Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"Dumbing Down" Spelling!

If the struggle to get back to basics in education isn't difficult enough, now some people believe that SPELLING is "too hard" for kids! If kids won't learn to spell correctly, then make the incorrect correct -- problem solved. Before you know it, the poor babies won't even NEED to think at all.




Push for simpler spelling persists

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - When "say," "they" and "weigh" rhyme, but "bomb," "comb" and "tomb" don't, wuudn't it maek mor sens to spel wurdz the wae thae sound?

Those in favor of simplified spelling say children would learn faster and illiteracy rates would drop. Opponents say a new system would make spelling even more confusing.

Eether wae, the consept has yet to capcher th publix imajinaeshun.

It's been 100 years since Andrew Carnegie helped create the Simplified Spelling Board to promote a retooling of written English and President Theodore Roosevelt tried to force the government to use simplified spelling in its publications. But advocates aren't giving up.

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."

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.

Funny, I was never "bewildered" with spelling in general. Maybe some words that aren't often used are difficult to spell, but these people are proposing changing the spelling of our already simple common language. It shows how lazy the world is getting when people can't even be bothered with learning a simple thing like spelling.

REED HOL STOREE

7 comments:

JustinOther said...

Apparently Bush was one of the pilot program stoodents.

Sorry for being among the missing...I was really busy at home then away for a while.

Stardust said...

Hey, John! Long time no see! Welcome back!

Apparently Bush was one of the pilot program stoodents.

The article states that President Theodore Roosevelt tried to force the government to use simplified spelling in its publications. Another "slow" Republican?

CyberKitten said...

Why is it that Orwell springs to mind when I read things like this......?

An illiterate population is a compliant population....?

Or am I just being paranoid - again.. [chuckle].

Stardust said...

cyberkitten - I don't think you are being paranoid. The population is becoming more and more compliant, which worries me. There is an xian agenda implanted in our government that one can clearly see if they aren't brainwashed. Here is a new college, for example that is promoting "xian politics" first and foremost. Scary!:
Christofascist U.

MichaelBains said...

I keep wanting to comment on this, but have two opinions at wild variance with each other.

First, thanks for posting on it. It really is important to consider, IMO.

Ok, and really briefly:(LOL) Spelling is mutable and somewhat arbitrary. It's based on the evolution of the word from previous roots and usages, so knowing a words history and meaning will make bizarre spellings more logical. "Ph" for "F" always implies a Greek root, and a silent "gh", as in "weight" or "sleigh" shows the word has a celtic, or pre-Roman origin in the British isles.

How many kids - now adults! - have you heard say how boring they find History? That was my favorite subject because it explained how we got from there to here. But most folk don't want to know that. They just wanna know how to do what's right in front of them so that they afford to do whatever leisure activities make them happy.

That's all well and good, until their (our) ignorance of how we got to our great and desirable positions allow for others, who DO know, to take advantage of our ignorance and lead us into scenarios which aren't to our advantage, or may even be extremely harmful to us and our personal posterity.

On the pro-side of making spelling "simpler", I do indeed see benefits to the idea, though of a much more limited and relative nature. If a child writes an otherwise excellent essay, one which shows they truly understand their subject and have done due diligence in researching it, but it's chock full o' grammatic and spelling errors, I simply cannot see failing the paper. I would weigh the effort more generously AND prescribe a smaller assignment which would be predicated upon the importance of Grammar and Spelling.

The main point is not to stifle a child's natural intelligence, which, let's face it, does indeed vary from indi to indi, just because they've not yet mastered the social skills of formal language. Teachers rarely have the time to remediate problems in a child's knowledge, but this is exactly what they must have in order to give every child the same opportunity.

It's just easier AND CHEAPER to ignore the gaps in their knowledge. It would be just as easy and inexpensive to develope a remediation plan which can be slowly implemented, per the child's needs, and involving both the Parents(!!!!!) and subsequent teachers; even in subsequent schools.

Arrrhhhg! This topic warrants a BOOK, not just a post or comment.

LOL!

Thanks Stardust. Kinda wish I was more succinct here, but I really think the only way to do that would have been to simply say:

Schools need 1) More Money, 2) Better Educated Teachers, 3) More Money for Teachers and Supplies and 4) More Responsible PARENTS!!!.

auf wiedersehen!
(See you after a while! [or awhile!])

Stardust said...

michaelbains -

Good points when you bring up the history of the English language. As you said, language evolves as time goes by. (Travelling became traveling, for instance.) Some word spellings don't make sense, but on the other hand I don't think that we need to replace conventional spelling with text message lingo. To me, text message and the quick email spellings are like shorthand is to the secretary. Fast language to communicate quickly.

That's all well and good, until their (our) ignorance of how we got to our great and desirable positions allow for others, who DO know, to take advantage of our ignorance and lead us into scenarios which aren't to our advantage, or may even be extremely harmful to us and our personal posterity.

I just finished re-reading Animal Farm. It's been a few decades since I last read it. The story illustrates what happens when some choose to remain ignorant and let the educated lead. Ignorance causes people to be oppressed and exploited by the educated.

If a child writes an otherwise excellent essay, one which shows they truly understand their subject and have done due diligence in researching it, but it's chock full o' grammatic and spelling errors, I simply cannot see failing the paper. I would weigh the effort more generously AND prescribe a smaller assignment which would be predicated upon the importance of Grammar and Spelling.

I agree with you here, too. I cannot see failing a paper because of spelling and grammatical errors. I have read many excellent essays by students whose spelling is atrocious. I think it is ridiculous to discount content. Many intelligent people have a problem with spelling and grammar (my husband is one of them. I always have to edit his correspondence.)

I can't see people wasting time picketing national spelling bees like the article says people are doing. People should spend their time PROMOTING literacy and as you said, pay increases, higher standards for teachers, and PARENTAL INVOLVMENT.

As I have stated before, I think the problem is that since so much time is taken up memorizing fixed answers for standardized achievement tests, little time is left for subjects like spelling, reading, and math so people are seeking to "simplify" education to try to cram everything in around the "robot exams".

Steve said...

Spelling requires brain activity, which is counter-productive to breeding docile Jesus worshippers.