News6. (underlined words and letters are presented as headings or in italics here.)
On other pages: part 1, part 3, part 4.

News Letter. October 1984. Part 2.


S.S.S. TWO MOVEMENTS to suit modern lines.

PHONETIC
Spelling for children and
for those who do not
no the language)

SUPPORTERS
L.R. Fennelly
C. Jolly
C. Upward
D. Stark
A. Citron
R. Craig
R. Lung
P. Lee
M.N. Gogate
and many others.
"CUT SCRIPT"
(For the computer etc. and for those
who already no the language and
ar at least somewhat literat).

SUPPORTERS
V. Yule
A. Citron and the
U.S.A. Society BEtSS
C. Upward
and
others.

For U.S.A. details see
"Spelling Progress Quarterly"
Vol. I Number 2.

Aut the Society now to encourage the development of both, and to record the same for the consideration of a "Bullock Report" type of official committee?

I hav had som helpful interesting letters and I always draw the Committee's attention to their contents. Most reflect an agreement with the Committee. Robert Craig wholeheartedly agrees with the "Four Stages" and SR1 etc., but he decidedly dislikes reference to Nue Spelling, which he feels is obsolete. Judging by the expressed views of the 1985 Working Party Committee, "New Spelling" may tend to serv only as a basis or "jumping off ground". Mr. Gogate of Bombay is very appreciative but thinks that Simplified Spelling needs the support of governmental and educational bodies. He thinks of it, too, as another language for his Indian compatriots to learn, i.e. an addition to the orthodox English which they now read and rite. We intend that it shall be accepted internationally and be used insted of the orthodox - difficult to read, difficult to spell - English, which we use at present.

I am disappointed that the Society's influence on this country's educational and governmental hierarchy, and on the ordinary peopl, appears to be no greater than in 1979, when I ran a Conference here which I had hoped would lead to the spred of information about spelling reform. John Ogden of Lancashire, has written a very thoughtful paper, giving ways in which this could be don. If you could make time to work with him it would, I believe, be the start of a move forward in 1985. We hav the scheme, we hav the ideas, we hav som money. All we need is to follow up his suggestions for "PUBLICITY".

Now may I wish you a very pleasant New Year and a Christmas which brings you warmth and contentment.

Yours sincerely,
MONA CROSS.



PUBLICITY from John Ogden, Lancashire.

In support of Stage 1 now that it is broadly agreed

OBJECTIVE
To get Stage I reforms widely known by the public
(Audience: all adults)
To encourage use of Stage I reforms by those who ar interested
(Audience: mostly teachers, academics, students)

ACTION.
Produce material to publicise Stage 1.
Produce material for those who choose to use Stage 1.
Take steps to publicise Stage 1.
Take steps to encourage the use of Stage 1.

MATERIAL.
Leaflets: For giving away at meetings, to frends or in the post.
To describe each reform in Stage 1, with examples.
To provide a contact address for further material or membership application.
To fit into a coat pocket or envelope, say 1/3rd A4.
Letterheds: For those who wish to use a reformed spelling in their own correspondence.
Brief, informal, (possibly just baseline) description of Stage 1. Say A4 size.
Letter stickers: Brief sticker to say that spelling reform has been used in the letter.
Press release: To describe and launch Stage 1, written for a newspaper or magazine to use.
Complete with contact address.

ACTIVITY.
Advertising: Limited use. Good for getting new members, providing we hav something to send them. Otherwise Editorial and Word of Mouth is much mor effectiv (and cheaper).
PR: Enything that gets us good Editorial mentions.
- A Press release for National and local Newspapers and relevent magazines describing Stage 1.
- Interviews with Newspapers on eny newsworthy stance.
Campaigning: e.g.: against British Telecom, the Government Examining Boards etc.
Word of Mouth: Talks given in schools and societies.
Regional groups.
Cuttings agency: (e.g.: Romeike and Curtice, London.)
To trace results of press releases and to provide material for correspondence campaigns.



NOTICES.

1. Our Secretary's new address is:
Mr. STANLEY GIBBS, LEICESTERSHIRE.

2. The next Committee Meeting is on January 5th, 1985, at 10.30, at Maria Fidelis Convent School. We finish at 2.30 approximately and we should be delighted to see you.

3. The Conference 1985. This will be an interesting, stimulating affair. Information about it is on the bak page of this News Letter.

Laurence Fennelly would be pleased to hear from you and to provide a booking-form, etc.

4. I should be pleased to hav an articl or letters from you for the next News-Letter (News Bulletin) at eny time befor, or on, February 1st, 1985.



SECTION II.

[Laurie Fennelly: see Journals, Newsletters, Leaflets, Pamflets.]

