Virgil and Ovid and Holy Writ even if they had no intention of entering the Church. Times had distinctly changed since the thirteenth century. It may be added that changes in society—the gradual emergence of a mercantile civilization out of feudalism—gave scope to printing which it would never have had in the earlier Middle Ages. The invention was timely in more than one sense. All this may have been anticipated by the early printers. Their technological innovations may have been expected to facilitate the spread of culture. EXPOSITORY TYPE*. PROCESS But they could not have foreseen that the spelling which they standardized, more or less, as the record of contemporary pronunciation, would have been perpetuated for centuries afterwards. Today, when our pronunciation has become quite different, we are still teaching our unhappy children to spell as Caxton did. Respect for the printed page has become something like fetish-worship. A few idiosyncrasies have been carefully preserved although the reason for them is no longer understood. When Caxton first set up the new business in London he brought with him Flemish workers from the Low Countries, where he himself had learned it. Now the Flemish used the spelling "gh" to represent their own voiced gutteral continuant, a long-rolled-out sound [y] unlike our English [g]. English had no such sound at the time, but the employees in Caxton's shop were accustomed to combining the two letters, and continued to do so in setting up certain English words. In words like "ghost" and "ghastly" it has persisted, one of the many mute witnesses to orthographical conservatism.
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