Cover image for Morrison's sound-it-out speller : a phonic key to English
Morrison's sound-it-out speller : a phonic key to English
Morrison, Marvin.
Personal Author:
Complete edition / edited and expanded by Penelope Kister McRann.
Publication Information:
Hope Mills, NC : Stone Cloud Phonics, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 1067 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"Expanded edition of Word finder : the phonic key to the dictionary"--T.p. verso.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PE1146 .M67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Morrison confesses to being a poor speller who apparently has passed the trait on to his and McRann's children, so he wanted a reference by which people could look up the spelling of a word they knew only how to pronounce. His system is to sound out the word as closely as possible, then drop the vowels, leaving a skeleton of consonants. SPLR, for example, is his version of speller. When necessary he puts a word under both G and J; and C is banished for ambiguity, replaced by either S or K. He gives brief, usually one-word, definitions, particularly to distinguish between words that sound the same but are spelled differently. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

This unique resource takes as its premise that referring to a dictionary is fruitless if you don't know how to spell a word. Instead of visualizing how a word is spelled, this tool asks the user to sound it out, convert the sounds into consonants and drop all vowels; then look up the resulting string of letters and find the correct word. For instance, "pterodactyl" is found by looking up TRDKTL, "mnemonics" is found under NMNKS, and "scion" under SN. There are, of course, many words that might sound like SN (49 in this dictionary, from "acini" to "usnea" listed alphabetically). After the phonic (SN for instance) comes the word, then one or two descriptive terms ("heir, plant shoot" follows "scion"). It takes some adjusting to drop vowels and think in terms of sound only, but Morrison's method works, particularly when one is confronted with words that sound nothing like how they are spelled. Recommended for academic, public, and school libraries.DCynthia A. Johnson, Barnard Coll. Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.