On other pages part 1, part 2.
NEWS SHEET 7 part 3.
The Initial Teaching Alphabet and the S.S.S.
Our Society (unless I am very much mistaken) is supposed to be concerned with the
permanent reform of traditional orthography. This seems to imply that we should
focus our interests and energies on those systems that are designed with such a
permanent reform in mind. Is the i.t.a. a system of this kind? Surely not! The
criteria on which its design was based could hardly have been those of a spelling
reform! As its name indicates, it was specifically designed to ease the 'initial
teaching' of reading and writing. It is not a system for a spelling reform.
This point is emphasised by an article of mine that was published in the first edition of 'Reading and Spelling'. There, I have proposed that systems of initial teaching media (such as the i.t.a.) be considered as 'category (b)' alphabets, and quite distinct from spelling reforms - which should be assembled under 'category (a)' (1).
In the same article, I have suggested that spelling reformers are those whose primary interests centre on the systems of category (a), which is a point that appears to be utterly self-evident! It is sad to note that certain events in the recent history of our Society reveal the need for simple souls (such as the present author) to state the obvious. Of course, I have in mind the extraordinary (and very puzzling) i.t.a. involvement with Society activities, an involvement that is still not properly documented and explained.
I have not been able to unravel the story of the 'i.t.a. connection', but a brief account of two available items of information that are relevant to the matter may not be out of place.
It appears that there was a period when the i.t.a. had considerable support within the S.S.S., and the 'i.t.a. caucus' was sufficiently powerful to arrange for the S.S.S. to be put "in mothballs". In fact, this condition was imposed on the S.S.S. as official policy! Why? Because "some members feared that any activity might hinder the progress of i.t.a."! Not surprisingly, "progress by our Society was then difficult" (2).
The comparatively recent presidency of Sir James Pitman is another point to be noted. Sir James is an eminent man, a publisher and a scholar; the sort of person who should add influence to any organisation with which he decides to associate. Unfortunately for the S.S.S., Sir James is also the designer of the i.t.a. and the 'Keystone' of the i.t.a. movement.
Thus, for a number of years, the chief office of our Society was held by a man who had designed and very skilfully publicised a category (b) system that implied the careful preservation of traditional spelling. It appears, by his own admissions, that Sir James did not (and does not) believe in spelling reform (3). (Is it necessary for me to remind readers that the members of our Society are assumed to be supporters of spelling reform?).
The lessons that are to be learned from this little saga are for others to note and to discuss. For my part, I am restricting myself to the comment that the i.t.a. aficionados have every right to pursue their hobby, but the Simplified Spelling Society is not an appropriate organisation for such activity.
Notes and references.
(1) See: 'I.t.a. - An Exercise in futility'; by D. Stafford; in 'Reading and Spelling', edition 1, 1976; published by the S.S.S.
(2) 'Personal Statement' by Mr. W. Reed, dated 14/10/71. Mr. Reed was the retiring Hon. Secretary of the S.S.S. at the time.
(3) See the 'Letters' page ("'Spelling reforms will cause confusion" For Sir James Pitman'), 'Daily Telegraph', 9/2/74.
Copyright (C) 1976 D. Stafford.
CENSUS.DO YOU HAVE ANY OF THE S.S.S.'s PROPERTY THAT YOU WISH TO RETURN?
DO YOU HAVE ANY S.S.S. PROPERTY THAT YOU WISH TO KEEP?
DO YOU HAVE ANY S.S.S. PROPERTY THAT YOU WISH TO BUY?
|OTHER (Please specify)|
PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONSshould be sent to the Chairman.
LOST2 copies of paper "Spelling and Transformations" by R.J. Lawler.
Sent to G. O'Halloran for last Conference. Possibly with filing cabinet contents in drawers removed by Ed. Smith after G. O'Halloran's 'resignation' as Secretary at last session.
WHAT SYSTEMS FOR THE S.S.S. TRIALS?
Ideas to the Committee please.
DEED OF COVENANT.I ...........................
(FULL NAME - BLOCK LETTERS)
HEREBY COVENANT with THE TRUSTEES OF THE S.S.S. TRUST (hereinafter called The Trust) that for Seven years from the date hereof or during my life, whichever period shall be the shorter, I will pay to the Trust on the first day of ............(insert month) in each year such sum as after deduction of Income Tax will leave the sum of £...... (insert sum) from my general fund of taxed income to be applied by the Trust to the general purposes of the Charity known as The S.S.S. Trust.
Dated this ..............day of ................,
SIGNED, SEALED and DELIVERED by the above-named
In the presence of
BANKERS ORDERTo (your Bank) ..........................
Please pay to Barclays Bank Ltd. London, for the credit of The Trustees of The S.S.S. Trust now and on the first day of ..........(insert month) in each succeeding year for the next six years (seven annual payments in all) the sum of £..... (insert sum)
* This date should not be earlier than the date of the Deed of Covenant.
Please complete both parts of this form and return to: Mona Cross
TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THE SSS
GET THEM TO JOIN (IN)
FOR SALE Faded Leopard - £50 (stuffed)
ORGANISE S.S.S. CONFERENCE
COMPUTER ANALYSIS TO HELP ORGANISER!
Does this magazine frustrate you?
Cure? Harrison-Marks Enterprises, London.
Send SAE for catalogue.
Elsie Oakensen's beloved father has died. We offer our condolences.
Non-members of the S.S.S. may advertise free for small adverts. Donations to Mona Cross on response. Thanks.
Larger paid adverts may be accepted if suitable.
I cannot understand the purpose of marriage and think that if people cannot rear children without resorting to marriage they should abstain from doing so. Child registration appears to be more acceptable (perhaps even child intention).
If the purpose of marriage is to register an emotional bond then it appears to violate the Sex Discrimination Act.
S.S.S. Member Joe Power, psychoanalyst, will travel to London area.
TRY TO GET "READING AND SPELLING"
SUBSCRIBED TO BY YOUR FRIENDS,
LOCAL NEWSAGENTS AND SCHOOLS.
[The balance sheets, accounts and schedule of investments for 1974 and 1975 have been omitted.]
NOTES ON FINANCIAL REGULATIONS.Report by Financial Secretary.
The 'ensuing' year mentioned on page 3 of the regulations in the past has been from AGM to AGM.
I am in favour of this system, Mona Cross, our Treasurer is in favour of this system.
George O'Halloran, Chairman, would prefer the year to start in January!
Please vote -
Please return votes to Records Secretary, Sunbury, Middlesex by November the 30th 1976.
Further clarifications may be required concerning these financial guidelines.
See also page 6 of Constitution (ref 'ensuing' and 'following' year)
A supplement to this NEWS SHEET was enclosed -
Notes on Committee Meeting 2nd October 1976, together with voting and agenda paper.
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On other pages part 1, part 2.