[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1993/1 p2 later designated J14.]
[Also on this page: Patrick Groff editorial; Tribute to Harry Lindgren.
Kenneth Ives.The Society's Submission to the National Curriculum Council (pages 3-9) is a major and important effort, and a major recognition of it in a strategic sector. It seems likely that major reform of spelling will arrive via school children taught in such a medium, and permitted to use some simpler spellings in later grades - a medial writing medium.
A key problem here is the availability of a substantial amount of interesting and useful reading materials in a medial medium. Limitation of available reading materials was one factor restricting ITA to less than one year's use by most of its pupils. This poses a substantial financial problem for reformers to struggle with, if their program begins to win acceptance.
As a follow-up to the Symposium on Cut Spelling in the last issue, Valerie Yule presents some considerations on readability (pages 10-18). This is followed by an assessment of the contributions of Cut Spelling to broader programs of spelling reform (page 19).
The computer generated "tree" and "decision tree" diagrams (pages 20-22) are a way of making visual the many alternatives a writer or reader faces, and a sequence of decisions where rules apply, and error rates where they don't. The "decision tree" approach may be adaptable to classroom use. There will need to be considerable experimentation with these diagrams to find what styles are most useful for various purposes and audiences. Their author will gladly develop a few for other authors and researchers to use to illustrate their points.
Patrick Groff presents a view of Developmental Spelling (pages 23-25) and argues for developing a link between it and spelling reform in the guest editorial below.
With a new administration in the United States, with an emphasis on "change", and the start of an effort for 'English standards" (see page 36), it may be that spelling reformers in the United States have an opportunity to be heard and to influence educational policy, such as they have not had since the Progressive era of 1900-1916.
Patrick Groff.Spelling reform needs to try to gain the cooperation of educational organizations in its efforts. One must find an issue, however, on which both parties can agree. Could this be the idea of developmental spelling?
As my paper (pages 23-25) implies there do not seem to be people in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) nor the International Reading Association (IRA) who are interested in reformed spelling. I hope my paper offers a suggestion on what advocates of spelling reform must consider in manuscripts sent to these organizations. The first stage of gaining acceptance for spelling reform by NCTE and IRA would be getting manuscripts accepted by them for publication.
In the meantime it would be appropriate to have developed standards on spelling reform, as suggested in JSSS J13 1992/2. Whether NCTE, IRA etc. would want to work on an organization to do this is highly problematic. First they must be convinced that reformed spelling and developmental spelling have so much in common that it is feasible for them to endorse each other's efforts. The main hurdle here is the direct teaching issue. Spelling reform also must be prepared to give up ideas that there should be a prearranged hierarchy of reformed spelling that children should be taught. To gain NCTE et al., as allies to reformed spelling they must be assured that spelling reform does not demand that children will be expected to reach certain spelling levels on an arbitrary schedule.
I am preaching expediency here. While I am an advocate of direct teaching, I would give this up for the greater goal of spelling reform. I think, then, that we must keep our eyes on the prize, even if this means for the time being that great compromises are made.
[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1993/1 p35 later designated J14]
Harry Lindgren 1912.6.25 - 1992.7.1.Doug. Everingham sent this tribute at the request of Editor-in-Chief Chris Upward. He used a statement by Harry's daughter at Harry's funeral, and personal views. Harry's Spelling Reform step One (SR1) is used herein.
Harry was born in Newcastle, England, in 1912. He won a scholarship to Newcastle-on-Tyne Royal Grammar School and meny prizes, including a scholarship to study German in Germany later. He never lost pride in Scandinavian origins and named his Spelling Action Society, launched SR1 day (September 1, 'seventy-1) to conform with the Scandinavian airline's initials, SAS.
His family migrated to Perth, Western Australia (WA), in 1922. Harry stayed with his grandparents to continue his education. After apprenticeship as electrical engineering draftsman with Roy Rolls in Newcastle he had no job because of the Depression. He joined his parents, sister and two brothers in 1935. While completing his B.Sc. and Dip. Ed. at Perth's University of WA he earned a little by teaching English to European (mainly German) immigrant students, and met Eve, a B.A. and Dip. Ed. student. They were married in 1941.
After teaching in WA for a few years Harry joined the Australian Patent Office in Canberra as an Examiner in electrical specifications, until retirement in 1962. He published articles in America, England and Australia, in Scientific American, Australian Mathematics Teacher, Mathematical Gazette, Journal of the Australian Mathematical Society and Recreational Mathematics Magazine. He joined mathematical societies in Australia, India, and Sweden. His first book Geometric Dissections (Van Nostrand, 1964) was published in Russian in 1969. Of it, Martin Gardner of Scientific American wrote:
he is the world's leading expert on such problems ... His beautiful book is the only comprehensive study of dissections in any language, and is likely to be the classic reference for many decades.Harry read and spoke many languages, some of them self-taught. His grasp of phonetics excelled that of a frend of mine who passed International Phonetic Association exams with honors.
In 1969 his Spelling Reform: A New Approach, was published as a paperback by Alpha Books, Sydney, Australia. The book uses down-to-earth words and cartoons lampooning damaging traditions. It calls for everyone to start now a step-by-step reform to align writing with speech. The plan shows and shuns the commercial impracticability of faster reform projects.
Harry notes the arguments for helping slower learners and reducing social handicaps, but also turns agenst critics their own arguments concerning uniformity of dialects, outdating current texts, and preserving written distinctions among homophones. He outlines new benefits of thought facilitation to be achieved when the written language becomes analogous with the spoken, and anticipates new language planning after spelling reform.
The Lindgren saga resembles that of meny a pioneer, beried as a crank, later hailed as a seer, or obscurely acclaimed in old age. Harry's work is still sidelined on "grounds" that his book has meticulously demolished. Experts in language arts fail to answer, in the integrated manner he exemplifies, his technology, step by step logic, common sense and aesthetics.
Harry's supporters have espoused their stance because of personal awareness or gut feelings that present spelling is barbarous, its chaotic principles an abomination, its social costs a collective crime in which we are all, to varying extents, accessories.
Dr L.J. Jarvis ('BiIl) Nye, medical innovator and author, wrote a novel using SRI. Mark O'Connor, tertiary English teacher, national winner of poetry prizes, published in SR1. The Australian Teachers' Federation, editor Kevin Grover of The Teachers' Journal, editors of at least five other small periodicals, and the 1971 October 5 education supplement of The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia's most senior daily, have used and advocated SR1. I used it in my first official publication as federal Minister for Helth in 1973.
To produce his (originally monthly) newsletter, Spelling Action (1971-89), Harry took an offset printing course at Canberra Technical College and became a registered printer. He bought an offset printing plant. He and Eve printed and mailed for frends newsletters on science fiction, the Neighbourhood Watch Zone, a self-help helth organization and others.
Another of Harry's skills was violin playing, learned while at university. He became a member of the Canberra Philharmonic Orchestra, cycling to rehearsals with the violin strapt to his back.
He had a debilitating stroke after surgery for stomach cancer, but remained alert to the end.
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