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Prue Raper

                    Still on the lighter side                     

                             Hot news from Europe                          

The official language of the European Union

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English". In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c".. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f".. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away. By the 4th yer peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v". During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vordskontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

We cannot be certain, but is Mr Fry taking a swipe at the Queen's English Society? It is an entertaining piece and his views expressed on You Tube and elsewhere, are in part, supported by some. If the QES is his target, he would do well to understand what the Society stands for and to read THE FACTS.

This correspondent posted a short piece on You Tube, as "liking" the presentation, but pointed out that Mr Fry ALREADY HAS great abilities where our language is concerned, and is now free to play around with it in the interests of his performance. So step aside Stephen and let those less able, catch up.