SIMPLIFIED SPELLING SOCIETY.
PATRON H.R.H. THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH, K.G., K.T.
NEWS SHEET 6.Price: 50p
Publications Secretary: G. O'Halloran, London.
July, 1976 Vol. 2 No. 2. [32pp. A5]
EDITORIAL.Members may be happy to know that I am still Secretary of the Society, and am willing to continue in the office until the elections are over. The Committee voted against accepting my resignation at its meeting on 26th June. I had, also, had two letters from our President, Professor John Downing, urging me to remain in office on the grounds that he felt it is "necessary to have practical people organising the Society's affairs."
I am sorry if Mr Lawler has been upset by my explanation of my resignation in NEWS SHEET 5. There was no intention whatever on my part to say anything by which he might be hurt and I am very sorry indeed if he has been. I have the highest opinion of Mr Lawler as an Officer of the Society and hope that he will agree to remain in office for many more years. Mr Lawler has always been willing to help actively when called upon, and has on several occasions put forward plans to spread the Society's influence. I wish we had many more equally co-operative and helpful members.
I am sorry also to have to say that this will be the last editorial you will read from me. There will, I hope, be a new Publications Secretary, after the elections, who will be responsible for both of the Society's journals. I wish him (or her) luck and will, of course, be willing always to do anything I can to help.
My appeal in NEWS SHEET 5 for members to spread the news of the Society received dramatic and powerful support from Mr K. Tillema of Ontario, Canada. Mr Tillema has launched into sudden and forceful action. He has sent letters (see below) to 1600 papers in USA and Canada. He has also circularised the 400 members of the Canadian Linguistic Association. So far his letters have had 50 publications. He has sent me a long list of folk who want information about the Society. If we had a few more members like Mr Tillema our troubles would be over and spelling reform would begin to look like a more immediately realisable purpose. Won't you emulate Mr Tillema? THANKS.
We must again thank Mr Raymond Elser New Jersey, U.S.A. for further generous donations to the Publications Fund. Raymond is anxious to hear from inventors of new alphabets with copies of their work.
There are two new members since NEWS SHEET 5:
1198 Mrs G.Williams, Croydon.
1208 Mrs A.Rashley, Newport, IOW.
MR TILLEMA'S LETTER.Editor,
Our present socially acceptable spelling is unteachable, mind-stunting, handicapping and deceiving. It stifles common-sense, blocks reading, represses literacy, creates delinquency and squanders energy. It impedes typing prevents alphabetic voice printing, causes mispronunciation and retards learning.
The 40 sounds in English have more than 500 different spellings. Each vowel sound has an average of 18 different spellings. English spelling is malignant, lawless, erratic, mal-evolved, pseudo-historical, antiquated and laborious.
You are invited to join the efforts to revise the current conventional spelling with sound spelling.
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We have been paid a full year's subscription in the name of KIRKALDIE but have no details of the payer. Would anyone who knows please tell us.
Will all members whose subscriptions are in arrears please pay up in time to take part in the annual elections and polls of members?
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ELECTIONS.The elections are upon us again and it is, perhaps, not out of place for us to take a look at the jobs we ask our officers to do on our behalf throughout the year to try to discern if, indeed, some of them are not being asked to do too much for a spare-time official.
The PRESIDENT of the Society should be a distinguished person in the academic world. His duties have deliberately been left vague so that he may be as active as he himself wishes to be in his office. He would be expected to represent the Society on important occasions just as our incumbent president conducted the negotiations which led to the Duke of Edinburgh graciously agreeing to become our Patron.
The duties of the CHAIRMAN are very light. His only active duty is responsibility for the meetings of the Society and the Committee. He should ensure that meetings are properly called, that proper notices are sent out in good time. He should preside over these meetings making sure that he is equipped with the documents necessary to make his chairmanship effective. No provision is made for him to delegate his responsibility but he may, if they are agreeable, call on other officers for help.
The VICE-CHAIRMAN's office is also very light. He is called upon to act only when the Chairman and President are both absent.
The office of SECRETARY was formerly the most laborious of all the Society's offices. With the splitting of a large part of his former duties to the Financial Secretary, Publications Secretary and Records Secretary, the Secretary of the Society need no longer be considered overworked.
The TREASURER's job is still fairly strenuous and needs a dedicated person to fill it. It involves some work all the year round, work as new members join; payments are made; financial information supplied to enquiring officers and members; books kept up to date. It is at present the office of greatest material benefit to the Society and one which needs devotion and care.
The EDUCATION SECRETARY's mandate is the widest among the Society's officers. There is really much too much for one man to do in this office. It may become necessary to split this office into several offices in future but we should await a report from the present incumbent before doing so. In the meantime I would suggest that he be assisted by a sub-committee each member of which would be appointed by the Education Secretary himself to fulfil a specific function. At the end of two years we should have the information necessary to make any changes which might be found necessary. This would enable us to use our strength reasonably and without rushing into ill-thought out constitutional changes.
FINANCIAL SECRETARY is a new office and, perhaps, the most important in the Society. It is he who puts cash figures to the plans of the Society as a whole and of its individual members; and who says what we can afford to do and what we cannot. He is our guide to the amount of progress which is possible and our mentor against over expenditure. One of the reasons for a good deal of the failure of this Society in the past has been the lack of adequate financial planning. We may now hope that this epoch is over and that we may safely go ahead under the guidance of the new office of Financial Secretary. The job calls for activity at only certain times of the year (from the beginning of May onwards for some four or five months). The circulation of the ESTIMATES of expenditure is now done by the Electoral Reform Society. I do not think this job although very responsible imposes too much of a work load on the incumbent but no doubt he will tell us when the time comes what he thinks about it.
The PUBLICATIONS SECRETARY's office did not appear to be over strenuous when I first planned it. Nevertheless there is a great deal more work in it than I had conceived. There are two journals to produce each twice a year and the material to fill them is difficult to collect and assemble. There is also a good deal of correspondence. Authors are temperamental folk and often need very diplomatic and sometimes time consuming handling. Then, last but not least, is the business of seeing publications through the press with all the accompanying burden of proof-reading, etc. I would say that the Publications Secretary should be allowed the help of a subcommittee of at least one person to divide the work of NEWS SHEET and READING & SPELLING for the time being. Later after a couple of years experience we should have enough information to make rational well-thought out changes.
RECORDS SECRETARY is another new and important office. The present holder has already shown the value of this office in the quality of the minutes he has provided. Records have been badly kept in this Society in the past (not least by myself) but this was the fault of the system which expected the Secretary to do almost everything. I put the term of office of Records Secretary at three years as an indication of the importance of the post. It is no exaggeration to say that the progress of every movement lies in its past. A good Records Secretary can help keep us from making again mistakes which we have already made in the past (without learning from them) and keep us pointed in the direction of the future by helping us build on the past. I do not think this office is overloaded with work but no doubt the Records Secretary will be willing to tell us more about this when his period of office is over.
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