[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1987/3 p12 later designated J6.]
Also on this page: BEtSS, European Contacts, Poems, Advertising, Publications.
[Madhukar Gogate: see Journals, Newsletters and Web link.]

Roman Lipi Parishad.

RLP, the movement for a romanized script for Indian languages in Bombay, issued this circular, dated 2 March 1987, along with an illustrative leaflet.
1. Board of Directors Annual General Meeting was held on 28 February. Following new board is elected for 2 year term. Mr Madhukar Gogate (Executive Director), Mr Rajnikant Shroff (Treasurer), Mr Husain Dalal, Mr Minochar Contractor, Mr Kuthanur Ramnathan, Ms Nirmala Gogate. First 3 are engineers, 4th doctor, 5th teacher, 6th singer by profession.

2. Sammelan. Two Roman Lipi Sammelans (with English medium for dialogue among all language speakers) were held at Bombay in Dec 84, Dec 86. Next Sammelan will be held around Dec 88, preferably in another city. Suggestions are invited.

3. Handbill. A new method of popularization has been found. National Welfare Foundation had arranged a rally (convoy of 50 trucks) on 28 February. They gave a truck to RLP and financed printing of handbills (copy in adjacent column) for free distribution on way. The response was good. Some sponsors have expressed interest in making similar handbills (distribution at railway stations), or newspaper advertisements, with sentences related to their items of trade. A sponsor has agreed for publicity on TV. Let us see how things materialize. RLP would like to provide proper translations. Would any readers help RLP?. For what language?

4. Target Language India has many languages, and the Board has decided to give concentrated attention to one target language (Marathi) to derive useful feedback. Why Marathi? This language has experience of using 2 scripts (Modi before printing press came in 1818, Devnaagri thereafter for printing). Modi was taught in schools as late as until year 1948. People are aware that a scriptoral change is possible. Moreover, 50% of Marathi mediamen, opinion makers, writers, etc., live in Bombay-Pune belt, highly industrialized, hence receptive to changes. These persons can be easily contacted. It does not mean other languages will be ignored. Readers are requested to do useful work, such as writing in newspapers, some poems, jokes, etc., in local and Roman scripts. Instead of discussing theoretically what should be the proper symbols for particular sounds, please now give actual trials to the scheme adopted at Second Sammelan. No scheme is afterall perfect, and can satisfy everyone. Start gathering experience, for exchanging it at the third Sammelan.

5. Intensive Work For next one year or so, RLP may not come out with English circulars. It will come out with leaflets, charts, training courses, meetings, etc., using Marathi medium, using both Devnaagri and Roman scripts. Propaganda will be at various levels, urban, rural, men, women, rich, poor, etc. Purists may object to scrapping of distinction between short-long vowels for Marathi. But let us see what the public, the illiterate millions, etc., want.

Roman Script For India's Unity.
Sample of Indian script.
bhaarat ki ektaa ke liye roman lipi

Sun and moon rise in the east.
surya aur chandramaa purva me uday hote haim.
surya va chandra purves ugavtaat.
surya ane ctiandra purvamaa uge chhe.
suraj aur chaand mushrak me taluh hote haim.
suraj te chaudramaa purabme nikaide han.
surja ebang chandra purba digaare udaya huanti.
surjo evam chaand purbodike othe.
hujja aaru sawndraw pub dikhaat uday hawy.
surya chandraru purvadikkinalli muduttare.
surya chandrudu turpu bhaagamunaa udainchuduru.
suryanum chandranum kilakke udikyunnu.
suryenum chanranum kizhake udikiradu.
Notes including Indian characters.
Issued at Bombay on 28 February 1987

National Unity Rally / raashtriya ektaa yaatraa

Sponsored by National Welfare Foundation, Bombay.


[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1987/3 p14 later designated J6.]
[Ayb Citron: see Journals, Newsletters, Anthology, Bulletins and about BEtSS.]


Ayb Citron, Executive Director of BEtSS, is an old friend of the Simplified Spelling Society. Now BEtSS President Charles F Kleber has sent us their annual report for 1985-86 and accompanying papers, from which we here give excerpts and summaries.
BEtSS was founded as a non-profit-making organization in the Detroit area in 1978, and has made significant progress. It is confident that substantial human and economic benefits wil be realized once we evolve a step-by-step educationally sound and practical process of change to a spelling system wherein words ar spelled mor the way they ar pronounced.

