Why Can’t the English Be More Like the Portuguese?

Reform “Spells” Big Changes for Britain

Prime Minister Gordon Brown supported the reform as did Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives.

Britain’s parliament has voted to introduce contentious changes to their English language in order to spell hundreds of words the American way; thereby bringing their antiquated language into the modern era.

The agreement standardizes (not standardises) numerous spellings and adds three new letters – o, z and er – to the alphabet. A large majority of Britain’s lawmakers backed government proposals to phase in the changes during the next six years.

But a petition against the move was signed by 33,000 Britons and 100,000 Canadians who argue it is a capitulation to America’s already too powerful influence upon the English-speaking world. Proponents counter the move will make the English language more uniform globally, making such things as internet searches and legal documents easier to understand.

The agreement will standardize spelling by spelling “standardise” as it should be spelled (not spelt) – “standardize.” The new agreement will remove the stilted “ou” in order for words to be spelled (not spelt) more phonetically, turning, for example “Labour” (such as ‘The Labour Party’) into “Labor”. Henceforth, and forever more, the unpronounceable “re” at the ending of words will be transformed to “er”, as it should be. There are no “theatres” in American, only “theaters.”

Friday’s vote came after a unified form of the old English language was originally agreed with seven old English-speaking countries in 1991.

The official language of more than 300 million people worldwide, American is spoken in the United States of America, including all of its territories. In addition, American is not only the language of global business, it is the language of world-wide art, science, and literature. American is the second language for virtually all inhabitants of the globe who have a second language, including some Britons. Even the French, when forced to speak a second tongue, always choose American over English.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the British Parliament are expected to ratify the accord, with the blessing of the Queen, who has agreed, with the stipulation that “The Queen’s English” henceforth be awarded the status of a National Treasure.

With apologies from Kerfuffles to BBC News, and asking “Why can’t the British be more like the Portuguese?”

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2 Responses to Why Can’t the English Be More Like the Portuguese?

  1. xinjii says:

    Though many Brits love to deride the impurity of the United States spelling of some words, the Unites States spelling is probably the purest to be found in English. The OED will, of course, list all of the -ize spellings as their main entries and acknowledge the -ise spellings as popular use. This has been since the beginning of OED. Moreover, most every other Latin-derived language: legalizar, legalizar, legalizzare. The only exception is French. legaliser. But other things stick out as well. Sp-Color, AmE-Color, Pr-Color, It-Colore, Fr-Couleur, Br-Colour. Of course, this is the obvious observation and goes without saying. But taking into account WHY Noah Webster decided to revert these spelling back to a “purer” form is a bit interesting. Essentially anti-French in its effect, it tries to remove as much as the Norman incursion into the English language as possible without rendering the language incomprehensible.

  2. Kerfuffles says:

    What an interesting comment, xinjii. Thank you so much for contibuting. I never knew before about “WHY” ole Noah did what he did. He was de-frenchifying our modern American language.

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