The 74 basic phonograms identified in Uncovering the Logic of English originate from the 70 basic phonograms identified by Dr. Orton. After doing an extensive word study, Logic of English expanded the original list by adding the following phonograms: augh, bu, gu, and cei.
Why do we teach 75 phonograms when most Orton-based programs have only 70?
Augh, bu, and gu were added because they are found in commonly used words encountered by beginning readers.
The phonogram augh is found in common words such as daughter, taught, and caught. These words are used repeatedly in early children's readers and are foundational vocabulary terms. The phonogram bu also appears early in words such as buy, build, and built. The phonogram gu is found in words like guide, guilt, and language.
The creation of the phonogram cei is a way to solve the problems with the commonly taught rule: Use I before E, except after C, when it says long /a/, and in some exceptions. The exceptions to this rule are numerous. Nevertheless, many people have found the rule beneficial for spelling because it aids students in remembering how to spell the "except after C" words. Rather than memorizing a long rule that has numerous exceptions, the benefits of the rule can be retained by creating the phonogram cei.
In 2018, we began teaching the noun and verb suffix -es as a phonogram, bringing the total number of phonograms we teach to 75. Originally, we taught students to read the plural noun and third person verb suffix -es but did not teach it as a phonogram. However, with further study and word analysis we concluded that since this suffix has two different sounds, /ez-z/ (as in dresses and tries), it is most accurately taught in a phonogram. Learn more about ES.