Why Spelling Matters
Q. What's older than any piano?
A. The spelling you are reading right now.
Being 500 years old isn't the problem. It's the lack of updates. We updated our travel from leaky ships to passenger jets. We updated our hygiene from chamber pots to flushing toilets. We updated our entertainment from scratchy radio to streaming 4K. This is what we do. We improve. We make things better. But not spelling.
And that's BONKERS! Because:
- Spelling is the key to reading.
- Reading is the key to education.
- Education is the key to a well-lived life.
"I wish I were more ignorant, couldn't reason well and were barred from high paying jobs," said no one, ever.
We say "wun" but we write "one"
Education is the gift of a lifetime and it all begins with reading. But reading is hard. I know. I've taught 4 daughters to read. At that point in their lives, the world makes sense. Drop an object, it falls to the floor. Count from 1 to 10 and it is always in the same order. Then comes reading and I get to "teach" that the letter O in the word One makes the W sound. What?
Every english-speaking child's first exposure to education is nonsensical spelling. They find it frustrating. I've seen the tears. And the only way to learn is brute force memorization. Read 30 minutes every day, until your brain matches the spoken word "wun" with the spelling "O-N-E".
The spelling we inherited crushes confidence and sucks the joy out of reading. This is not a great first impression. But it doesn't have to stay this way.
Spelling can be simple and reflect our spoken words. But it's up to us to fight for the future. To say, "500 years is enough". It's not every day that you get to improve the lives of billions of kids and yet that's the opportunity. There's many ways to help, big and small, visit reclaimspelling.org to get involved.