Eengleesh Has
No Rime or Reeson

By Doug Robinson
Deseret Morning News

It mite seem redikulus, but sum peepol want to change the way we spel.

Thay want to spel werds phonetically - um, fonetiklee.

Members of the Amerikun Literasee Counsel and the Simplifyd Spelling Society protested the 77th annual spelling bee in Washington this munth. There beef: Thair's no rime or reeson two the way we spel. The ALS claims that our spelling sistem - if it kan be kalled that - contribyoots to illiteracee and disleksia, makes life moor difficult for immigrunts, waysts klass tyme and is genruly a payn in the derry-air.

So members of theez groops showed up at the nashunal spelling bee with sines saying thay were "thru with through."

Maybe this is just a case of peepol having too much tyme on their hands.

On the other hand, they have a poynt. Why is it "trouble" instead of "trubble," as in "rubble" and "bubble"? Why don't we count "won-too-three-for" insted of "one-two-three-four"?

Why is it "rule" and not "rool," as in "fool" and "pool"? Why is it "dough" and "doe" instead of "do," which now says "doo," as in "dew." We spell it "doubt," but "clout" isn't "clought" and "out" isn't "ought."

It's funny or phunny. It's enuf to make you laf. We have "air" and "hair," but itz "bare" or "bear" and never "bair." Wat jeenyus desyded to put a "u" after "q" instead of a "w" - qwick, not quick. And hoo desyded that the one werd that sownds like "q" is spelled "cute"?


It's a mirakul anywon can spel. Espeshly when cumpanees have there ohn way of spelling werds - Tastee Freezes and Lite Beer and such. How do kids ever lern two spel?

Did you know that we are pridee much the only kuntree in the werld that holds spelling beez? No wy? Bekuz uther kuntrees spel fonetiklee. Holding a spelling bee aneeware else wood bee lyk having a kownting kontest from 1-10. Two eezee.

"Spelling beez are largely an Amerikun fenomenon, something that is yooneek to the Eenglish langwage," Paige Kimball, direktor of the national spelling bee, told the Chicago Tribyoon. "We are simplee knot aware of anee long-standing spelling bee programs in other langwages."

There are a few spelling beez in other kuntrees - Japan, Mexico, Sowdy Arabeeah - but - and this is laffible - they yooz Eenglish werds for the contest. In other werds, Eenglish spelling is the eqwivalent uv a rubix kyoob or kalkyoolus.

(Memo to editor: Pleez unplug the spellchecker.)

This is not the ferst tyme peepol have lawnched a kampain for spelling reeform. The Chicago Tribyoon made a cupl of attempts to reeform spelling. In 1934, the knewzpaper began spelling werds fonetiklee, reespelling abowt 80 werds on their pagiz over the years - advertizment, agast, ameeba, burokrat, krum, missl, supeena, bazar, hemloc, herse, rime, share-if, staff, glamr, harth, eyeland, jaz, terif, trafik, alltho, throo, thoro, frate.

The paypr reeported that reeders preeferd the knew spellings 3 two 1 and continood the spelling reeform campain for 40 years.

As early as 1876, spelling reeform groops beegan to aryz in Eenglund and Amerika. In the coming dekaids, Tedee Rosavelt suported the cawz, az did Mark Twayne, Andrew Karnegee, Charles Darwin, George Bernard Shah and Lord Tennisun.

Rosavelt ordered the guverment printing offiss to yooz the Simplified Spelling Boards's 300 propozed spellings, alltho Kongriss didn't uproov it. Shah proveyedid a kontest in hiz will to dezyn an Eenglish fonetic alfabet.

For his part, Twayne seemd to sofn on the subject. "Simplifeyed spelling is all ryt," he said, "but, lyk chastity, you can carry it two far."

A spoksman four the nashunal spelling bee told The Assoshiated Press that to bee a good speller you merelee have to no the story behynd a werd and wut langwage it kums frum. "Four these kids hoo understand the root werds, who understand the etimology, its totaly logikal," he said.

Hope that helps.

(edited by David Van Alstyne)
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