Sunday, March 05, 2006

Re: U

Toronto City Council labours under the delusion that just because its members have the honour of being elected to represent the citizens of the centre of the universe, that the taxpayers have written it blank cheques to pay for everything it might favour.

This latest manoeuvre, I might say with complete candour, is one I wouldn't touch with a three-metre pole. The very thought puts me in ill humour throughout every fibre of my body:

Between them, city councillors Howard Moscoe and Glenn De Baeremaeker have more vowels in their names than most of their colleagues.

But they'd like to buy one more -- the letter U -- for the city.

On Monday, they will try to sweet-talk the administration committee into a policy to buy software with a built-in Canadian spell-check.

"It is our attempt to keep a little bit of Canadian culture alive and well and not to be smothered by the great elephant next door called the United States," said Mr. De Baeremaeker, who represents Scarborough Centre.

"With all the rocket scientists out there, surely when we have our spell-checks they can put in a Canadian dictionary spelling."

The councillor conceded, with a laugh, that the issue may not be at the top of the city's list of worries -- there is that budget hole that's hundreds of millions of dollars deep.

And Mr. De Baeremaeker is not sure whether it would cost extra to add "u" to words, such as labour and colour.

Administration committee member Doug Holyday, a noted penny-pincher, doubts the idea will fly. "It's not a critical issue," Mr. Holyday said.

The defence of our linguistic heritage is a worthy endeavour, but I take great offence at the notion that municipal government should don armour, raise the colours, and rattle its sabres on this issue. It does not have the political or intellectual calibre to be the saviour of Canadian orthography.

Take an axe to this, and quickly! Enough of this useless political theatre!

Source: Globe and Mail

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not that it's going to change the world, but for years now I've been using my Canadian English dictionary with my word processing. The software costs about a quarter that of MS Office and, as a word processor, kicks the stuffing out of the former. So cheaper, better and Canadian English. It's called WordPerfect.