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Volume 71, Issue 149, Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Opinion
 

Staff Editorial


EDITORIAL BOARD

                Chris Elliott                        Robyn Morrow                  Johnny Peña
                                      Fabian Sifuentes              Kristen Young


Having spelling critics lost their minds? 

Look owt Amairika, if advokits uf a noo speling system get thair wae, thu dikshunairy az wee no it wil never bee thu saym.

Little hard to read, don't you think? Supporters of a new spelling system feel spelling words phonetically rather than using our current system will help children learn and reduce illiteracy rates, The Associated Press reported. 

Forget the fact that we have been learning how to spell words such as "weigh" and "bomb" in the same way for hundreds of years. Let's cater to our little ones because we are too lazy to teach them to spell intelligently.

Carnegie attempted to simplify our system 100 years ago along with President Theodore Roosevelt, and obviously, their efforts failed. If some of the most intellectual men of our time cannot persuade Americans to simplify spelling, what makes current adherents think they can get the job done? For adults who have been using the current system for as long as we can remember, this transition would be difficult, to say the least. Alan Mole, president of the American Literacy Council, said he favors an end to what his group calls "illogical spelling" because English has 42 sounds spelled in 400 ways. 

Apparently, this group must doubt that future generations will have the aptitude to spell the way millions of Americans have for many years. Children already have it easier than previous generations because of the increase in technology available. 

Mole also said that in languages with phonetically spelled words, like German and Spanish, children learn to spell in weeks instead of the months and years as is the case with English. But changing our system would take many years and incredible effort and could create more problems than it would solve. Americans can't even adopt the metric system, a rather easy and intuitive measuring system.

Rather than improve our education system and go the extra mile to teach children how to read, write and spell, some want to take the easy way out. Not exactly the best way to teach students to strive for the best. Let's just settle for mediocrity. 
 

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