News2. A5 16pp. [Underlined words and letters are in italics here.]
On other pages part 2, part 3.

Newsletter 1983 part 1.


Information Technology 1983

Patron: H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, K.G., K.T.

Hon. Secretary: Mr Stanley Gibbs, Middlesex.
Hon. Tresurer: Miss Mona Cross, Northampton.



[See Journal and Newsletter articles by Mona Cross.]

NEWS LETTER from Mona Cross, Hon. Treasurer.


Dear Members and Interested People,

I'm always glad to receive your letters. Often one writer echoes the thoughts of the other, and many reflect the immediate concern of the Committee.

Here is an extract from Gilbert Rae's recent letter:- "What can the Society do to-day, except supply reading matter to members and those interested, and perhaps somehow encourage individuals who invent outstandingly practical schemes?"

This is what we can do - We can work together to interest the ordinary public. Even if we could once more reach the higher rungs of the parliamentary system, no minister can push through changes ordinary people have never heard about. I've talked to a few of them and found that they agreed that our spelling is odd, inconsistent, troublesome. Then they said, "It would cause a lot of trouble to printers, dictionary-makers and to children who need to read our past literature." But dictionary-makers say that their job is to follow people's wishes, and they already give alternate spellings, and children might as readily read different script, as they could do the reverse after reading in i.t.a. (initial teaching alphabet). In our last News Letter there was a statement about Edward Rondthaler's computer dictionary based on "Soundspel" by which he shows "how easily modern computers could transliterate from present spelling to a reformed spelling during a transition period to eliminate publishing and printing problems."

As Lottie Hirsch of Indiana says, "Reform will happen in conjunction with a new technology."

Professor Abe Citron of Detroit has, in his Simplified Spelling Society, called BETSS, Officers and Board of Directors from Commerce, as well as from Banks, Television, Libraries, Universities, etc. Such people, and the leaders of the Societies for the Blind, and the Deaf and the Dyslexic etc., if they know of our ideas, could easily prove that simplified spelling will save time, and therefore money and effort. And those savings give a universal satisfaction, for money counts!

So, we need to harness the agreement about the obvious oddities of spelling which many ordinary people can recognise. How can we do that? I am thinking that some of Valerie Yule's Spelling Cartoons, if put in a popular paper like the Star, and in one of the more learned ones like the "Guardian", would be arresting propaganda. Maybe we couldn't afford to pay for that, but as the Editor (Valerie Yule) of our last News Letter asks, "What has happened to Dr. Follick's fortune, which was left, like George Bernard Shaw's - - - for the furthering of Spelling Reform?" Maybe we could use some of that money. Do you know what has happened to it? I suppose the legacies have merely been forgotten.

Alun Bye, a committee member, feels that a name for our society might give it a popular appeal. I like his idea. Do you?

Stanley Gibbs, our Secretary, is putting advertisements in certain newspapers and journals. Have you seen one? Why not follow up yourself, by writing to that same paper?

We haven't yet talked on radio or television, but Richard Lung writes to say that Reg Deans, the creator of a reformed spelling called "BRITIC", has done so - I wonder if one of you heard it? Radio 4 December 30th.

If we had a chance to speak on television or radio, how could we make "Reformed Spelling" entertaining enough to be listened to, or watched, by the non-academic, whose support is so imperative? If you have some ideas, we should be glad to have them.

Thank you all for your concern. We shall be pleased to see you at any of our meetings. Stanley Gibbs will give you details.

News of our hopes for the 1984 Conference will be sent in our next News Letter.

Yours sincerely,
MONA CROSS, Hon. Tresurer.

P.S. I'm sending you all a Spring S.P.B. free of charge. But I have sent the Winter one to only 21 people because the rest of the copies were lost in the post. If I can obtain more I will send you one.

M. CROSS.



Thoughts expressed by M. Cross, following the reading of

"A short account of the Simplified Spelling Society" by Maurice Harrison, M.A. M.Ed. B.Sc. ECON. Published 1971

It was in my anxiety to find an answer to the question "What step shall we take next?" that I re-read Maurice Harrison's account of Simplified Spelling. It ends with this statement: "The S.S.S. has in February 1971, sent to the present Secretary of State for Education and Science, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, a fresh letter urging once more, an enquiry into the "educational, financial and international advantages likely to result from modernizing our out-of-date spelling conventions."

I have not seen the answer to that letter; I just sense that nothing was done. Again, it seemed to me that the lack of knowledge and therefore of support, by the general public, was the basic cause of the indifference as to whether anything should be done or not.

Did you know that in 1953 the first Spelling Reform Bill would have been passed had there been just three more favourable votes?

I was almost disheartened to read that right back in 1877 the London School Board and other School Boards, made a determined effort to influence the government - to no avail, as now.

I was not surprised to read that from 1875 "failure to learn to read has been a constant theme of educationists" - Will they never learn?

Monetary gain is one of the great driving forces for change. Perhaps someone can make clear to everyone that that will be the result of simplification of spelling in the long run.

As to the prospect of aid to the children and the common man and the foreigner, which is offered so readily by a simplified spelling, that could be the quietly powerful urge of more of the idealistic people.

We must get ourselves known, and supported by the people, ready for the next push through to the Cabinet!



Obituary. Vic Paulsen.


As some of you may know, Vic Paulsen of San Francisco, died in October of last year. He was the creator of TORSKRIPT. The children's books which he published are first class and his other books are a lively reflection of his character.

He was another of those earnest people who have devoted time and energy, and money to the creation of a simplified spelling scheme. I hope that the Society will honour them all by recalling their works whenever opportunity arises.

In losing Vic, we have lost another friend.



Back to the top.
On other pages News 2 part 2, part 3.