The Scripps National Spelling Bee had some unexpected pests on Thursday, as peaceful protesters stood outside the event in Washington, D.C, dressed in full-length black and yellow bee costumes. Their message? To simplify the way English speakers spell words.
Members from the American Literacy Council stood outside the event, distributing pins to passers-by with their logo, "Enuf is enuf. Enough is too much." They believe that English words should be reduced to their phonetic spellings.
According to literature distributed by the group, it makes more sense for "fruit" to be spelled as "froot," "slow" as "slo," and "heifer" should be "hefer."
Abbreviations are a trend among teens now, with common phrases such as "probz" (for probably) and "B-T-dubz" (for by the way) slipping into everyday conversations, and not just text messaging or IM's anymore. With CSAP scores indicating that 30 percent of Colorado third graders are not reading at their grade level, it makes you wonder if English really is too difficult to spell. Or maybe we are just growing up with an impatient generation, where taking the time to spell a long word correctly is too difficult.
And what about homophones? Will we be forced to spell "son" and "sun" the same and hope context clues us in? Word roots also help students figure out a word's meaning and spelling, for SATs or even spelling bees.
Statistics vary widely on U.S. illiteracy, but a 2003 federal study found that 11 million American adults lacked skills to read and write in English.
In the end, it seems difficult to tackle changing the entire spelling of a language, watever yoo beleev.