THE PYONEER OV SIMPLIFYD SPELING.
[The Pyoneer was published in A5 size paper, pp1-16 with additional text on the colored cover pages. For many years Nue Speling, used in The Pyoneer, was the official SSS spelling reform scheme. SSS membership was 2805. The Press Cuttings list is impressive. The 'rational spelling' of Italian is mentioned.]
PUBLISHT BY THE SIMPLIFYD SPELING SOSYETI, London.
The traid suplyd by SIMPKIN, MARSHALL, HAMILTON, KENT, & CO., London
OUR ANEUAL MEETING.An ekselent prœgram woz provyded for our memberz and utherz atending the Edeukaishonal Konferens held in the erli daiz ov Janeuari at the Euniversiti ov London. It shood hav draun a larj audiens, and wood hav dun so if the organyzerz ov the Konferens had not tryd tu maik a kwort gœ intu a pynt pot. Three uther meetingz wer gœing on at the saim tym az ourz. Tu maik up for this we hav arainjd that a verbaitim report ov the speechez shal be inklooded in the printed report ov the Konferens, and we shal be hapi tu send eni member hoo dezyrz it a kopi ov this report for 1s. 6d., pœst free.
Az our spais iz striktli limited we shal kontent ourselvz with a breef akount ov the proseedingz. The chair woz taiken by Mr. WALTER RIPPMANN, hoo gaiv sum akount ov the yeer'z werk. He woz aibel tu report that inkreesing interest woz being shœn in the moovment for speling reform. Elokwent testimoni ov this woz aforded by the fakt that inkwyriz adrest tu the ofis wer 50 per sent. mor neumerus in 1916 than in 1915; and thair had aulso been a gratifying inkrees in the number ov memberz. Referens woz maid tu a remarkabli strong list ov suporterz ov speling reform that had been printed and woz distribeuted at the meeting. This had been apended tu the leter adrest tu the "Reconstruction Committee" apointed by the Guvernment, which apeerz on anuther paij ov this iseu. Mr. Rippmann then dwelt on the need ov mor adekwait teeching ov the muther tung, with partikeular emfasis on the importans ov imparting good speech, and shœd that this iz wonted, not œnli for the perposez ov sœshal interkors, but aulso for the apreeshiaishon ov literateur. This atenshon tu the spœken langwij wood inevitabli akumpani the introdukshon ov a rashonal speling, which wood aulso leed tu the substiteushon ov edeukaishonali sound methodz ov teeching reeding and ryting for the pervershon ov the reezoning pouerz which rezults from the prezent irashonal speling.
The Rev. W. EMERY BARNES, D.D. Cambridge, staited the reezonz which had led him tu suport speling reform. Thai wer baist on hiz ekspeeriens ov the difikultiz which the konvenshonal speling prezents tu naitiv and forin lernerz. He erjd that nou woz the tym tu pres for this reform, and that aul edeukaited peepel shood doo whot thai kood tu help it on. Eeven if thai did not adopt the skeem ov the Sosyeti az a hœl, thai myt maik eus ov sertin simplifikaishonz in thair korespondens, such az "hav, giv, liv, gon, shon, beleev, reseev." He konklooded by saiing: "We must be kontent ultimaitli with nuthing les than this: English speling a syens. Nuthing too much, nuthing too litel, but eech sound ov our langwij properli eksprest, az simpli and az shortli az posibel, bekauz œnli so kan it aanser the test ov syens."
