Feeds

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

Apostrophe for the off in linguistic reorganiszation

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Linguistic traditionalists look away now: John Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics at University College London, is proposing English adopts a phonetic approach to spelling in order to relieve kids of the "burden" of learning to write our beloved mother tongue as God intended.

Wells will outline his proposals to the the centenary dinner of the Spelling Society, using his position as president to present his cunning plan to tackle the nation's literacy problems, the Telegraph explains.

He intends to say: "It seems to be a great pity that English-speaking countries are holding back children in this way. In Finnish, once you have learned the letters, you know how to spell, so it would be ludicrous to hold spelling tests. In countries like Italy and Spain it's similar. But with English it's not phonetic, and there are just so many irregularities."

Wells reckons, for example, that "give" would better be rendered as "giv", "river" should become "rivver" and, ahem, that Blighty should reorganisze certain spellings in line with US usage.

And, just to make sure Middle England runs screaming for its Twat-O-Tron, Wells will declare: "Text messaging, email and internet chat rooms are showing us the way forward for English. Let's allow people greater freedom to spell logically. It's time to remove the fetish that says that correct spelling is a principal (principle?) mark of being educated."

Finally, Wells intends to sound the death knell for the bothersome apostrophe, suggesting: "Instead of an apostrophe, we could just leave it out (it's could become its) or leave a space (so we'll would become we ll). Have we really nothing better to do with our lives than fret about the apostrophe?" ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.