The fetishization of "correct" English -- which is to say, white, wealthy English -- is in direct opposition to everything that makes English such a glorious drunkard's debauch of a language.
English came to us from the inventive malapropism and linguistic entrepreneurship of its speakers: from Shakespeare, who coined words wholesale; to the working-class streets with their heterodox cursing and rhyming slangs.
To demand the immobilization of this restless, incontinent language is a form of b...
But when I had grasped the facts that spellings are often false, that words can be invented,
and that explanations are often wrong, I found that worse remained behind. The science of phi-
lology is comparatively modern, so that our earlier writers had no means of ascertaining principles
that are now well established, and, instead of proceeding by rule, had to go blindly by guesswork, thus
sowing crops of errors which have sprung up and multiplied till it requires very careful investigatio...
None of us like to engage in activities that cause us to feel ashamed of ourselves. So what happens to children who feel ashamed of themselves when learning to read? They are in serious danger. The shame they feel not only motivates them to avoid reading, it also fosters self-dis-esteem and undermines the cognitive capacities they need to learn to read in the first place. Millions of children are caught in this learning-disabling downward spiral. Not only are they in danger of being poor re...
Interesting website, the idea that children feel shame for not learning spelling and reading. While, when considering the waste of mindshare that goes into learning spelling.
See also mind-shame.
The orthography of our language is extremely irregular; and many fruitless attempts have been made to reform it. The utility and expedience of such reform have been controverted, and both side of the question have been maintained with no inconsiderable zeal.
On this subject, as on most others which divide the opinions of men, parties seem to have erred by running into extremes. The friends of a reform maintain that our alphabet should be rendered perfectly regular, by rejecting superfluous c...
Since our current orthografy bears no real relation
to the present pronunciation, but is at best an imperfect attempt to represent that of the Elizabethan
period, English pronunciation has become almost entirely a matter of oral tradition as unsafe a gide in
regard to correctness in speech as it is in regard to
correctness in history. We learn to talk, and continue
to talk, entirely "by ear," and with the same tendency
to uncertainty and variation as do those who play music
by ear. The...
Because the absurdities and intricacies of our pres-
ent spelling hav made a mastery of them the most dif-
ficult and long-continued task of the average student,
a false value has been placed on spelling ability. "Cor-
rectness" in reality, mere conformity in spelling
is too generally assumed to be an indication of su-
perior education, whereas as has been shown it
is only evidence of a natural or a specially traind
Fonetic spelling, in one form or another, has been,
and is now, used by progressiv teachers in England
and America as an introduction and an aid to the
study of the current orthografy. Their experience is
that children can spel correctly that is, fonetically
the words they ar able to pronounce, as soon as
they hav learnd the alfabet employd, and the principle
of combining letters into sillables.
In languages such as Italian and Spanish, that hav
approximately fonetic alfabets, appro...
There is a cost savings that comes with reducing the number of years spent teaching spelling.
Simplified spelling means shorter spelling. Of the
32 Rules printed in Part 3 of this Handbook, 27 drop
letters from words as now speld; 3 involv trans-
positions of letters to reconcile conflicting analogies;
and 2 involv substitutions of one letter for another,
with the same object. In no instance has the Board
recommended a change involving the addition of a let-
ter to a word. Further simplifications wil result in fur-
ther abbreviations. A completely fonetic sistem of
Foreners, when brought into personal association
with those who speak English, easily learn to speak
English themselvs. Its grammar is simple. It has
great flexibility, due to its richness in terminology and
its abundance of sinonims. It has an unsurpast litera-
ture, making a knowledge of it desirable by those who
hav no call to speak it. In every respect, except one,
it is best fitted to be the language of sience, commerce,
and international communication.
The desirability of havi...
Objection to simplified spelling has been made on the
supposition that it "wil cut us off from the literature
of the past," meaning that those taught in the new way
wil be unable to read the books red today. This can
not be so, because the present spelling wil be no more
difficult to read by one who has learnd to spel the new
way, than is the new spelling by one who has learnd
the old way. Children who hav learnd to spel in the
simplified way wil, in fact, read the books printed
Technology, translation services, will make migration even easier.