communications with me, much to my chagrin. My consolation is that, in his conformity, herebels against my dissidence.Spelling seems to be such a prosaic subject that one might think that everything worth sayingabout it has already been said. But it has not been said in every way it can be said, and it never will be. Spelling will only be set in stone over the dead bodies of spellers.There is something magical about spelling, something that casts a spell down through the agesthat all may read and tell the old tales while adding their own charm to the gospels. Spelling isnot merely the writing down of a series of arbitrary signs called "letters of the alphabet". MayIsis, who invented writing in Egypt, forbid! Nor is grammar merely a conventional structure of spelled words. May the Gramarye be restored to its proper place as a magic book of spells! Yes,indeed, may the gospelers live forever in our land.To recapture the full-bodied flavor of our word 'spelling', we may peruse the MIDDLEENGLISH DICTIONARY (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1989) for a few examplesderived from the old verb spelled 'spellen', or, if you prefer, 'spelle, spele, spelien, spelie, spilen'and so on.Spellen may be used in the sense to talk, or to tell a story, or to preach. In the sense of talking,here are two examples: "What helpeth lenger for to spelle?" And "It is trouth that ye neuen, Ihard hym well spell." In the sense of telling a story, we have "Fil me a cuppe of god ale, And ywile drinken her y spelle." As for preaching, we have "A fals man began to spell..And gert menfall in heresie."Spellen can also mean to mean, to interpret, or to read or write. Take this example for the latter case: "Bot, if yee self willi be blind, Your aun bok yee can noght spell."Then we have the verb-noun form, "spelling", which can mean the act of speaking, or the facultyof speech, or the casting and reciting of spells, or the act of preaching. When it comes to castingspells, I like "With spellinge of hir charmes Sche tok Eson in bothe hire armes And made himforto slepe faste." As for preaching, observe "Dauyd saide in his spellynge That Truthe sholde bein erthe growynge to vs byer of alle thynge."In these examples we can see also the fallacy of the view that dictonaries give a precisedefinition of words. When I stated in my essay "Grammar" that I meant 'grammar' in its broadsense, my prejudiced critics immediately lept to the narrowest sense. I love what George P.Marsh said on this subject, in his THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE ENGLISHLANGUAGE (New York, Scribner, 1885):"It is futile to attempt to make that absolute which is, in its nature, relative and conditional, toformulate that which in itself does not constitute an individual and complete idea, to maketechnical definition a mouthpiece for words which ought to by allowed to speak for themselves by exemplification, and to petrify them into a rigidity of form irreconcilable with that play of feature which is so essential to life-like expressiveness....The signification of the vocabulary belonging to the higher workings of the mind and heart depends on the context, and thereforethese words have almost as many shades of meaning as they have possible combinations withother words in periods and phrases."