This was originally going to be a post about books. However, we’ll leave that for next week when I can spill all my news at once, and instead, we’ll have a post about English. Specifically, reading English.
A few weeks ago, I was tidying my English-teaching material and came across a joke. Remember a few years back, there was a lot of talk about phonetics and how written language could be simplified, making it easier for children and non-native speakers to learn to read and write? There were lots of jokes about it – here’s one of them!
Improving the English language
Her Majesty’s Government has just announced a five-year phase-in of new rules which would apply to the English language, greatly simplifying spelling and enabling children to learn more quickly and easily.
The agreed plan is as follows:
In year 1, the soft ‘c’ will be replased by the ‘s’. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard ‘c’ will be replased by ‘k’. This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan now have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome ‘ph’ is replaced by ‘f’. This will reduse ‘fotograf’ by 20%. In addition, ‘u’ will be replaced by ‘w’ in words like ‘langwage’.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated langwage changes are posible. The Government will enkourage the removal of double leters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent leters, partikularly ‘e’s, in the langwag is not only dum but apaling and shoud be stopd.
The bigest langwag changs wil com in year 4, when pepl wil be reseptiv to lingwistik korekshons such as replasing ‘th’ with ‘z’ and turning ze soft ‘ti’ into ‘sh’ in words kontaining ‘tion’. Ze situashon wil be furzer simplifid bi replasing ze leter ‘y’ wiz ‘i’.
During ze fifz iar, ze unesesary dubl vowls be dropd, for instans from words kontaning ‘ou’, and similar changs wud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinashons of leters. Evrizing wil now be reli unkomplikatd, and mor students wil pas exams.
After zis fifz iar, we wil hav a reli sensibl riten stil. Zer wil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evriwun wil find it esi to akwir ze langwag. Publik apreshiashon wil be at its hit, and literari acomplishments lik riting wil be at a veri hi level. I’m sur yu kan al hardli wat!
Personally, I’m very glad this never caught on… I think a plan like that would be enough to put me off writing books for the rest of my life! Meanwhile, come back next week for a couple of pieces of very exciting book news!