Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I love working on George Bernard Shaw....

I found this gem among his papers in the Harry Ransom Center in Austin:

‘It may seem only a laughing matter that we have to spell the common word “though” with six letters instead of two as the time lost is only a fraction of a second. But multiply that fraction of a second by the number of times the word hasto be written in the British Empire and in North America every hour, every day, every month, every century, and its cost grows from the fraction of a farthing to pounds, tens of pounds, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of pounds; and the cost of a change becomes unspeakably negligable. The fact that Russia, with its 35 letter alphabet, can spell my name with two letters instead of four, may conceivably make it impossible for us to compete economically in the world with Russia.
I am ready to bequeath all I posess (if the war taxation leaves me anything to bequeath) to anyone who will establish a new 42 letter alphabet with it. I have saved years by using such an alphabet for my own works; but they all have to be transcribed and typed and set up and printed in Phenician; so that nobody’s time is saved but my own.
If only the British Government was as intelligent as I am!'

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