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Chapter 18. Guide to Spelling: Hooked on... > If U Cn Reed This … - Pg. 180

Guide to Spelling: Hooked on Phonics 4. sacrifice 5. seize 9. Arctic 10. obstinate 180 Score Yourself 8 to 10 correct 5 to 7 correct 3 to 6 correct 0 to 2 correct You can proofread my work anytime. You'll be okay with a good spell checker. Treading on thin ice, kiddo. Are you Mr. Potatoe, Dan Quayle? If U Cn Reed This ... Why don't we simply spell words the way they sound? You're not the first smart person to ask that question. In the year 1200, an Augustinian monk named Orm developed a phonetic spelling system. It didn't catch on, but that didn't stop others from following in his footsteps (in spelling, not monk- hood). Among those who tried to overhaul our spelling system were Benjamin Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, and Upton Sinclair. And look where it got them. In The Devil's Dictionary , writer and wit Ambrose Bierce defines orthography as "the science of spelling by the eye instead of the ear. Advocated with more heat than light by the outmates of every asylum for the insane." So why haven't we gotten around to reforming spelling to bridge the chasm between phonology (the way we say words) and orthography (the way we write them)? And while we're at it, why haven't we worked out the kinks with Olestra, fixed the ozone layer, and done something about those Mets? Here are some reasons why our spelling remains the way it is: