Spelling reform or a parody of Mark Twain?
I don’t know if someone is pulling my leg, I am going crazy, someone else is going crazy, or I am just being boring and conservative. Somebody tell me which it is. I’m talking about this piece of news:
Now the part about the French crying out against the Anglicization of Europe makes perfect sense: it’s an eternal rivalry, and the fact that English has come ahead in the battle for global and European domination cannot possibly please the French. The argument that French is ‘more precise’ I believe is ridiculous, but they had to say something to belittle English anyway.
The part that makes no sense to me at all is the suggested ‘language reform’ (at the end of the article in italics). I was so shocked that I actually set up an account on Express.co.uk in order to comment on the article. Here is what I wrote:
I wonder if this is anybody’s poor joke or plagiarism of Mark Twain? Or both? Here’s Mark Twain’s proposal – could it be that someone didn’t notice he had his tongue in his cheek?
”A plan for the improvement of spelling in the English language
By Mark Twain
For example, in Year 1 that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s”, and likewise “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which “c” would be retained would be the “ch” formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform “w” spelling, so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish “y” replasing it with “i” and iear 4 might fiks the “g/j” anomali wonse and for all.
Generally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeiniing voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez “c”, “y” and “x”— bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez —tu riplais “ch”, “sh”, and “th” rispektivili.
Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.”
I still hope the italicized part of the article was a joke. If not, I think the time has come for me and others to campaign for the preservation of the English language. I’ve been lamenting the loss of minority languages but it’s English that is in danger.
Folks in the UK familiar with Daily Express, is it prone to joking like that?