Enuf said

16th February 2007 at 00:00
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious. But if you misspell it, you will delight campaigners for the simplification of the English language.

A young contestant at the recent national Spelling B contest in New York asked the event's star guest Julie Andrews if she would spell out her famous Mary Poppins catchphrase. But halfway through, the 71-year-old actress got stuck and began to blush.

Her mistake has delighted the Simplified Spelling Society in the UK, which believes it lends weight to its campaign. The organisation has previously picketed the annual American contest, with placards criticising the inconsistent nature of the English language: "Enuf is enuf!" and "We're thru with 'through'".

Masha Bell, campaign member and literacy expert, said: "Whenever we get evidence that English spelling is really bad, it gets passed over because the educational establishment is unshakeably convinced that literacy problems must be due to bad teaching and nothing else."

Ms Andrews should be forgiven for her error, given the complexity of the word and the fact that the sound of it is "something quite atrocious". We would recommend that spelling campaigners instead turn their attention to her Sound of Music song Do-re-mi, which has no doubt left generations of children confused about how to write the word for female deer.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now