They even picket the national spelling bee finals, held every year in Washington, costumed as bumble bees and hoisting signs that say “Enuf is enuf but enough is too much” or “I’m thru with through.”First of all, whoever wrote that piece of rubbish article for the AP and thought it was immensely clever to use phonetic spellings throughout is an asshole.
Thae sae th bee selebraets th ability of a fue stoodents to master a dificult sistem that stumps meny utherz hoo cuud do just as wel if speling were simpler.
“It’s a very difficult thing to get something accepted like this,” says Alan Mole, president 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.
Secondly, I may be an inveterate intellectual snob, but I find this entire idea completely repellent. What’s next?—getting rid of synonyms because it would be easier on everyone if we all used happy instead of jubilant, convivial, or exultant, all of which are better descriptors for how I feel about knowing those words than a simple old happy? Harrumph.
I understand the practical concerns about making language accessible, which is why I support things like public schooling. As education professor Donald Bear points out in the article, even basic comprehension is undermined by phonetics, since words derive meaning from their prefixes, suffixes, and roots, which are not necessarily pronounced uniformly as they are tacked on to different words, so I’m not convinced that phonetic spelling will solve more problems that it would cause.
And aside from that—and back to my conceit—use of language is also an art, and it seems to me that just because not everyone can be Picasso doesn’t mean we decide that everyone can only use blue paint.
Both practically and aesthetically, I don’t like this idea. The American Literacy Council can shuv it.