The Buzz Off Miss Pill Spelling Rule

February 10, 2017

Buzz off miss pill

Buzz Off Miss Pill is the name of a spelling rule.  It is often the first rule a student new to OG will be taught.  It is sometimes called the ZFSL Rule or the Floss Rule.

Here is how Buzz Off Miss Pill works; in words of one syllable, with one short vowel, that end in z, f, s, or l you double the final consonant.  This rule is an excellent example of the explicit and direct teaching that kids with language based learning difficulties thrive on.  If your child has come home chanting “Buzz off Miss Pill”, that is great! They have memorized the mnemonic that helps them remember which final consonants are involved.  The next step is to practice it frequently during the OG lessons and you can practice it at home too.

Here is a list of words we refer to as Buzz Off Miss Pill words:

buzz, fizz, jazz, frizz, fuzz, razz

off, stiff, staff, cliff, whiff, puff, sniff, stuff, scoff, cuff, scuff, bluff, gruff, chuff, luff, jiff

miss, kiss, class, grass, gross, boss, floss, mess, dress, toss, boss, miss, pass, fuss

pill, hill, spill, will, well, fell, tell, yell, sell, sill, fill, bill, mill, bell, dell, still, swill, swell

There are a few exceptions; yes, this, plus, is, as, us, quiz
These words look like exceptions, but are just abbreviations; bus (omnibus), gas (gasoline), gel (gelatin)

You will notice that there are not many zz words which is why the people who call it the Floss Rule leave zz out altogether.

Historical Note: Historian David Crystal suggests the origin of these double letters could be from ancient scribes trying to indicate that these letters are either fricative (zfs) or liquid (l) consonant sounds rather than a plosive (hard/stop) consonant.

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