AN EXTRACT FROM A LETTER SENT BY LAURIE FENNELLY TO MEMBERS.
AUGUST 6th 1984.

Revision of New Spelling.

At the A.G.M. on 28th April this year, the following resolution (item 9) was passed: "That the Society should carry out a review of NEW SPELLING in order to prepare a revised version, which will include in addition, a program for its introduction by stages."

To implement this, the Committee has now appointed a Working Party consisting of:
L.R. Fennelly - (Chairman)
C. Jolly
C. Upward
As members know, the Society has recently introduced a Stage 1 Reform, designed as a first step in actually putting a spelling reform into practice.

The task of this working party is somewhat different. It is to produce a complete scheme of reform, carefully worked out in its implications, which can then be presented to enquirers, and be used as the basis of our propaganda.

We earnestly hope that all Members will participate in this work by sending us their views both on New Spelling itself, and on how they think it should be introduced.



[David Stark, see Journals, Newsletters.]

DESIGN PRINCIPLES FOR STAGE REFORM.

from David Stark, Cumbernauld.

My less than wholehearted support for the Big Four (/Five) reforms suggested as a Stage 1 package stems from my impression that these reforms have only been chosen because they are the least controversial among spelling reformers

They may or may not be the best reforms when considered alongside a complete series of stages on the road to the ideal orthography. This package is not part of an overall plan of reform.

For a number of reasons, stage reform is becoming more and more accepted as the best means of introducing a large scale change in English orthography. However, as language designers, we must stop and reassess the new design criteria. We may have to reject some old design principles and keep an open mind to the fact that the new ones may produce a different end product.

If stage reforms are to be explored, the following features of them must be recognised and explored.

1. It must always be remembered that a stage reform might be the final reform. As the orthography tends towards regularity, society might decide that the benefit to be gained by progressing further with the simplifying process is not worth the bother of reform. Any stage reform must, therefore, be able to stand on its own.

2. The stage reform must also be significant enough to be worthwhile bothering about in the first place. It will cause people bother to adopt any reform, and its benefits must be obvious, especially in the initial stages. It must be a sellable product.

3. Since any stage reform is a stage reform, the following stages must be planned, at least roughly, before it is launched itself. A present stage reform must not determine or restrict future ones unless planned to do so.

4. Stage reform is not meant to be a substitute for more comprehensive reform but a means of reaching it. It may be possible to form non-controversial initial stages, but phoneme/grapheme correspondence choices, dialect definition, phoneme definition, indistinct vowels, non-phonic features to be retained or lost, and all the other difficult reform decisions will have to be made at some stage, and the earlier the better.

5. Stage reform will involve some words having their spelling changed more than once before a final spelling is fixed, assuming each stage is the result of consistently applied rules.

6. Stage reform will, in effect, be a process of rounding up the large number of rules and patterns in traditional orthography into smaller and simpler groups of rules based on alphabetic principles. In the early stages there will be more traditional orthography rules and patterns, and these must be identified and accepted, for example, a final e changing the sound of a preceding vowel as in cap/cape, or a grapheme representing a different phoneme medially or terminally in a word, for example, lot and lo.It must also be realised that traditional orthography's a mixture of graphic elements - alphabetic, syllabic and morphographic (units of meaning, i.e. whole words are learned at a time). In general, the latter two would probably disappear and the alphabetic rules would become fewer and simpler.

7. New spellings of words require to be individually learned by existing literates. People will probably be able to guess new spellings by the principles of the reform, but they will require to see them several times in authoritative print to confirm their assumed phonic/graphic matching. The more the dialect of the person varies from the standard dialect chosen as the basis for reform, the more unsure he will be of making his own translations based purely on phonics.

8. In the first stages of reform, "visually cued" reforms are preferable, as these will be more easily spotted amongst the proliferation of phonographic relationships in traditional orthography. The likes of ph→f will be more easy to spot in text than a phonetically cued reform like SR1 (/ɛ/ = e).

9. Too many stages in the process of arriving at the final reform involve the following problems:
(a) small scale reform stages offer little or no benefit in themselves, and would rely on enthusiasts and converts to reform promoting and adopting them;

(b) it would be a cumbersome task to control and manage the presentation and introduction of several stages;

(c) it would take time to introduce each stage and have it accepted. By the time a long series of reforms had been presented, they would probably be out-of-date due to changes in pronunciation,

(d) several stage reforms might become isolated from each other, and the overall structure and plan of reform might be lost;

(e) there is the possibility that, if any stages are accepted at all, they will only be the first ones.

Back to the top.
On other pages: part 1, part 3, part 4.