I think, and I am probably the only one does, that the worst thing America did to itself, like some leviathan masochist, was to release Webster's Dictionary on the populace.
I mean what was the matter with the original spelling? Why couldn't they get used to spelling diarrhoea as diarrhoea instead of diarrhea; why couldn't they get used to that extra 'o'? No wonder nobody in America writes about diarrhoea as there is no challenge when writing it down. It's easier to let Donald Trump talk diarrhoea than to let someone write about it.
Webster didn't bother changing the name of Albuquerque because he knew how to spell it. That doesn't mean that he was a brilliant man because he could spell it, as William Shakespeare wouldn't have been able to spell it if he'd been alive today and why would he bother when the world would be at the feet of a 400 year old living writer?
But to the point: what has become a big pain in the arse for me since returning from America, where I lived for 17 years, is that I got used to the American spellings and now since my return I can't remember which is which.
I remember a Canadian writer (not you Jim), whom I knew in Los Angeles in 1995, would only submit his scripts with American spelling as he believed they wouldn't employ non-Americans – or wouldn't hire non-Americans, to use the American vernacular.
One guy said to me once that the English put the 'u' into words like colour to be fancy; to be fancy??
No the Americans took it out – Webster took it out and in so doing cut off the access to the history of some words.
You can see where some words come from by their spelling. The way to pronounce Ye olde Shoppe, by the way, is the old shop.
Plain and simple.
In the olden days (daze) F and S were the same and I've told you about the 27th letter of the alphabet! Yes I did it was the ampersand = &.
Recently the French have done a Webster; they have cancelled the circumflex – this is a circumflex ^ - it goes over lots of words such as those with certain vowels but accent (known as a fada in Ireland and the tilde in Spanish) will remain on the 'e' and the 'a' (????) and they are going to remove the hyphen in compound nouns such as porte-monnaie and week-end.
Incidentally the circumflex is a good thing to use for a password; for example your password could be ^forexample12F – everything in it.
Right – back to France before I get interrupted with any more thoughts – actually I get interrupted by thoughts all the time, when I write, and sometimes, even though I have not written any masterpieces yet – Yet I say – some brilliant thoughts have come to me whilst writing a fiction!
You have your password so onward: 26 years ago France decided on these changes and they were suggested by Académie Française (you see I put them in including that funny little thing on the bottom of the C ç) and in 2008 the education ministry suggested the new spelling rules were 'the reference' to be used but few people noticed.
Then in November the changes were mentioned in another government document – but nobody noticed again.
Then when it was reported on TV there was an uproar – all over the Internet, social media, Twitter, the lot – you must have noticed?
The only thing is that people in Britain will not take any notice; ever since England was invaded by William the Conquerer in 1066 – William of Normandy – the English refuse to pronounce French words with the accents.
The 'T' is sounded in fillet here, the 'H' in herb and all the other naughty to the English things the Americans do.
I think Starbucks tried to confuse the Americans with the size of the drinks – English (tall) for small, Spanish (grandé) for large and Italian (venti) twenty ounces.
Of course 20 ounces here is a pint as opposed to the 16 ounce pint in America; that's why you never get a true pint of ale there.