2 NOVEMBER 1985, Page 27

Spelling reforms

Sir: Much though I am in sympathy with the drift of Mr Amis's article (`Sod the public', 19 October), I believe he is seriously — wrong about spelling reform. The present system does not work perfectly well. Only the highly literate (and not all of them) are able to use it without falling into error. Of course no rational person wants a change of alphabet, beyond perhaps a little tinkering; so no question of transliterating all previous writings arises. Given the retention of the Latin alphabet, there would not, in my view, be any pressing need even to re-spell them.

If no 'alphabet' (i.e. spelling system) can be devised which is equally intelligible to the Aberdonian etc etc, then, so what? Is the present one? I doubt it.


House of Lords, London SW1