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PHONETIC SPELLING WON'T END ILLITERACY

Regarding the letter, "Phonetic spelling would facilitate learning," phonetic spelling of English would not only increase illiteracy but foster a dullness of minds. It would destroy all the fine nuances and beauty used to express ideas and atrophy the number of those able to read and appreciate fine works.

And how about the millions of us other foreigners who came to this country and learned, by dint of hard work, the English language with all its "illogical spelling"? Learning a language takes hard work, and not just learning what can be "picked up" as it is heard. One must be willing to study its grammar and syntax, analyze and memorize it -- and this must begin with children.

Although I have not researched the illiteracy rate in Spanish-speaking countries, I daresay that the phonetic spelling of Spanish has not eliminated illiteracy there. But were it only out of respect for those who were here before us and made this country great, who have spoken English for centuries and have produced its beautiful literature, foreigners should strive to study English and learn it well.

Unfortunately, we are at the age of the "made simple" series -- science made simple, math made simple, English made simple, etc. What the writer is advocating is like asking to dry out the rivers and oceans because there are those who can't swim!

ELIANE McKEE
Buffalo

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