30 DECEMBER 1995, Page 15

Fifty years ago

Passionately eager to prevail on humanity to achieve the colossal saving of time and space involved in writing words like bomb as born, Mr. Bernard Shaw manages somehow to pack his concise little argument into a solid col- umn of The Times, say 1,800 words. Consumed with a desire to demon- strate what can be done in the way of brevity, he writes "what I desiderate as a professional writer," when what he means is "what I want as an author." It might be thought that there were bet- ter ways of saving space than by drop- ping a superfluous consonant here and there. Suppose all the consonants and all the vowels in this particular com- munication had been dropped?

The Spectator 28 December 1945