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Cut out the guff, or rather guf



     In every issue of Stanford there is a page called "The President's Column" by Gerhard Casper. In the September/October issue he thanks Peter Bing for "the lead gift" which made possible the restoration of Green Library West. This is a most ungracious remark. It should be called "the gold gift". This brings me to one of my major concerns: the absurdity of English spelling, which makes it difficult for foreigners, including immigrants, to learn the world language.
     To find out what is being done, I consulted the ever-helpful reference librarian Liz Green of Green Library (no, it is not named after her). She supplied me with this information:
     Better Education Thru Simplified Spelling (BEISS) has a web site at
http://www.betss.org. . The address is 300 Riverfront Dr. Ste.2601, Detroit, MI 48226-4524. Phone: 313-393-5850. "Persons dedicated to gradually simplifying English spelling over a period of 20 years, beginning within certain targeted audiences. Believes the present spelling system is overly complicated and restricts learning, career growth, and, thus, personal and career potential. Conducts research and educational programs and activities to encourage actual usage of simplified spelling. Has established specific guidelines to be used in this process..." There are also The Simplified Spelling Society http://www.les.aston.ac.uk/sss/ and The American Literacy Council, founded as the Simplified Spelling Board in 1906. There another link: http://pages.whowhere.com/community/sbett/spel-links.html (The Simplified Spelling Discussion Group).
     Stanford always claims to be on the cutting edge. Why can't it cut out the guff, or rather guf, in English spelling?

Ronald Hilton - 09/10/99


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