National Spelling Bee draws protesters calling for phonetic spelling
Posted: 04 June 2010 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This has to be a hoax

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060403296.html

A tiny group of activists for phonetic spelling gathered again Friday outside the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the downtown Grand Hyatt.

The protesters believe English spelling is mired by too many spellings for identical sounds and too many sounds for identical spellings. If they got their way, “you” would become “yoo,” “believe” would become “beleev” and “said” would become “sed.”

The cost of clinging to traditional spellings, they say, is millions of illiterate English speakers who struggle to read signs or get good jobs, and billions of dollars in lost productivity.

The campaign for simple spelling, which activists say started more than 100 years ago, is experiencing a revival with kids who have taken wholeheartedly to phonetic spelling in electronic messages.

“I think right now the young people are sending us a text message,” said protester Roberta Mahoney, a former Fairfax County school principal who was dressed in a yellow-and-black-striped bumble bee costume. “They’re saying enough of this foolishness.”

Statistics vary widely on U.S. illiteracy, but a 2003 federal study found that 11 million American adults lacked skills to read and write in English.

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Posted: 05 June 2010 03:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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*facepalm*

You know… One might almsot think that it was a group of folks pulling a stupid prank..

I do recall one sci fi story wherein there was ‘Low’ and ‘High’ English, with the former being phonetically-spelled and easy enough for the barely-educated masses to understand.

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1: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If it does what it says, you should have no problem with this.
2: What proof will you accept that you are wrong? You ask us to change our mind, but we cannot change yours?
3: It is not our responsability to disprove your claims, but rather your responsability to prove them.
4. Personal testamonials are not proof.

What part of ‘meow’ don’t you understand?

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Posted: 05 June 2010 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Yeah, there has been a movement for a long, long time to simplify English, and there are many activists who are seriously trying to get it to happen.  But it’s also a subject where there are lots of people making fun of the idea.  So it’s hard to say whether the article above is a hoax or not.  Or for that matter, which part of it (if any) is the hoax; is the entire report made up, or is it a true report of some people who actually gathered there and were “protesting” as a joke?

Robin Bobcat - 05 June 2010 07:58 AM

I do recall one sci fi story wherein there was ‘Low’ and ‘High’ English, with the former being phonetically-spelled and easy enough for the barely-educated masses to understand.

I do vaguely recall several different stories with that idea in it.  I can’t think of any of them by title or author, though. . .all I can think of specifically was one by H. Beam Piper wherein reading and writing were simply banned altogether.  Of course, the proper English for the educated and the weird English for the uneducated does actually exist to some degree, though often enough the educated also decide to just take the easy route and totally mangle the language 2, u know, lol.

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