As if the Social Justice meme has not gone out of control enough, now there are protestors outside the Scripps National Spelling Bee demanding that American English spelling be made easier.
The cost of clinging to traditional spellings, they say, is millions of illiterate English speakers who struggle to read signs or get good jobs, and billions of dollars in lost productivity.
These people are frigging idiots.
In 2010, there is no excuse for illiteracy. Thousands of solutions exist to eliminating illiteracy, from television shows, to instructional DVDs, to books, to software. Oh yeah, and schools too: perhaps the people protesting their lack of literacy should stand outside a teachers’s union hall and point the finger there.
But in an age of Hope and Change, people have decided that Nothing is Their Fault. The Czar would like to take their bootstraps and beat these protestors severely with them.
They must be illiterate; could they read, perhaps, they might be aware of many attempts to reform English spelling to make it “easier.” Except that every single attempt failed, from Benjamin Franklin to Col. McCormick of the Chicago Tribune.
And why? Because whose spelling do you use? Words are pronounced differently all across the country. And text message spelling (y do u h8 me?), which at least one protestor seems to think is better, is more illogical than existing spelling orthodoxy.
The people to blame, of course, are the French. English was fairly phonetic and uniformly interpreted up until 1066, when the Normans came in and introduced silent letters, Frenchy spellings of words that seemed close to theirs, and went randomly with sounds they did not like: cough, rough, bough, though, and through—once perfect rhymes—now have five different sounds. But you know what? We got through it. And these whiny pissants who think it Must Be Someone Else’s Fault they cannot get a job have decided the source of their ignorance must be because English spelling is too darn hard.
Thanks goodness the words stupid morons are easily phonetic.