In Augst David Crystal published The Guardian article David Crystal: the story of English spelling, where he mentions the missionaries, the French, medieval scribes, Flemish typesetters, 16th century spelling reformers among others as the groups who had the main influence on English spelling.
Read this short he Guardian article which I found through the MacMillan Dictionary blog and find out a bit more details about this fascinating evolution.
David Crystal has written Spell it Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling.
How long before this rhubarb becomes rubarb? Photograph: Klaus Hackenberg/zefa/Corbis
If you want to watch David Crystal talking on how the internet is changing English and do a listening activity about what he says, watch this video and answer the questions below.
1. What technological change came in the 1400s?
2. And in the 19th century?
3. And in the 1920s?
4. The Internet really has few technological variations. True or false?
5. The styles of the technologies are basically the same. True or false?
6. New patterns of grammar have emerged with the Internet. True or false?
7. Millions of new words have come into English as a result of the Internet. True or false?
8. English now is the same as before the Internet. True or false?
You can read the script of the video here.
Key: 1printing 2telephone 3broadcasting 4False 5False 6False 7False 8True
If spelling is a priority for you, I strongly adivise you to drop by the excellent Spellingblog, by Joanne Rudling, where you will find tons of rules, suggestions and activities to improve your spelling and pronunciation.