Who Protests A Spelling Bee ?

Apparently, someone does:

A tiny group of activists for phonetic spelling gathered again Friday outside the Scripps National Spelling Bee at the downtown Grand Hyatt.

The protesters believe English spelling is mired by too many spellings for identical sounds and too many sounds for identical spellings. If they got their way, “you” would become “yoo,” “believe” would become “beleeve” and “said” would become “sed.”

The cost of clinging to traditional spellings, they say, is millions of illiterate English speakers who struggle to read signs or get good jobs, and billions of dollars in lost productivity.

The campaign for simple spelling, which activists say started more than 100 years ago, is experiencing a revival with kids who have taken wholeheartedly to phonetic spelling in electronic messages.

“I think right now the young people are sending us a text message,” said protester Roberta Mahoney, a former Fairfax County school principal who was dressed in a yellow-and-black-striped bumble bee costume. “They’re saying enough of this foolishness.”

I’ve got to say that if people have time to concern themselves with issues like this, then things really must not be all that bad out there.

FILED UNDER: Education,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.