In the News: Teddy Roosevelt, Phonetic Spelling Champion

WallStreetJournalRooseveltSpelling
Nothing escapes Mr. Rucevelt. No subject is tu hi fr him to takl, nor tu lo for him tu notis.
— Louisville Courier-Journal

For many, spelling is at best, capricious and at worst, maddening. In 1906, President Roosevelt took on spelling reform, issuing an executive order directing all executive department publications to follow simplified spelling for 300 words, including: arbor, ardor, clamor (no British 'u'), judgment and acknowledgment (no silent e) and words reduced to phonetics, drawing the ire of people and papers across the country (tho, thru, blest, kist).

The Supreme Court (Supreme Cort?) ignored the order. The House of Representatives registered their dissent more officially, agreeing to a resolution urging adherence to "the standard of orthography prescribed in generally accepted dictionaries of the English language."

As evidenced by communications across social media and cell phones, however, perhaps Teddy was simply ahead of his time.

Blog post informed by Thomas V. DiBacco's amusing and informative opinion piece, "Teddy Roosevelt, Rough Rider Over Spelling Rules" in the Friday, April 17, 2015 Wall Street Journal

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