By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
A British academic is proposing that the English language be reformed so that people who are not perfect at spelling are not pressurised into feeling they have to do better.
John Wells, Emeritus Professor of Phonetics at University College London, wants English to take a “phonetic approach” so that it is spelt the way it is spoken. So “give” would become “giv”, “river” would become “rivver” and so on. He even wants to completely drop the apostrophe. I think I feel seriously ill.
“Text messaging, email and internet chat rooms are showing us the way forward for English. Let’s allow people greater freedom to spell logically. It’s time to remove the fetish that says that correct spelling is a principal (principle?) mark of being educated.”
To hear this coming from a professor, a man of education, is staggering! Is he really suggesting that we base the language of English, a language spoken by billions of people, the language of Shakespeare – on what we say in internet chat rooms? This guy is certifiable!
One thought immediately springs to mind – LOL & ROFL!
OK seriously, here’s a radical idea – how about educating those people who are not good at spelling to get better at it, instead of encouraging them to get even worse? I find it unbelievable that when we see people who are not good at something, the solution that is immediately suggested is to accept the status quo and make the best of it. Plus as I pointed out, the proposed solution comes from a man who is supposed to encourage education!