From 1985 BEtSS focused on opportunities for funding from business foundations, and made useful contacts for the future with the Ford Foundation and Initial Teaching Alphabet Foundation in New York.

BEtSS' second major activity in 1985-86 has been the development of an updated marketing plan for spreading awareness of the need for spelling reform, under four headings, public relations, research, outreach and national sanctioning. The research will feature the 25-single-letter words of the Speed Spelling system.

The Directors, who include business, professional and media people as well as teachers and academics, contribute their own funds to BETSS, which are tax-deductible, and the program budget has recently totaled between $3,000-$5,000 annually.

A Detroit News report lists a number of the specific reforms BEtSS is proposing (nearly all also included in the Cut Spelling proposal):
- drop final <e> where it doesn't matter (giv)
- drop silent <b> in crumb etc (what about climb, comb, tomb?)
- spell all <-gue> endings as just <g> (catalog, leag)
- endings in <ey> drop <e> (donky)
- simplify double final consonants (bel)
- <ph> pronounced /f/ to be written <f>.
One proposal not included in Cut Spelling, though it also reduces the number of letters, is
- <ch> pronounced /k/ to be written /k/ (stomakake).

[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1987/3 p14 later designated J6.]



Susan Baddeley, a member of Research Group 113 (HESO: Histoire des Écritures et Systèmes d'Orthographe) at the Paris CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) has kindly agreed to act as intermediary between the Society and the HESO group and its offshoot AIROE (Association pour l'information et la recherche sur les orthographes et les systèmes d'écriture). Publication-exchange has begun and we have received the 1986 bulletin from HESO, with items on early alphabets, French spelling seen in historical, regional, graphemic and structural terms, and frequency lists.


Following contact with the IdS (Institut für deutsche Sprache) in Mannheim, the Society is now in touch with Prof. Dr. Gerhard Augst of the Universitüt Gesamthochschule Siegen, who has been a major contributor to the continuing spelling-reform debate in German-speaking Europe. We have received from him his most informative brief history of the German spelling-reform movement from the 19th century onwards, with its early successes (1901) and more recent setbacks. It was published in 1983 in the Folia Linguistica Historica IV/1, pp.81-99.

[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1987/3 p31 later designated J6.]

Three Spelling Poems.

Alice Thomas Ellis: Lepard Speoll.

This poem has been used in lectures on English spelling to illustrate how arbitrary the phonographic variations in t.o. are. For the learner ignorant of the derivations of words the spellings used here appear no less convincing than the t.o. forms; but to the user familiar with t.o. their strangeness appears outrageous. Given the nature of t.o., both reactions are equally well- or ill-founded.
A leapard leopt out of a thicket
Wamb! and ate a lham
Then with another leep
he ate a sheap
then the lepherd
ate the sheopard.
Previously published in Times Literary Supplement and here by permission of the author, who tells us that the Welsh spelling of her name is Alis Tomas Elys.

Christopher Upward: Fuzzy-Opaque Orthographical Visions.

As well as presenting three different but all potentially misconceived attitudes towards t.o., the following limerick, with its title, was designed to include every letter of the alphabet and every RP phoneme, and may therefore serve as a compact test-bed for new orthographies.
There was a poor boy couldn't spell
Half the words in our language too well.
His teachers thought: "Brain-sick",
Mum 'n Dad hoped: "Dyslexic?"
Yet the child rashly jeered: "What the hell!"
Previously published in the Simplified Spelling Society Newsletter, Autumn 1985, p.19.

Peter Mortimer: Charlie Fook.