Mis BURSTALL, M.A., Hed Mistres ov the Manchester Hy Skool for Gerlz, diskust the kwestion, "Whot kan the Skoolz doo?" Prezent kondishonz rekwyrd that the konvenshonal speling shood be taut, and taut thurœli; but at the saim tym teecherz shood deplor the waist ov tym involvd, and stait eksplisitli and kleerli thair regret at being oblyjd tu poot this berden on thair peupilz. In this wai teecherz wood simultainiusli satisfy the eksternal demaand for whot woz kauld a good speling, thair œn profeshonal konshens, and thair dezyr tu be at wun with thœz thai taut in the akwyrment ov nolej and the diskuveri ov trooth. At the saim tym thai wood be konverting the skool populaishon ov the prezent, hoo wood soon form the publik ov the feuteur, tu the prinsipelz ov speling reform. Mis Burstall then dwelt on the important konsekwensez ov introdeusing the studi ov English fonetiks in our skoolz, which woz bound in tym tu inflooens the veuz ov the teecherz ov English, hoo wer stil too ofen inklynd tu adopt a reakshonari atiteud. She aulso sujested the drauing up ov a list ov werdz in a simplifyd speling which myt be rekomended for imeediait adopshon, and which shood be submited tu the Bord ov Edeukaishon and tu Egzamining Bodiz for thair aprooval, so that no wun euzing them wood be handikapt in egzaminaishonz, ets. She instanst such spelingz az "plow, tho, theater, labor," and aulso "program" (cf. telegram), "omelet" (cf. quartet), "rime, dout, wagon, woolen," and fynal t in such partisipelz az "wisht, dropt."
Dr. R. W. MACAN, Maaster ov Euniversiti Kolej, Oxford, delt in a konvinsing and elokwent maner with the Impeerial aspekts ov speling reform. He shœd the vaast spred ov the English langwij, and the draubaks tu its stil mor ekstensiv eus that arœz from the kaiotik speling. He kwœted the rezoleushon) paast at the "Imperial Education Conference in 1911 (it iz given on paij 4, and gaiv the rezults ov hiz inkwyriz az tu whot had so far been acheevd in the dominion beyond the seez. Prœgres so far had sertinli not been veri grait; it woz kleer that a strong leed must be given by our Guvernment. Dr. Macan'z konklooding werdz wer: "A kais haz been maid out not meerli in the interests ov the Simplifyd Speling Sosyeti or ov this kuntri, but in the interests ov the chyldhood and the manhood ov the hœl Empyr, for a Guvernment Komishon ov Ekspert's tu inkwyr intu this hœl kwestion and tu bring out a rashonal sistem. We mai saifli trust, eeven tho we mai not aproov in aul detailz ov the partikeular sistem which mai ultimaitli be chœzen, that it wil be infinitli beter than the kaios, anarki, and ekstravagans ov the prezent sistem - or wont ov it."
Prof. M. V. TROFIMOV, King'z Kolej, London, konsiderd the problem az a Russian hoo iz ankshus tu bring about kloeser relaishonz between hiz kuntri and ourz. He kompaird the relativ difikulti ov Russian and ov English, and eksprest the veu that it woz mor lykli that a larj number ov hiz kuntrimen wood lern English than that Russian wood be veri wydli taiken up in this kuntri. That being the kais, he deplord the servyval ov the œnli grait difikulti that konfrunted a Russian in lerning English - naimli, the speling. He kwœted a heumorus akount ov hou the English langwij kaim tu be such az it iz: "John Bull woz asleep when God kaim doun tu distribeut gifts ov langwijez tu the naishonz. On hiz awaikening, John Bull woz serpryzd tu heer uther peepel tauking whyl he himself woz speechless. In the kors ov tym he pikt up a number ov werdz from diferent speekerz, and gradeuali developt a pouerfool langwij from the borœd stok. Wun kan stil rekognyz the orijinal staitus ov John Bull'z lingwistik welth, but the riten form ov hiz speech givz no kee tu the akteual soundz. Being a man ov a rezervd naiteur, John Bull maid the speling ov English an obstakel tu gaining an insyt intu hiz thauts and feelingz." Prof. Trofimov staited that English woz about tu be introdeust az an obligatori subjekt in aul sekondari skoolz in Russia, and sed he felt shoor that the introdukshon ov a reformd speling wood improov and strengthen ferther the pozishon ov the English langwij in hiz kuntri.
