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Wells blasted by supporters of good spelling

Chrissie Maher OBE, founder of Plain English Campaign has come out with all guns blazing at the Spelling Society, following comments made by its president John Wells. On Tuesday he said that the ‘apostrophe is a waste of time’, and that there are more important things to do than worry about correct spelling.


Chrissie said, “I’m spitting feathers at this man for the damage to our language he and the Society are trying to create. I cannot understand how a learned man, who has had all the benefits of a good education, can comfortably sit back on his pedestal and suggest that we let the importance of spelling slide into a black hole. It’s completely irresponsible. How are young people going to get good jobs if their spelling is so poor no-one can understand what they mean?”

Campaign spokeswoman Marie Clair added: “We recognise that language evolves naturally through people using new words, and new twists can become acceptable over a period of time. But to abandon our heritage, our education and the basic structure of language is not only uncalled for, but it is also in direct conflict with government investment and education guidance. There is no convincing argument for poor spelling. To be able to spell is to be able to use the language to its greatest potential, and that is what we should be teaching our children.”

We are calling on all parents, teachers and other people who are responsible for raising and educating future generations, to sign our petition . This petition will be presented at the Houses of Parliament on 30 June 2009 when we meet with members of parliament on this and other matters of plain English.

The Spelling Society was formed in 1908 and has the aim of raising awareness of the problems caused by the irregularity of English spelling and to promote remedies to improve literacy, including spelling reform.

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