Last October, Jim, of Uncle Jazzbeau’s Gallimaufrey, had a post about linguists in movies which sparked a lively discussion. This doesn’t quite count, but the actress Rebecca Romijn-Stamos has been making the rounds on the talk-show circuit, promoting her new movie, Godsend. As usual, actresses are expected to have some funny story to share about their lives which they dutifully repeat on every talk show. Well, Rebecca Romijn [pronounced “Romaine”, like the lettuce]-Stamos’ story is that her mother is a “linguist!” But that’s not the funny part (although it was for Jon Stewart of the Daily Show). No, the funny part is that her mother went to protest the National Spelling Bee. That is because her mother is a member of the organization, The Simplified Spelling Society, whose motto is:
Werking for pland chanje in english spelling for the bennefit of lerners and uzers evrywair.
It is pretty funny. I don’t think they had any press this year (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos said that only 5 people showed up to the protest), but their 2002 protest did get this nice article in the Baltimore City Paper:
Then I see the signs: take the sting out of spelling, 50,000,00 illeterates can’t be rong. speling shuud bee lojical.
…Fascinating stuff. But there’s a definite tilting-at-windmills aura about this cause. I mean, the metric system is much more logical too, and look how well that took hold in the United States. But the protesters are hopeful that the Internet will be a major aid in getting their ideas across.
Maybe it will, but probably not in the way that they intended.