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14.15: How Do You Spell [sh]?

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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How Do You Spell [sh]?

1. You can hear the sound [sh] at the beginning and end of the word shush. One of its best known spellings, not too surprisingly, is <sh>. Underline the letters that spell [sh] in the following words:

\begin{align*}&\text{\underline{{sh}}epherdess} && \text{horse\underline{{sh}}oe} && \text{accompli\underline{{sh}}ed} && \text{\underline{{sh}}eriff}\\ &\text{nouri\underline{{sh}}} && \text{kin\underline{{sh}}ip} && \text{\underline{{sh}}ocking} && \text{friend\underline{{sh}}ip}\\ &\text{selfi\underline{{sh}}} && \text{\underline{{sh}}rieked} && \text{after\underline{{sh}}ock} && \text{publi\underline{{sh}}er}\\ &\text{\underline{{sh}}oulder} && \text{distingui\underline{{sh}}} && \text{\underline{{sh}}udder} && \text{vani\underline{{sh}}}\end{align*}

2. Sort the words into these two groups:

Words with [sh] spelled <sh> at the
front of an element end of an element
shepherdess nourish
shoulder selfish
horseshoe distinguish
kinship accomplished
shrieked publisher
shocking vanish

3. One common spelling of [sh] is <sh>, which usually comes at the front or at the end of an element.

4. The following words contain two other spellings of [sh] that are not so common as <sh>. Eleven of the words contain [sh] spelled Way #1, and four words contain [sh] spelled Way #2. Underline the letters that spell [sh] in each word and then sort the words into the two different groups described below:

\begin{align*}&\text{\underline{{ch}}ivalry} && \text{\underline{{ch}}aperon} && \text{\underline{{sch}}lemiel}\\ &\text{cro\underline{{ch}}et} && \text{\underline{{sch}}wa} && \text{ma\underline{{ch}}ine}\\ &\text{\underline{{sch}}nook} && \text{\underline{{ch}}ampagne} && \text{\underline{{ch}}auffeur}\\ &\text{para\underline{{ch}}ute} && \text{musta\underline{{ch}}e} && \text{pista\underline{{ch}}io}\\ &\text{\underline{{ch}}agrin} && \text{\underline{{sch}}lock} && \text{non\underline{{ch}}alant}\end{align*}


Words with [sh] spelled
Way#1 Way #2
chivalry mustache schnook
crochet machine schwa
parachute chauffeur schlock
chagrin pistachio schlemiel
chaperon nonchalant

6: Three ways to spell [sh] are <sh>, <ch>, and <sch>.

Teaching Notes.

Item 2. In order to decide on the location of <sh> in elements, students must work out, either in their heads or on scratch paper, the analysis of words like horseshoe (horse + shoe), kinship (kin+ship), accomplished (accomplish + ed), aftershock (after + shock), friendship (friend + ship), publisher (publish + er). If they have trouble with this more casual act of analysis, you might add a step between Items 1 and 2 in which they work out, perhaps as a group, the analysis of the sixteen words, looking always for an element boundary either right before or right after the <sh>.

Item 4. 1. Although in Old English [sh] was spelled <sc>, and <sh> was not introduced until after the Norman Conquest by the Norman-French scribes, <sh> has become the “normal” or “English” spelling of [sh]. The <ch> spelling is most common in recent French adoptions. (The <ch> spellings of [sh] in Chicago and Michigan reflect the early French influence in the area.) The <sch> spelling is found in some German words, especially proper names. But usually it is found in words from Hebrew and Yiddish, particularly in a set of Yiddish pejorative terms of which schlemiel, schlock, and schnook are only three. For more on [sh] and its spellings, see AES, pp. 407-12.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Jul 07, 2015
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