[Underlined words and letters are in italics here.]
On other pages News 2 part 1, part 3.
Newsletter 1983 part 2.
FROM MY POSTBAG. Stanley Gibbs Hon. Secretary.Ken Tillema, an ardent Spelling Reformer of Ontario: "English spelling retards learning and stifles common sense. Most reporters agree with me, including this reporter I'm talking to now."
Reporter: "Moest surtenlee!"
.... the best way to reform spelling is by starting with spelling itself, with the illogical letters and letter combinations, rather than starting with the sounds of the words.
C. Jolly, Chairman of the Simplified Spelling Society.
The society therefore favours a gradual change over an extended period of time thru' a series of stages.
Proposed statement of the Society's policies.
But educationally i.t.a. did "work" and continues to "work" wherever it is used.
Professor John Downing, President of the S.S.S.
Wuns u cum owt with a sistem evry linggwest and self-apointed linggwest starts nitpiking. ... Thay say "This canot wurk becauz" and then thay go on and on.
Professor A Citron, Author of B E t S S (Better Education thru' Simplified Spelling), Michigan.
This society (The S.S.S.) campaigns for supposed reforms which would obliterate the traces of our Greco-Roman and Saxon linguistic history. Spelling cannot be fixed or deliberately simplified if we are to maintain a living culture.
Elisabeth Henry of Blackburn.
The Secretary asks for your OPINION.I am impressed by Professor Citron's "Big Four" scheme. I would welcom comments and suggestions, as I intend to try to persuade the Society to adopt it, and to link up with Professor Citron's B E t S S organization in the U.S.A.
Here is the scheme:
1) The short e sound to be written always as e. redy, stedy.
2) All ph words to be written with f. filosofy, telefone.
3) All "non-magic" e's to be removed. gon, liv, hav, ar.
4) All ough and augh words to be re-spelled. cof, tho, caut, baut.
Contributions by Stanley Gibbs. Schoolboy Howlers.The stumak is the moste delated part of the elementary canal.
Blud flows thru the alimentary canal into the abdominal canopy.
A barometer is a place bilt on the roof of a hous where men go to study the stars.
Gravity was discuvered by Isaac Newton. It is cheefly noticed in the autum when the apples ar fauling off the trees.
[See Journal and Newsletter articles by Alun Bye.]
Changing the Name of the Simplified Spelling Society by Alun Bye.
For some time I have considered that the title "Simplified Spelling Society" does not bear the impact or dynamism required of a radical organization whose aim of spelling reform has world-wide literary implications.
As has become clear over the years, by no means everyone feels sympathy with the idea of spelling simplification. To many people, proposed modifications to the orthography make the language look 'ugly'. Perhaps these visually sensitive opponents have experienced little spelling difficulty themselves, and have never felt the embarrassment, humiliation and frustration which our inconsistent encoding system inflicts upon those who suffer its anomalies. There may even be amongst these articulate, capable spellers some who believe, in some obtuse way, that struggling to overcome spelling difficulty is good for character development. There may well be little sympathy and even less support for the notion of simplification from this negatively influential quarter.
The inclusion of the word 'Society' in the title is of little informative or publicity value. Worse, it suggests an air of exclusivity, and fails to convey the quality and extent of our membership. As a somewhat inconsequential appendage it should therefore be replaced by something which more clearly reflects our image as an energetic, world-wide, reform movement.
The present title is also impossible to find in a telephone directory or other alphabetical index if one's uninitiated requirement is to discover whether some organization exists which is mainly concerned with spelling reform.
For this latter reason, if for no other, the first name in our title must be Spelling. I suggest its new title be SPELLING REFORM INTERNATIONAL. This is a crisp encapsulation of our concern, purpose and scope.
The third word of the suggested title indicates something of the vast world-wide network of interest and enthusiasm for the reform of English spelling. The inclusion of the word REFORM will have more positive appeal than the notion of simplification, and will connote a more immediate and morally convincing purpose.
The new title also has the benefits of sitting more easily on the lips, sounds more enterprising and appealing and, for those wishing to inject a punning sense of urgency, could be transcribed into the acronym SPRINT.
SPELLING REFORM INTERNATIONAL is, I believe, a more useful and suitable title, and one which more fully conveys the true purpose, function and definition of the present Simplified Spelling Society.
Alun Bye, Northampton, 30 January 1983.
Is 'rong' the right spelling?
|TRENDS AND IDEAS|
Toronto Star 1982 09 26
"Wen ar yu gonna du an indepth stori on our changing language?"
The invitation was irresistible, or rather, the invitayshun wuz earesistabul. It came from Ken Tillema, 39, of Chatham, who wants next Thursday, September 30, to be International Spelling Spotting Day. He has ritten to 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., asking their mayors to proclaim ISSD as a day on which citizens will realize that laf is better than laugh and only can be ritten as onely, (its original spelling, Tillema says). Illiteracy is on the rise and erratic, confusing English spelling is the culprit.
"In living English, spelling should follow pronunciation. For the past two centuries, spelling has been frozen, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is economic. Publishers of books, newspapers and magazines stabilized spelling because they believed their customers wanted words to be spelled the same way all the time."
English spelling reform has had a number of backers; Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Sir Cyril Burt, Sir David Eccles, Sir James Pitman are among them. What, precisely, does Tillema want to do to the language?
Basically, eliminate the silent letters in such words as hav(e), giv(e), b(u)ild, bre(a)d, bre(a)st, ar(e), de(a)d, de(a)f, he(a)d, he(a)lth, he(a)ven, he(a)vy, inste(a)d, le(a)d, barg(a)in, Brit(a)in, capt(a)in, mount(a)in and hundreds more. "Eliminating these unnecessary letters could save space and make it easier for children to learn (lern!) how to use phonics in 1earning to spell."
Tillema remembers his schooldays, in a tiny country school near Rondeau Park. "I couldn't spell 'could'" he says with some indignation, "because of that silent 'l'. The spelling text didn't make sense to me." That's what set him on his present path. What success has he had? A teacher in Owen Sound sent me some examples of her public school pupils' writing and said she was distressed by their spelling.
What next? "Spelling must change with pronunciation or the language will become unreadable. I look on the process as evolutionary, rather than revolutionary."
The campaign goes on.
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On other pages News 1 part 1, part 3.