18 JULY 1931, Page 12


The apathy of the British public is truly amazing. At the very time when grave doubts are being thrown by certain of our contemporaries on the desirability of women playing cricket, the announcement that a Girls' Spelling League has for some time past been organizing competitions between picked teams from different schools is allowed to pass with- out protest. Has the modern parent no conception of what a Spelling Bee is really like ? For one thing, the physical strain is appalling ; men—aye, and grown men, too, whatever that may mean—have cracked under it. In an atmosphere rank with passions as base as any evoked by the gladiatorial arena the moral fibre weakens quickly, and many a lissom, clear-eyed sprig of Britain's womanhood is haunted for years afterwards by memories of a Bijou English Dictionary in her reticule. How can a mere slip of a girl keep straight when the honour of the school and the coveted blazer of the Orthography XI hang by the same diphthong ? We sincerely hope that this canker will not be allowed to spread. We had rather that our daughters were exposed to the brutish rigours of the cricket field than that they should be called on to spell " eleemosynary " and " apothegm " for the greater glory of their school.

* * * *