Feeds

Academic wants to 'free up' English spelling

Apostrophe for the off in linguistic reorganiszation

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose 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?" ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NSA man: 'Tell me about your Turkish connections'
Spooks ask Dabbsy to suggest a nice hotel with pool
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
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
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
Russia sends SEX-CRAZED GECKOS to SPAAAAACE!
In space... no one can hear you're green...
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.