This is according to former teacher and would-be-linguistic-avenger Masha Bell who contends an “absolutely, unspeakably awful spelling system” is the reason British schoolchildren underachieve at reading.
But of course… it’s the spelling. Not the fact the average British child watches TV for more than five hours per day. Or that kids are bombarded with digital entertainment in the form of PlayStations, X-Boxes, iPods, mobile phones, PCs and personal TVs (four in five kids have one in their bedroom, apparently) almost as soon as they can walk. Or that reading outside of school is a rarity.
Would it be curmudgeonly of me to suggest the solution is to make kids work harder, not to make English “easier”? Should we seriously consider massacring the language of Shakespeare, Blake, Yeats, Whitman, Wilde, et al so Britain’s spoiled brats can watch C4 in peace? God forbid little Johnny or Sally be asked to put down the Wii for an hour or two and read a book.