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What's being done?

 

Since the 17th century when the printers chose the spelling forms we now consider correct, eminent linguists, educationists and other famous people (such as American statesman Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster of Webster's dictionary and Isaac Pitman) have noisily called for reform to English spelling. 

The Simplified Spelling Society (founded in 1908) proposed introducing 'New Spelling' - a fully phonetic system - and has carried the cause forward to this day. The American president Theodore Roosevelt took up the cause of the movement to reform English spelling in 1914.  It was great news when, in 1953, the British House of Commons actually passed a Spelling Reform Bill.  The bad news was that, despite research done at the time which unquestionably demonstrated that children learnt to spell faster with a simpler spelling system, nothing was done about it!

Different people have proposed alternative schemes for simplifying our spelling over the years, but what they all agree is that SOMETHING has to be done about it.  There are roughly 3,500 words that are irregular, but if even the 500 most commonly misspelled words were simplified, it would have a big impact on how quickly people learn to read and write: we wouldn't have to put up with 1 in 5 people not coping and 1 in 5 adults not being able to read and write.
 

 
© SSS. updated 2006.02.24    The Simplified Spelling Society