Prof Argues for Looser Spelling

English-speaking pupils hamstrung by non-phonetic words, apostrophes
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2008 2:40 PM CDT
"With English it%u2019s not phonetic, and there are just so many irregularities,%u201D the professor says. %u201CIt seems to be a great pity that English-speaking countries are holding back children in...   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A British academic argues that English-speaking schoolchildren waste time learning the peculiarities of spelling, and should be given more freedom to spell phonetically, the Times of London reports. Children studying in languages with more phonetic writing systems, like Finnish or Italian, don’t need to waste classroom time on spelling, John Wells notes, so why should English speakers have to?

Wells is also president of University College London’s Spelling Society, and will use its centenary dinner to make the case for more liberal spelling evaluation. He proposes several changes, among them: eliminating the apostrophe altogether, embracing the American “z” in organize, and replacing the soft “g” with a “j” as in “danjer,” “stranjer.”