From the same illiterate special interest group that brought us ebonics and helped dumb down America's educational system
Group: We should spell it the way we say it
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 10, 2006
WASHINGTON - When "say," "they" and "weigh" rhyme, but "bomb," "comb" and "tomb" don't, wuudn't it maek mor sens to spel wurdz the wae thae sound?
Those in favor of simplified spelling say children would learn faster and illiteracy rates would drop. Opponents say a new system would make spelling even more confusing.
Eether wae, the consept has yet to capcher th publix imajinaeshun.
It's been 100 years since Andrew Carnegie helped create the Simplified Spelling Board to promote a retooling of written English and President Theodore Roosevelt tried to force the government to use simplified spelling in its publications. But advocates aren't giving up.
They even picket the national spelling bee finals, dressed as bumblebees and hoisting signs saying "Enuf is enuf but enough is too much" or "I'm thru with through."
They say the bee celebrates the ability of a few students to master a difficult system that stumps many others who could do just as well if spelling was simpler.
"It's a very difficult thing to get something accepted like this," says Alan Mole of the American Literacy Council, which favors an end to "illogical spelling." The group says English has 42 sounds spelled in a bewildering 400 ways.
Proponents of simpler spelling note that a smattering of altered spellings have made the leap to everyday use. Doughnut also is donut; colour, honour and labour long ago lost the British "u" and the similarly derived theatre and centre have been replaced by the easier-to-sound-out theater and center.
E-mail and text messages are exerting a similar influence. They share some elements with the simplified spelling movement but differ in other ways, such as stressing shortcuts like "u" more than phonetics.
"The kinds of progress that we're seeing are that someone will spell night 'nite' and someone will spell through 'thru,"' Mole said. "We try to show where these spellings are used and to show dictionary makers ... so they will include them as alternate spellings."
Lurning English reqierz roet memory rather than lojic, he sed.
In languages with phonetically spelled words, like German or Spanish, children learn to spell in weeks instead of months or years as is sometimes the case with English, Mole said.
But learning would be disrupted if children had to switch to a different spelling system, said Michael Marks, a member of the executive committee of the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union. "It may be more trouble than it's worth," he said.