Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Werking for pland chanje

So, now I've started back on The Times, I can't stop! First up is one of the more intelligent considerations of the Hard Spell programme, which you may have seen on TV last week. I watched one episode - just out of professional curiosity, you understand - and was simultaneously fascinated and appalled. The super-geek that lives inside me was yelling "I know that, I know that", but my compassionate adult alter ego was just left wondering what kind of sick society we live in that would lure perfectly nice children onto prime time TV only to humiliate them. Some of those kids got really tough words - especially the poor lad who got "Bacchanalian". That was really mean...

The article in The Times moves on from the programme itself to explore the notion of correct spelling in some useful contexts, exploring spelling and creativity, the difficulty of English spelling compared with other languages, and giving examples of some situations in which misspelling has actually mattered. But most interestingly, the article looks at spelling reform and the proposals that have been made for its simplification and regularisation.

The link will take you to theTimes homepage; type "hard spell" in the search box; click on "search the site" on the pop-up; then click on the first item. And do it soon because you can only read articles in The Tight-Wad Times free for a week. Also check out the Simplified Spelling Society link to see reform campaigning in action. And finally, take direct action yourself on the freespeling website - go there and vote for the way you think the spelling of any one of 500 key words in English should be changed for the better.

What do you think? Should English spelling be reformed? How?

Focus: It's tough, it's cool, it's ... spelling

The simplified spelling society



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