctuation; it is distinct from typography.

An example of an orthographic rule for English is

A vowel that
  • is not preceded immediately by another vowel, and
is followed by an "E" at the end of the word, without any consonants between the vowel and the "E"
may represent the "long" sound of the vowel.

(This is the pronunciation rule "final E makes the vowel long" restated as a spelling rule.)

See also

Writing systems


  • Smalley, W.A. (ed.) 1964. Orthography studies: articles on new writing systems, United Bibe Society, London.

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