Feeds

Brits and Yanks struck with embarasment embarrassment

New millenium spelling woes

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

It's official: English is going directly to hell in a handcart because more than half of native speakers of the lingo can't spell "embarrassed" - and even more have entered the new millennium without the foggiest idea of how 1,000 years pan out in our beloved mother tongue.

To be precise, 54 per cent of us are embarrassed by "embarrassed", while 60 per cent can't handle "millennium", according to a pole poll by the Spelling Society - a pack of linguistic do-gooders who reckon the time has come to introduce "a more simplified, phonetic system", as the Times puts it.

The Spelling Society probed the prowess of 1,000 British adults and an equal number of stateside guinea pigs. The results revealed that the Yanks were less adept in the spelling department, and could outdo their Blighty-bound cousins only in the matter of “definitely”.

Women, meanwhile, generally trumped the less gentle sex on all fronts, except when it came to organising a quick “liaison”.

The Spelling Society's chairman, Jack Bovill, insisted: “What is holding the UK and the USA back is the irregular spelling system."

This assertion will come as quite a surprise to those who are labouring under the illusion that English is the world's numero uno lingua franca spoken by trillions of people and coveted by those who can't. But Bovill is backed by Edward Baranowski of California State University, who declared: “We have different spellings for the same sound, silent letters, missing letters, and basically a system which reflects how English was spoken in the 13th to 15th centuries, not how it is spoken today. So many sound changes have occurred that are not reflected in modern spelling, that we are left with a fossilised system.”

If you fancy putting yourself to the test, the Times has a "Spelling Bee" here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.