Spelling matters to people. In America and Britain every day, members of the public write to the media on spelling issues, and take part in spelling contests. In Germany, a reform of the spelling system has provoked a constitutional crisis; in Galicia, a 'war of orthographies' parallels an intense public debate on national identity; on walls, bridges and trains globally, PUNX and ANARKISTS proclaim their identities orthographically. The way we spell often represents an attempt to associate with, or dissociate from, other languages. In Spelling and Society, Mark Sebba explores why matters of orthography are of real concern to so many groups, as a reflection of culture, history and social practices, and as a powerful symbol of national or local identity. The book will be welcomed by students and researchers in English language, orthography and sociolinguistics, and by anyone interested in the importance of spelling in contemporary society.