Valerie Yules Letters

April 28, 2010

Seven deadly sins for today

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 11:06 pm

The Seven Deadly Sins for today are the opposite of the medieval 7 Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Restraint as Temperance, Courage as Fortitude, Faith, Hope, and Charity as Love.

The opposites to these Virtues are far more likely to kill us all off than the sensual sins usually thought of as Deadly, which can kill us individually.

People not politics are the key to climate-change action

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 1:36 am

People not politics are the key to climate-change action

The government and the opposition cannot put forward  the key policy for trying to avert climate-change.  It does not seem politically safe to tell people how to change their life-styles.  Tell them electricity will be dearer, tell them that carbon-trading will do the trick, tell them the government will charge the big polluters to pollute, even tell them to save water when the need is obvious. But it is not politically savvy to tell us that some jobs will have to go, even though new energy-saving jobs are waiting.  We can’t be told to have smaller cars, that Australian suburban lawns don’t need power mowers, that so many lights need not flood skyscrapers and shops night and day, that rooms with no-one in need no heating or cooling, that we need disposable eatware that is cleanable, that Australian-made takes less carbon-miles, that cotton goods should be bought for lasting.  There is no nanny-state to tell us.

We’ll have to be grown-up enough to think this through ourselves.

April 15, 2010

Wonders of the future

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — valerieyulesletters @ 1:09 am

Ask everyone forecasting the future – going to other planets, etc – when they think English spelling will be cleared of its difficulties – ible/able, ence/ance, ie/ei and words witih extra letters, like sieve and mauve and minute (time) contrasted with minute (small).

Never?

While other countries reform their spellings and consequently have a more employable work-force.

April 11, 2010

What can be done about the feral animals attacking Australian wildlife?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — valerieyulesletters @ 3:51 am

Can the hunting instinct which makes some people shoot and fish endangered creatures and even enjoy roadkill, be enlisted to fight the predators and ‘take-overs’? For example, could they have as a holiday experience for which they pay, to join groups of ten in charge of a ranger in Kakadu or elsewhere, and be shown how to catch/kill/dispose of Asian swamp buffalo, pigs and cats, cane toads and crazy ants, non-indigenous freshwater fish and marine invertebrates?

This experience could also make them value Australian wild-life more.

And drive more slowly at night in areas with notices about wildlife.

I would like the hunting instinct also turned on native crows which have spread far from their original places and now threaten all small birds (which are essential in our ecology).

We can also find more commercial uses for feral unwanteds. e.g in Nashville USA,a fter spending thousands ineffectively on trying to cub the pigeon population, the city sponsored a cooking contest for the best recipe for cooked pigeon. At the end of the contest, Nashville no longer had a pigeon problem. In public squares or such like they can be remarkably easy to catch – just scatter some grain on the ground, and as they crowd about eating it, drop a cardboard box over them. http://au.answers.yahoo.com/answers2/frontend.php/question?qid=20070902101256AAgGp0a

April 5, 2010

Changing spelling

Filed under: Uncategorized — valerieyulesletters @ 10:47 pm
How spelling changes

Dictionaries are the key to official spelling change.  Dictionaries can only describe changes in the living language, but they prescribe spelling, regardless of how most people spell.

The French Academy last year authorised 6000 variant spellings for their dictionary, for the sake of literacy, and the people will eventually decide which to keep.
Many of our current spellings are only a few hundred years old; before that, many were simpler.
For example, frend, bisy, ernest, fether, garanty, gest, highte, huni, iland, lorel, lether, parlement, stomak, tyme (not thyme), and tunge were all Middle English spellings.
It is ignorance of history to believe that our spelling does not change.
It is not ‘dumbing down’ to remove recent spelling anomalies that trip up the educationally disadvantaged. More people will be able to read, and reading raises IQ through more general knowledge. More people are also employable.

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