A prof from Portland State visited the Scripps National Spelling Bee and covered the passionate spelling reform advocates who tried to draw attention to their cause. Fascinating piece. Paul Collins, Buzzkill, The Believer, Sept. 2008. (Scott Simon intervieweds Collin on Weekend Edition Sept. 6.)
I'm a member of the elite -- the highly educated people who can read English fluently and spell nearly everything easily. I wince when I see misplaced apostrophes ("Breakfast special: pancake's and egg's") and misspellings. But I really understand how nutty our language is, and I'm reminded each week when I tutor kids at YTP. Wouldn't it be great if we could make it easier for children and immigrants to learn English and experience all the rewards of literacy?
But in the meantime, I want to have the kids learn every fussy rule so that people who read what they write will see that they are intelligent and their work is worth reading.