There has been a heated discussion about spelling going on in the FLEFO forum at Compuserve. It’s been alleged that some British members have suggested that American spelling is ‘inferior’. One strand of this thread discusses whether there are advantages in British spelling: for instance, is it useful to have the distinction between verb and noun (license/license, practise/practice – I suppose advise/advice doesn’t count because the spelling and pronunciation difference are there in American spelling too)? One argument against that is that the distinction is not there in the spoken language.
The thread is headed ZED. I do not think American spelling is inferior, nor do I get very heated about spelling, but I did enjoy this message, from Jim Elliott to Stephen G. Brown – both Americans, I think):
bq. (Quote:) American spelling wasn’t invented in 30 minutes by idiots with one eyebrow.
(Reply:) How long did it take them?