Logical spelling is reely unkool

28th October 2005 at 01:00
Reform of spelling is all very well, but surely more logical spelling would be to the detriment of the richness of the English language (Friday magazine, October 7)?

It would also rob us of nuances and creative manipulations now expressible, and the intellectual pleasures of linguistic nit-picking.

Simple and logical spelling would also deprive us of visual puns. We would no longer be able to quip, as did an eminent American humorist, that "I was lucky enough to shoot a ptarmigan with my pfowling piece!" The delights of deliberate mis-spelling such as in the "Molesworth" books would also be diminished.

The function of language surely goes beyond basic communication. It also enables us to execute delicate linguistic pirouettes to create thoughts and conceits that would otherwise remain unexpressed. If spelling is "reformed", we will all be intellectually poorer.

KP Byfield

12 Clay Street

Histon, Cambridge

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