Some of u may already have heard of me and know that I don't believe in the 'vowel shift' explanation for the chaotic nature of English spelling. David Crystal in his Encyclopedia of the English Language has expressed doubts about it too. I was recently asked on Opinion to produce a bibliography for my view how English spelling has ended up in the mess it is - i.e. being ruined mainly by succession of foreign printers who printed the first English bibles, speaking little or no English. I therefore pasted in some sentences from my main source - W Pollard's 100-page introduction to his 1904 facsimile edition of the 1611 KIing James Bible. Some of u might the extracts interesting. They concern the printing of Tyndale's New Testament. ...before December 1925, copy had been handed to a Cologne printer and ten quires (eighty pages) of an edition of 3,000 copies in small quarto had been printed off, when an anti-Lutheran controversialist, Johann Dobneck, better known as Cocklaeus, anxious to ingratiate himself with the king of England, persuaded the magistrates of Cologne to interfere. To escape arrest, Tyndale and his amanuensis, William Roy, fled along the Rhine to Worms, taking the printed quires with them, and it was thus at Worms, not at Cologne, that the first printed edition of the New Testament in English was brought out. By a lucky chance a single copy of eight of the ten quires of Tyndale’s New Testament printed at Cologne has been preserved, wanting only the first leaf, and is now in the British Museum. Our knowledge of Tyndale’s Testament in its unrevised form rests on actavo edition which has been identified from its types and illustrations as printed at Worms by Peter Schoeffer. This has survived in a copy at the Baptist College, Bristol, lacking only the first leaf. After the octavo printed at Worms, no fragment of the test of any subsequent edition earlier than August 1534 is known to exist. Tyndale was at work on the Old Testament and refused all requests to supervise reprints of his version of the New. Copies of this are heard of as selling in England as early as the spring of 1526, and they were episcopally denounced in the following autumn. (Acc. to George Joy, the editor of the unauthorised edition of 1534),The ‘Dutchmen’ got a copy and printed it again in a small volume.A second reprint was in a larger form, and with larger type and with figures. Of these two editions there were about 5,000 copies printed and these were all sold out some time in 1533. A third reprint of 2000 copies Joy was asked to revise, but refused.When, however, yet another was in preparation, rather than allow 2000 additional copies to be placed on the market with the errors which by this time a succession of Dutch compositors had introduced, he undertook to correct the edition which appeared in August 1534. Unhappily, Joye did not confine himself to press-correction. He botched Tyndale’s English in places where he thought it obscure.. In December 1534 the Upper House of Convocation of the province of Canterbury had departed so far from its attitude of mere resistance as to petition the King that the Bible might translated by authorized translators, and the progress which this denotes accounts for the rapidity with which one edition of Tyndale’s New Testament follows another at this period. Tyndale himself revised one more, printed for him by Godfrid van der Haghen, ere he was enticed from the house of the English merchants at Antwerp in May 1535, with the result that once beyond the wall of the free city he was arrested by the imperial authorities and carried to imprisonment and death at Vilvorde. Yet another 1535 edition may be noticed because of its strange spellings (faether, mother, &) which commentators attributed to the vagaries of Flemish compositors. But several similar spellings are found in a letter written this year by Tyndale’s friend, Thomas Poyntz, and it is possible that they should be looked upon as among the phonetic devices by which many bookish people in the sixteenth centrury tried to express their view of pronunciation. All these phonetic devices without exception were bad, but many have remained to trouble us in the twentieth century... Seven different issues or editions of Tyndale’s New Testament appeared in 1536, the year of his martyrdom (Oct 6), and between 1525 and 1566, when the last dated edition was issued, more than forty editions were printed, of which definite evidence has been preserved. From the fact that many of these are known only from a single copy, or fragment of a copy, we may be sure that other editions have perished entirely.