This poem forcefully expresses the frustration of the learner and the educational damage done by a generally unpredictable orthography. Its rhymes further illustrate some of the obstacles to a straightforwardly phonographic reform of English spelling: the couplets in lines 1/2, 3/4, 9/10 only rhyme in some accents, so that no spelling reform can make spelling-rhymes of them for all speakers; couplets 5/6 and 7/8 involve foreign spellings, whose anglicisation would reduce the international validity of written English; and the rhymes in lines 4 and 10 cross word boundaries, and their correct spelling even in a regularised orthography would require at least a minimum grasp of the morphology and syntax of English.
1 Me name's Charlie Fook and me spelling's a laugh
I'd rather nick off and sit round in the caugh
School gives me a pain; I'm no good at study
Can't tell Mr Simms; wouldn't understand wudy?
5 He pulls me up front, shouts, "now spell Cologne!"
He's got to be joking - what, me all ologne?
Or sometimes it's phlegm or caress or lasagna
Can't hardly blame me for skiving off cagna?
"Wake up at the back and spell chipolatas!"
10      That some kind of sausage? Got me beat for statas
See, I'm bleeding useless, I haven't a clue
Words don't make sense to me - what can I due?

© 1986 Peter Mortimer. Published for the first time in New Angles II edited by John Foster' (OUP, 1987). Reprinted by permission of the author.

[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1987/3 p31 later designated J6.]
[See American & British spellings.]

The <-ise, ize> Dilemma.

Editors in English face the question whether to spell words like organise with <-ise> or <-ize>. America, The Times, the Oxford University Press and Collins prefer <ize>, but Britain otherwise mainly writes <-ise>. The uncertainty arose from disagreement about derivation. If the suffix is seen as deriving directly from Greek <-izein> (-ιξειν), Greek zeta <ξ> transcribes into Roman <z>; but if the words concerned are seen as arriving via French, the French <s> (organiser) might be chosen. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says: "The suffix, whatever the element to which it is attached, is in its origin Greek, and as the pronunciation is also with z there is no reason why the French spelling should ever be followed." This Journal has hitherto preferred <z>, but only for phonographic, not etymological, reasons: the ending <-ize> unambiguously represents the pronunciation and distinguishes it from the ending of precise. However for spelling reformers there is a counter-argument. Some words with this ending are never spelt with <-ize> because they derive from a Latin or Germanic root using <s>: rise, advise, surprise, advertise, compromise etc. Then there are Greek-derived words like analyse, paralyse which go back to the root analysis etc., which in Greek uses unvoiced sigma <σ>, not voiced zeta. Collins and Oxford prefer analyse but Webster has analyze. So which form should spelling reformers prefer, phonographic <-ize>, with a whole string of exceptions, or ambiguous <-ise>, with fewer and perhaps more manageable exceptions (unvoiced treatise, precise and a few words always spelt with <z>, prize, size, capsize)? Should reformers anticipate a time when all voiced sibilants would be spelt <z>, and accept the awkward exceptions for the present, or should we give priority to the problems of present users, for whom standard <-ise> would be easier to learn and use correctly?

[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, 1987/3 p32 later designated J6.]


Spelling Innovation in the Service of Advertising

Harp Lager: summer cooler than others.

Spec al Not ce
Athlet cs at Alexander Stad um
Engl sh Schools Nat onal Champ onshps 10-11 July,
England v USA nternat nal 17 July
All 'i's will be on World Class Athletics at Alexander Stadium this Summer

Knowledge & experience "U" can trust

Tipp-Ex for Rong Writers

Softwear anywear (shoes)

Publications available to members (at that time)

-Harry Lindgren Spelling Reform, a New Approach, Sydney: Alpha Books, 1969, 152 pp., postage 24p.
-eds. Edward Rondthaler & Edward J Lias Dictionary of simplified American Spelling, The American Language Academy, 1986, 312pp., postage £1.70.
-Arnold Rupert School with less pain, Lunenburg, Ontario, Canada, 18pp., postage 13p.

The Committee for Linguistics in Education jointly formed by the British Association for Applied Linguistics and the Linguistics Association of Great Britain has published a report by Professor Michael Stubbs of the London University Institute of Education, entitled: The Synchronic Organization of English Spelling based on a discussion held at the University of East Anglia in April 1986.

A collection of computer-readable files of English spelling errors, containing tens of thousands of errors by both native speakers and foreign learners, compiled by Roger Mitton (Birkbeck College, University of London), is available for a small charge on magnetic tape from the Oxford Text Archive.

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