31 MAY 1930, Page 21



[To the Editor of the Sexc-roroo.]

Sin,—It is to be -hoPed that:mank will be in agreement with Mr. Harold CoX in his revival of the suggestion that a Com- mission be appointed to go into the whole question of our spelling in its relation' to pronunciation. A - very large body of educated opinion is in favour of something being Mi. Cox has dealt in particular with the value of an improved spelling in lightening the task of foreigners who would learn 'our tongue. I would stress the benefit that would-be brought to education by a more or less phonetic spelling • of English. The lois in time and Money suffered by teichers and pupils,- and- accordingly by the public at large, in the vain' attempt to secure orthographic accuracy, has been' calculated and shown to be enormous. That loss cannot go on indefinitely, for it is a handicap in our com- petition with other nations, and this will tell in the long run—indeed; we may be sure it is telling now, though failing to attract any notice.

The desired Commission would have to be very widely representative, and, while their investigations would be lengthy, yet a time limit should be set: They would hive to determine whether any new letters should be introduced into our alphabet, and on this question I think it unlikely that- any Commission composed of British men and women would, as a body, approve of More than a very few of these, or of many diacritical marks to indicate -differences in the pronunciation of certain - letters. All the same, it :would be a pity if the reform of our spelling were-not fairly thorough, real efficiency calling for a considerable - change.—I am, Sir,