Dr. G. B. Hunter, ov Newcastle, woz tu hav spœken on the komershal aspekt ov speling reform, but woz unforteunaitli prevented from atending the meeting. Tu maik up for this thair woz an interesting kontribeushon from Mr. A. P. GRAVES, hoo for therti-fyv yeerz woz a Guvernment Inspektor ov Skoolz. He spœk ernestli and feelingli ov the teribel waist ov tym in teeching the konvenshonal speling in elementari skoolz, and on the indiferent rezults sekeurd in the spœken langwij. He gaiv hiz suport tu preevius speekerz by emfasyzing the advaantijez which a rashonal speling wood konfer on our Alyz, and on uther forinerz hoo dezyr tu lern our langwij.
The CHAIRMAN braut the proseedingz tu an end by breefli deeling with sum points which Dr. Hunter wood hav been lykli tu tuch upon.
OUR APEEL TU THE GUVERNMENT.
To the Secretary of the Reconstruction Committee, Westminster.
The Simplified Spelling Society has for the past eight years urged the importance of a reform of the English spelling. Two years ago it was decided to promote a Petition for a Royal Commission to deal with this subject, but by establishing the Reconstruction Committee the Government has provided other means of considering suggestions for reform, and this society claims that the reform of English spelling is eminently one that merits the practical consideration of the Committee.
If we adopted a rational spelling - that is, a reasonably consistent representation of good spoken English:
It is particularly in the elementary schools that the grave drawbacks of the present spelling are felt, and teachers in these schools are eager for the reform. There is reason to believe that the rapid acquisition of the spelling by Italian children is due not to superior skill on the part of the teachers or to superior intelligence on the part of the children, but rather to the rational character of the Italian spelling.
1. We should save at least a year in the education time of our children - a year that is much needed for the teaching of intrinsically valuable subjects.
2. We should be able to teach this essential subject in a reasonable and educative way, which would not necessitate the memorizing of inconsistently spelled words nor inculcate wrong ideas.
3. We should secure clearer, better speech; for good speech would be the best preparation for correct spelling, and the spelling would be a constant reminder of good speech.
4. The speech training involved would facilitate the acquisition of foreign languages.
5. The difficult work of teaching defective children would be appreciably lightened.
The advantages to be derived from adopting a rational spelling, would, however, not be confined to our own children. Many of our fellow-subjects are of alien race, and it is of great importance that they should learn our language. The task of bringing education to India, for instance, is much complicated by the difficulties presented by our spelling, which are all the greater for those who do not start with a knowledge of the spoken language. The movement for spelling reform has received support from all parts of the Empire where English is taught as a foreign language.
That English should be known to every member of the Empire is a justifiable ambition; and we may also look forward to its increasing use in the rest of the world. There is evidence to show that the desire to study English is becoming more common in almost all foreign countries. Its commercial value and the richness of its literature, together with the simplicity of its grammar, explain its popularity, which, as all teachers abroad are agreed, would be vastly increased if the spelling gave real guidance to the pronunciation, instead of presenting countless irregularities that have no relation to the spoken language. At a recent educational Conference Lord Bryce said: "If English were simplified, it would in a generation become the language of commerce all over the East, with enormous benefit to British trade."
The above considerations have convinced the members of the Simplified Society and many others who have signed the Petition that, to quote a resolution passed at the last Imperial Education Conference: "The simplification of English spelling is a matter of urgent importance in all parts of the Empire, calling for such practical steps in every country as may appear most conducive to the ultimate end in view - the creation, in connexion with the subject, of an enlightened public opinion, and the direction of it to the maintenance, in its purity and simplicity among all English-speaking people, of the common English tongue." If this was true before the War, we submit that the arguments for an inquiry into the question of spelling reform have now gained in force and urgency.
The Simplified Spelling Society invites the Reconstruction Committee fully to consider this important reform, and the Society will gladly place at the disposal of the Committee evidence as to the progress which the movement has made in the Empire and in the United States of America.
GILBERT MURRAY, President of the Simplified Spelling Society.
WILLIAM ARCHER, Hon. Secretary.
WALTER RIPPMANN, Hon. Treasurer.
[The Apendiks tu this leter kontaind a breef akount ov the moovment for speling reform, with partikeularz ov our Sosyeti, its aimz, and its aktivitiz, and aulso a list ov klœs on 400 suporterz ov the moovment. Kopiz ov this interesting dokeument kan be obtaind from the Sekretari.]
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