Down with irritating extra letters!

Jun 12, 2013 | Language

Letters flyingIs English a language of unnecessary letters? It certainly can be a bit confusing with random ‘h’s in rhubarb and ‘p’s in receipt. And don’t even get me started on ‘rhythm’ – that strange mix of consonants still gets me scratching my head! (Or that might be its lack of letters, noticeably vowels, which confuses me. Then again, it could just be me…)

According to renowned linguist David Crystal, the internet could mean a more simplified language and the end for some of  those irritating extra letters , but – good news for purists – it is likely to be a slow death.

Speaking at the Hay Festival recently, and reported in The Telegraph, Mr Crystal told of his internet rhubarb monitoring where rubarb now gets thousands of results and opinioned “The internet will influence spelling. It will get rid of some letters that irritate us, the letters that instinctively we feel shouldn’t be there. But it will take time.”

What do you think? Do the extra letters matter or is it all just rhubarb, rubarb…?

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_18041320_opened-book-with-letters-flying-out-of-it-isolated-on-white.html’>belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo</a>