News8. (underlined words and letters are presented as headings or in italics here.)
On other pages: part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

Newsletter Summer 1985. part 1.

news7 (18K)


Founded in l908, the Society has included among its officers: Daniel Jones, Horace King, Gilbert Murray, William Temple, H.G. Wells. Its stated aim is to "bring about a reform of the spelling of English in the interests of ease of learning and economy of writing".

Its present officers are:
President: Professor John Downing
Chairman: Chris Jolly
Secretary: Stanley Gibbs
Treasurer: Laurie Fennelly
Public Relations Officer: Mona Cross.
Enquiries and subscriptions (£5 p.a.) to the Secretary.



Editor of this Newsletter is Mona Cross, but material for future issues should be sent to Chris Upward. Material for the Winter 1986 number should be sent before Christmas 1985.



From the Editors.

[Mona Cross: see Journals, Newsletters.]

Mona Cross writes:

July 1985.
Dear Members and interested people

As you see, this News Letter is a joint effort. Chris Upward came to my aid in spite of the fact that it was a busy time for him at University. I'm sorry that, for helth reasons, I hav to giv up the work of News Letter editor. It has been such a pleasur to hear from you and to now of your ideas. Chris Upward is the kind of person who will feel the same. He, too, will regard the News Letter as the link which draws us together to form a Society.

As you will hav noticed in the articl "Th Shortr th Sweetr" of July 1984, Chris advocates "Cut Script'. In this he is at one with Professor Abe Citron and Valerie Yule. However, altho' that links up with the Committee's pressure for the omission of redundant letters, it does not lean towards the aim of making reading easier to lern by children and foregners. Most of the letters I receive from members are concerned with fonetic scripts which contain minor variations on the proposals of the Society's Working Party

Mr Dalgleish of Chertsey writes "Any attempt at fonetic exactitude must fail for the widely different pronunciations used in different areas". I think he's right. I believ that foneticians ignor the adaptability of children. My niece in Wigan reads "bath" for "bath", but my niece in Staines reads "bahth". Neither would be grateful for an alteration in the spelling. The boy who reads "'e 'ad 'is 'at on 'is 'ead" would feel the same if the aitches were omitted.

Altho' the Society may concern itself less with a fully fonetic orthografy it will undoutedly continue to press for the omission of redundant letters such as those in debt, knee, brought, ready.

I wish mor of you wer coming to the Conference which is being organized for the weekend of July 26 in Southampton. Time, distance, cost ar inhibiting factors but the three Conferences which I'v attended hav been very rewarding. The peopl who speak ar so alert, so forward looking - and they're most friendly.

It's friendliness as will as thautfulness which comes across in your letters to me. I shall miss you and your articls but I look forward to seeing your name again in the News Letter which Chris Upward will edit.

Wouldn't it be a pleasur to feel that ordinary peopl and teachers became familiar, with our ideas? At the moment most hav never herd of them. Maybe that can be the object of our futur activity?

I wish you a happy year, and a reward for your interest in Spelling Reform.

Mona Cross



[Chris Upward: see Journals, Newsletters, Leaflets, Media, Pamflet, Book, Papers.]

Chris Upward writes:

Mona's editorial letter explains how I come to be involved with the Newsletter. I am sorry it is a little late in appearing: I have to plead the short notice at which I took over, the priority I had to give to the Conference - and the fact that I am learning the ropes. I hope readers will forgive the delay. But I must first pay tribute to Mona's work in producing the Newsletter so regularly over the last few years, and to her fortitude in preparing this issue in such trying circumstances.

As a relative newcomer to the Society, I must be a stranger to many readers: so let me introduce myself. I studied French and German nearly 25 years ago, but I also have a smattering of several other European languages. Although since 1970 I have been lecturing in German at Aston University, in Birmingham, I have more recently become interested in Linguistics, and it is this, together with my knowledge of the orthography of other languages, that gives me my particular angle on the subject of spelling reform of English. But I have Valerie Yule to thank for first arousing my interest in it, with an article on Cut Spelling.

What of future Newsletters? It had already been agreed that a new cover would soon be adopted, which hope you will see on the next issue. The printing will be at Aston University, from which some new ideas on layout may arise. I shall be trying to encourage contributions from experts outside the Society, and the different sections in the Newsletter can perhaps include one for snippets of news and amusing (or horrifying) misspellings that readers may like to send in, and another for reports on meetings of the Society. The next issue however will be largely taken up by papers and reports from the Southampton conference. For later numbers I look forward to receiving your articles, letters, news, interesting orthographical specimens, but above all perhaps your ideas and comments about how you would like your Newsletter to develop in future.

One thing is very apparent from the various contributions to this Newsletter: there are societies and groups of spelling reformers, not to mention individuals, round the world, all producing lists of possible reforms, and while these lists often have words or patterns in common, they also often demonstrate different views, both of the best way to spell particular words or phonemes, and of the priorities that should be given to this or that kind of reform. It is clear that these differences will have to be reconciled if spelling reformers are to mount an effective, united campaign, and readers may like to communicate their thoughts on this problem. What is needed is a concept that will embrace all but the most eccentric possibilities, so that the public can be offered a scaled menu of alternatives. But more of this in the next issue: at least one idea has already been suggested.

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On other pages: part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.