[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1992/1 pp2,3, later designated J12]
[Also on this paje, Editorial by Ken Ives, The Society, The Journal, 'Important' omissions, Spelling test for everyone.
[See Journal and Newsletter articles, Pamflet 15 and Cut Spelling by Chris Upward.]
Message from Christopher Upward.
Editor-in-Chief, Simplified Spelling Society.The Simplified Spelling Society owes a profound debt of gratitude to Kenneth Ives for his initiative and commitment in offering to guest-edit this American edition of the Society's Journal.
The Journal evolved from the modest Newsletter bravely kept going ten years ago by Mona Cross, who thereby managed to preserve the Society's invaluable world-wide contacts thru the thin years of the early 1980s. From the mid-1980s the Newsletter grew steadily from some 20 pages of ordinary typescript to the regular 36 page A4 format of the later issues of the Journal, densely packed with Times 10-point articles ranging from humorous anecdotes to articles of unrivalled authority, such as John Wells on the implications of English accents for spelling reform and Asmah Haji Omar on the Malay spelling reform. By 1989 it was attracting increasingly wide interest and attention. But it was also becoming clear that the Society had not the strength to produce such a substantial periodical and at the same time to campaign actively via the media and by lobbying, and to develop soundly researched reform proposals for English spelling. The Society's raison d'etre required that the latter be given priority, and the Journal, with great regret, was allowed to lapse.
Thanks to Kenneth Ives it has now experienced a resurgence. That is important in itself. But equally important is the leap it has made across the Atlantic. While valuable work has been proceeding in North America (one need only think of Ed Rondthaler with the American Literacy Council, Ayb Citron with Better Education thru Simplified Spelling, and figures like Edgar Gregersen, Julius Nyikos, Traugott Rohner and Arnold Rupert), from the perspective of Britain at least there has been the impression of a lack of coordination across the American continent.
Perhaps an American edition of the Journal may spark off new developments there. But whatever else, it will certainly strengthen existing bonds between the British and American ends of the campaign to simplify English spelling, and it will open up views of the American situation to British readers.
The world-wide significance of the Society's work must never be forgotten. The three main clusters of membership at present are (in descending numerical order) Britain, the USA and Australia, but individual members are also scattered far beyond the native English-speaking countries, the mailing list covering Japan, China, India and several European countries. Their voices are of no less importance: English is the prime world-language, English spelling is a world problem, and non-English speakers should be encouraged to make their views of English spelling known loud and clear. There is no doubt what their views will be: Professor Mario Wandrowska of the University of Salzburg in Austria didn't mince his words when he recently wrote (in German) that English spelling is an insult to human intelligence. What are we doing to our schoolchildren, when we spend so much time insulting their intelligence?
[See Journal and Newsletter Anthology, and SPB articles by Kenneth Ives.]
Kenneth Ives.Since membership of the Simplified Spelling Society is widely scattered and only a few can get to meetings, circulation of the Journal makes a major contribution to the Society's aims and progress. It is a major means of building a community of spelling reformers, debating and developing programs of reform and publicizing our efforts and results.
With continuing appearance of the Journal thus essential to the Society's aims and progress, I offered to take some of the load off our over-worked Editor-in-Chief.
Because of problems in learning new software for a new laser printer, this issue is later and thinner than intended. With your help in writing or discovering items to include, the next issue can be the normal 36 pages, or larger.
Topics on which articles are especially desired include:
1. Needed research: a. on spelling alternatives; b. on the acceptability of various of these.
2. Ways of introducing some simplified spellings to adults.
3. Developing initial and medial teaching media, based on NS90, CS, and variants of these.
4. Ways of getting schools to try these out, based in part on the experience with ITA.
5. Reviews of recent spelling reform leaflets, pamflets, and books - Cut Spelling, NS90, BETSS, American Literacy Council publications.
The American Scene.While SSS has fewer than 20 members in the United States, two other organizations are active here: Better Education thru Simplified Spelling, and the American Literacy Council. There is also a small organization in Toronto, Canada, with its own version of simpler spelling, and an occasional publication. These are described in this issue.
Over a century ago, in the 1870's, the Spelling Reform Association had a chapter in Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune began one of its two main efforts to use and popularize reform. How can present spelling reformers get the following and acceptance to duplicate that achievement, and go beyond it?
A European Opportunity."The International Latin Union wants Latin to be added to the European Community's list of endangered languages. It is asking the EC to set aside one million European currency units ($1.35 million) for the promotion of Latin - 2% of EC's 'Lingua' budget for the study of less-taught languages." (Wall Street Journal 11 October 1990, page A10)
If the SSS were to be successful in getting a similar amount designated for the study and publication of materials on, and in, simplified English, what are some possible projects?
One might be the publication of an edition of UNESCO Courier in a simplified English, having perhaps 3% of words changed. This would have a simplified word in about every fourth line. Some years ago, there was an edition of the Courier in American English, so this is not unprecedented.
Another would be the preparation and publication of initial and medial teaching media in NS90, Cut Spelling, or versions of these.
The SocietyFounded in 1908, the Simplified Spelling Society has included among its officers: Daniel Jones, Horace King, Gilbert Murray, William Temple, H G Wells, Sir James Pitman, A C Gimson and John Downing. Its aim is to "bring about a reform of the spelling of English in the interests of ease of learning and economy of writing".
Its present officers are:
President: Donald G Scragg. Vice-Presidents: Professor David Abercrombie, Lord Simon of Glaisdale.
Chairman: Chris Jolly. Vice-Chairman: Laurence Fennelly. Secretary: Bob Brown. Treasurer: Alan Bye. Enquiries and Subscriptions (£10 or US$20 outside Europe) to the Membership Secretary, Bob Brown.
The JournalEditor in Chief: Christopher Upward. Issue editor: Kenneth Ives.
Editorial consultants are:
Professor Gerhard Augst, University of Siegen, Germany;
Dr Adam Brown, The British Council, Singapore;
Professor Nina Catach, Paris III University and Director of HESO, CNRS, France;
Professor Edgar Gregerson, Queens College & Graduate Center, City University of New York;
Professor Francis Knowles, Department of Modern Languages, Aston University, Birmingham
Professor Julius Nyikos, Washington & Jefferson Coll. & New English Orthography Ins., Washington PA.
Dr Edward Rondthaler, American Literacy Council, New York;
Dr Valerie Yule, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.
[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 12, 1992/1 p5]
A simple test of the degree of disturbance caused by the omission of individual
letters in words is printed below. Readers are invited to rank the following
incomplete spellings of the word important in order of visual disturbance,
with the figure zero given to the TO form, and marking the others with the rank 1-9,
number 9 indicating the one found most disturbing.
[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 12, 1992/1 p22,23]
Spelling Test for Everyone.This test includes some words many people cannot spell. Our spelling is so inconsistent and irrational that it really must be memorized to be learned. The national columnist L. M. Boyd has indicated that the spelling of several words in this sentence may be difficult: (You might check to see how well you do. Very few get them all right.)
|Outside a||minascule cemutery
|sat an||embarrased pedler|
|and a||harrassed cobler nawing
herassed cobbler gnawing
harased cobblar nauing
harrassed coblar gnauing
|bone while||gazing on a lady's||ankle with||unperalled extucy.|
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