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Spelling List #1
Spelling List #2
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What You Can Do

Every little bit helps.  That's one of our beliefs concerning the improvement of English spelling.  We are convinced that reader opinions matter to editors and publishers of newspapers and magazines -- these same editors and publishers update the stylistic elements of their texts, including spelling, on a semi-regular basis. They pay top dollar to discover audience preferences and here you are providing yours for free-- step right up.  So if you prefer simplicity and would like our English spelling to be a little bit simpler, then now is a good time to

  1. print out both of the 'Simple Spelling' pages listed on the left side of this screen, and
  2. cut/paste/edit/send the following model letter-- with Simple Spelling pages attached-- to your favorite newspaper or magazine editor.


  1. print out both of the 'Simple Spelling' pages listed on the left side of this screen, and
  2. download a version of the letter by right clicking on this link, save it as a text file, edit it in your word processor, then send the letter -- with Simple Spelling pages attached -- to your favorite newspaper or magazine editor.

Letter to Editor

November 20, 2001

Editor's Name, and Title
Periodical or Company Name
City, State and Zip

Dear [Editor's Name],

I'm an avid reader of your publication. I'm also an avid proponent of literacy. Your readership base, of course, is impacted by the literacy rate in [pick the most appropriate city, state, region or nation].

To a much lesser extent, the literacy rate in [ " ] is influenced by the editorial values and practices of people such as yourself.  For better or worse, the editorial choices you make have some bearing on local literacy rates.  Some  suggest making texts simpler and plainer at the expense of accuracy, but not   me.   I ask that you consider a plain and simple idea that's also accurate and subtle: incorporate the authorized simpler spellings contained in the enclosed short lists of dictionary variants- several of which very likely grace the pages of your publication already.

According to mainstream dictionaries, variant spellings are by definition very nearly identical in frequency to their sister spellings.   As you will quickly see,  ALC officials (in association with mainstream dictionary publishers and Dick Venezky, author of The American Way of Spelling) have underscored the simpler of the two and are asking style manual and spell-check producers to simplify their preferred spellings list.

Though you have more pressing concerns I hope to hear from you regarding  the extent of your decision to influence literacy for the better (and simpler) in this area.

Very cordially,

[your name]


Thanks for helping us remind editors that the editorial choices they make have a bearing on literacy rates.

Your friends at the American Literacy Council

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American Literacy Council, 230 S. 39th Street, Boulder, CO 80305
Telephone: (303) 440-7385

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