A Plea for Spelling Reform (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Sir Isaac Pitman
Fred. Pitman, 1878 - Spelling reform - 326 pages
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Page 95 - ... it is better to bear the ills we have, than fly to others that we know not of.
Page 77 - The true question then is not, whether there will be no difficulties or inconveniences; but whether the difficulties may not be surmounted; and whether the conveniences will not, on the whole, be greater than the inconveniences. In this case, the difficulties are only in the beginning of the practice; when they are once overcome, the advantages are lasting.
Page 63 - As language was at its beginning merely oral, all words of necessary or common use were spoken before they were written; and while they were unfixed by any visible signs, must have been spoken with great diversity, as we now observe those who cannot read to catch sounds imperfectly, and utter them negligently.
Page 59 - As, it is usually managed, it is a dreadful task indeed to learn, and if possible a more dreadful task to teach to read: with the help of counters, and coaxing, and gingerbread, or by dint of reiterated pain and terror, the names of the four and twenty letters of the alphabet are perhaps in the course of some weeks firmly fixed in the pupil's memory. So much the worse ; all these names will disturb him if he have common sense, and at every step must stop his progress.
Page 49 - I look upon the established system of spelling (if an accidental custom may be so called), as a mass of anomalies, the growth of ignorance and chance, equally repugnant to good taste and to common sense. But...
Page 169 - A more lying, round-about, puzzleheaded delusion than that by which we confuse the clear instincts of truth in our accursed system of spelling was never concocted by the father of falsehood. How can a system of education flourish that begins by so monstrous a falsehood, which the sense of hearing suffices to contradict?
Page 11 - For any one who believes in the civilising power of letters and often talks of this belief, to think that he has for more than twenty years got his living by inspecting schools for the people, has gone in and out among them, has seen that the power of letters never reaches them at all and that the whole study of letters is thereby discredited and its power called in question, and yet has attempted nothing to remedy this state of things, cannot but be vexing and disquieting. He may truly say, like...
Page 78 - And the inconvenience is not greater than what baa actually happened in a similar case, in Italy. Formerly, its inhabitants all spoke and wrote Latin : as the language changed, the spelling followed it. It is true that at present, a mere unlearned Italian cannot read the Latin hooks ; though they are still read and understood by many.
Page 168 - The main difficulty of reading English arises from the intrinsic irregularity of the English language. A confusion of ideas sets in in the mind of the child respecting the powers of the letters, which is very slowly and very painfully cleard up by chance, habit, or experience, and his capacity to know words is gaind by an immense series of tentativ efforts.
Page 29 - Is every English child, as compared with other children, to be mulcted in two or three years of his life in order to...

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