chapter  7
22 Pages

Standardization and spelling Reform

Standardization came about by gradual consensus, drawing on the work of individual scholars and stimulated by general public interest. English spelling has never been officially managed. There is no recognized academy or educational agency in Britain appointed to monitor the use and development of the language, as there often is for the languages of other countries. However, since the middle of the last century, both in Britain and the United States, there has been a long succession of individual scholars, writers and even politicians with strong views on spelling reform and offering a wide spectrum of proposals for change. Why should spelling not be open to reform in the same way as currency, weights and measures and other institutions of society? The main argument for reform is selfevidently valid: that the removal of irregularities in our present writing system would make for greater and easier literacy.