13 AUGUST 1927, Page 15


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]

Sias—May I suggest to your correspondent, Mr. A. G. Grenfen, that the usual cause of badly formed writing is that the- writer's brain is much too active for his hand ? People-of great intelligence rarely have the patience to do " good " writing. But does it matter ? It is very unusual to see writing that cannot very easily be deciphered by any ordinarily intelligent person. . . In any case script is no remedy and has the disadvantage of being monotonous and spineless. The man who cannot J1 - bpthered to lift his. pen at the end of every word will certaitilr- not-have patience to do so after every letter, and his attetnpt- at script will end in a horrible mixture- of the two styles. Signatures ought certainly to be written with special care : no amount of intelligence will help the reader here.

Spelling enthusiasts always advance the argument that one's education is judged by one's ability to spell correctly. Surely a case of " Circulus in demonstrando." If our spelling is " idiotic " why resent so bitterly any attempt to reform it and so set free for more valuable purposes much of the time now spent in the dreary work of " spelling lessons " ?

In conclusion, may I suggest to Mi. Grenfell that he would be conferring a real boon on his pupils and perhaps on his staff by adding to the school library a copy of Fowler's delight- ful Dictionary of Modern English Usage ?—I am, Sir, &e.,