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· Alien Member
17,556 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Skrap spelin, says boff

A leading academic says teaching children correct spelling is a waste of time and calls for the apostrophe to be scrapped.
John Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics at University College London and president of the Spelling Society, is calling for a "freeing up" of English spelling.

He says the informal language of texts, emails and chat rooms is the "way forward" and that we shouldn't worry about traditional spelling.
"In Finnish, once you have learned the letters, you know how to spell, so it would be ludicrous to hold spelling tests. In countries like Italy and Spain it's similar.

"But with English it's not phonetic, and there are just so many irregularities," he told The Times.
"It seems to be a great pity that English-speaking countries are holding back children in this way. There are lots of other things that are neglected in class because so much time is spent on spelling."

Professor Wells said that the apostrophe was an equal waste of time. "Have we really nothing better to do with our lives than fret about the apostrophe?" he asked.
"Let's allow people greater freedom to spell logically," he said. "Text messaging, e-mail and internet chat rooms are showing us the way forward for English."

Elaine Higgleton, editorial director for Collins Language, said that the problem with a phonetic approach to spelling would lie in deciding whose pronunciation to base it on.
"Would we continue spelling the word think with a 'th' because that is how some of us pronounce it, or would it be spelled 'fink' as it is in the East End of London or 'tink' as in Ireland?" she said.

· Subscribing Member
2,123 Posts
Bwaahhhh! Sounds like the movement several years ago to have ebonics recognized as a language! Just another step in the dumbing down of America. As I've said many times, our society is lowering it's standards to meet the deviants of society. Rather than expecting people to rise to the occasion, let's just make everything easier for them. :DP:

I think one of my supervisors is already buying into the concept. It took me several minutes to convice him that my documentation of a direct quote was correct when I wrote - 'cause - to indicate the perp's vocal abbreviation of the word "because". He didn't understand why I would put an apostrophe at the beginning of a word, even after I explained it to him! :sq:
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