Wednesday 24 January 2018

Web 'will transform spelling' claim

Harry Wallop

THE internet will make some English mis-spellings acceptable, according to one of the UK's most senior linguists, who predicts that in 50 years' time many common words will be spelt without "irritating" silent letters.

David Crystal, professor of linguistics at Bangor University, told the Telegraph Hay Literary Festival in Wales it was "inevitable" that people would drop the 'p' from receipt and change the 'c' from necessary into a 's', as well as "simplifying" other words.

Prof Crystal said he started monitoring the word "rhubarb" 10 years ago by typing the correct spelling into a search engine and then typing in the word without the 'h'.

He said: "'Rhubarb' is still the dominant one by a factor of 50.

"But think ahead 50 years – and this is the time-frame over which spellings change – and rhubarb with the 'h' and rhubarb without 'h' will be equal."

© Telegraph

Irish Independent

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