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The chief of Essex’s education department has confirmed that he has launched a motion in Parliament to have the English language ‘officially changed’ to make a number of words easier to spell – he feels that the move could boost the county’s child literacy rates by 40% over the next five years. According to Sir Henry Happo, who has been in charge of the Essex Education Authority since 2003, it is time to ‘concede defeat’ and admit that English needs to fit in with the needs of social media networks like Facebook.
Under the proposals, the English dictionary would see a number of changes that make vital words easier to spell. For example, ‘thumb’ would become ‘fum’ (an adjustment that wouldn’t change the way that the word is pronounced), and the often misspelled ‘think’ would switch to ‘fink’ – these are just two of the 15,845 word spelling alterations that are included in the parliamentary motion. Confused words also feature prominently in the proposals, and if MPs agree, ‘too, to and two’ would be combined to just have ‘to’, along with ‘they’re, there and their’ always reverting to ‘there.’
Sir Henry spoke to our Chief Reporter earlier today to try and gather support for his ideas. He said: ‘If we are being honest, there is absolutely no need in 2016 English to have both ‘of’ and ‘off’, and this is just one way in which we can change our language for the better. We want the children of Essex to stumble across their parents’ posts on Facebook and feel like they are being pushed onto the right road for a lifetime of correct spelling and punctuation. I am confident that the language changes will be accepted by the majority of voters in the House of Commons, and once these take effect I will then be able to lobby for a whole new keyboard layout in the UK.’
We asked Sir Henry for more information about how keyboards could be affected. He said: ‘One major part of this process will be to remove the ‘H’ section of the dictionary and redistribute these words to all of the other sections – it is well known that nobody in Essex pronounces these properly anyway, and as an example ‘Ospital’ will take its rightful place in the ‘O’ section. This step will remove a huge amount of demand for the letter ‘H’ when typing, and so the ‘H’ key could be replaced with a smiley face, a LOL emoji or something similar.’
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