On other pages: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5.
[Allan Campbell: see Journals, Newsletters, Media, Spell 4 Literacy NZ.]

simpl speling July 1999 part 4. members' supplement.

Editor: Allan Campbell.

Winning the children thru the internet.

If the Society made books aimed at children and adolescents available for downloading in reformed spelling, we might win them over to the cause of spelling reform.

Alan Mole, a member from Boulder, Colorado, said this when, as guest speaker at the AGM, he outlined his ideas for getting children and adolescents interested in spelling reform.

He believes that soon it will be possible to download nearly all books onto walkbooks. (A computer with a 1 GB hard drive can store 3000 books. It is expected by next year about 40% of Americans will be connected to the internet.)

Alan also showed examples of designs for badges and transfers for t-shirts which children could also download.

They would need to understand that wearing them would mean they were in favor of spelling reform, and before doing so they would need to become informed about reform issues in order to be able to answer questions about it from school mates and teachers, and also to fend off common objections to spelling reform.

The Society would therefore need to produce a leaflet which they could download and which explained the issues involved in terms young people could understand. Mark Twain's essay on spelling should also be made available. The Society should also produce a downloadable letter addressed to educators explaining why the cause of spelling reform is a good one for young people to support.

The idea of a website aimed at young people was met with general approval at the meeting. A lengthy discussion followed on the difficulties that arose for producing books in reformed spelling or explaining reform issues to children in simple terms while the SSS still had no agreed reform strategy; also on what kinds of reading material should be chosen.

Alan was given approval to try to set up a website aimed at young people on the lines he had described. It was agreed that the Aston site should provide a link to it. [See Newsletters, Web links.]


Get started with a KISS.

The poll run by the outgoing committee to seek a direction for the Society's campaign resulted in 63% of respondents asking for staged reform, and 37% voting for other options.

Only half the membership bothered to vote. This casts a shadow over the result, but we cannot allow ourselves to be thwarted by members choosing not to have their say when the chance was offered.

We have procrastinated enuf for many reasons, including apathy, lack of resources, and long and often repetitious discussion.

The committee has now been given direction by those interested enuf to express their view. Proposals are being formulated.

The poll result does not mean that all support for orthographical schemes should cease. It does mean priority needs to be given to getting something started.

KISS is the catchword - Keep It Simple, Simon. Not too much, nor too difficult to understand, to explain, to remember.

The ball is in the committee's court to play as coached by the members. Their responsibility is to rally around and back it. It's time to take the game seriously and play hard.

Allan Campbell


on presentation of members' schemes as Personal Views are available from Paul Fletcher.

Reports from the AGM.

Enthusiasm leads to positive change

Chairman Chris Jolly reiterated his belief that last year's decision to appoint a paid secretary/treasurer had been a good one. He thought that Masha's enthusiasm was beginning to change the Society in a positive way.

He expressed appreciation and thanked several members for the continued hard work they put in: Chris Upward on the Journal; Allan Campbell with Simpl Speling, Jean Hutchins as membership secretary; Paul Fletcher on Personal Views; John Bryant on photocopying and posting Simpl Speling and several PVs. He felt Chris and Allan's publications were all invariably of a very high standard.

Treasurer retires after 12 years.

Alun Bye has been the Society's treasurer since April 1987 but has now had to relinquish the post because of poor helth. In appreciation of Alun's long service to the Society, Frank Garnett (who presented Alun's report) was presented with a commemorative scroll for Alun.

Alun reported that for 1998 income from subscriptions had been higher than in 1997. Overall income from investments had been good, apart from the Ferguson shares, which had produced no dividend for 1998. The main increase in outlay was the wages bill for the secretary at between £300-£400 per month. Personal View expenses had also increased, and perhaps the committee should consider asking for contributions from the authors.

The meeting agreed to Alun and Frank being made life members. Lord Simon and John Wells are also life members, and Pete Bleek is a free member, membership secretary Jean Hutchins reported. Ten new members had joined since the last meeting, one rejoined, one transferred from complimentary membership. Most inquiries came via the web and some via newspaper articles.

At the end of 1998, there were 126 members. Eighteen joined during 1998 and 11 left. On AGM day there were 138 members; 68 had paid (five are non-paying).

Jean said she will retire as membership secretary at next year's AGM.

Some members had requested a list of all SSS members. After discussion on confidentiality and data protection it was decided a list as at December 31 each year, with only name, town, and country of members, be sent with the next regular mailing to all members. Further details about individuals could then be made available on request and with the consent of the person concerned.

Committee: Chris Jolly (chair), Masha Bell (minutes), David Barnsdale, John Bryant, Tony Burns, Leo Chapman, Jean Hutchins, Nicholas Kerr, Gwenllian Thorstad, Chris Upward.
Members: Colin Davies, Frank Garnett, Kath Greenland (Australia), Edward Marchant, Alan Mole (USA).
Guest: Professor Burke Shipley (USA), author JSSS articles on Chicago Tribune.
Apologies: Alun Bye, Gerald Palmer, Paul Fletcher.

Poor spelling in the limelight.

Poor spelling standards had received quite a lot of publicity in the press recently after various reports about the problem, editor-in-chief Chris Upward reported. Society members Ken Spencer and George Anderson had had articles published. NZ representative Allan Campbell had also had some successes with editors, and topped it all with a 10min national radio interview which gained us one new member immediately.

Chris said two Journals and three Simpl Spelings had been published last year, and Bob Brown's pamphlet had been reissued. The next Journal should be out in a month or so, and he had plenty of submissions for the ensuing one.

He now had two sets of the American quarterly Spelling Progress Bulletin, 1961-83, predecessor of JSSS. He has offered one to the Mont Follick Library in Manchester.

He had been offered and had negotiated the purchase of four issues, bound as volume 6 (1917), of the early SSS journal The Pyoneer for £30 for our archives. Its purchase was agreed to.

The publication English Today was carrying out its last Langscape survey, this one into double consonants, and the Society would again be making a submission.

Officers and committee
Officers and committee were elected and appointed as follows:
Chairman, Chris Jolly; vice-chairman, Nick Kerr; editor-in-chief, Chris Upward; director of research, Gwenllian Thorstad; secretary and treasurer, Masha Bell; honorary membership secretary, Jean Hutchins;
committee - Tony Burns, Leo Chapman, Paul Fletcher, Gerald Palmer.

At the post-AGM committee meeting.

Reorganizing SS, PV distribution

John Bryant confirmed he could no longer photocopy and post Simpl Spelings and PVs to UK and European members. Several committee members had found that commercial photocopying cost 10p per side of A3, making this 60p per PV and 50p per SS. Chris Upward undertook to see if he could get a better price from Aston University. Gerald Palmer, who had offered to help John with filling envelopes, would be asked if he might now take on all of that job.

Minutes available on email.

The committee decided to make available, as soon as possible after each meeting, the unconfirmed minutes of that meeting to all members with email . (To receive them, email Masha Bell)

Subscriptions go to Jean Hutchins.

All membership matters go to the membership secretary Jean Hutchins.

Credit card subscription payments have been considered, as requested, but are not feasible at present.

Next committee meeting: July 10.

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On other pages: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 5.