Monday, August 31, 2009


The Blooburds uv my Hart

The Times carries an obituary to spelling reformer Ed Rondthaler, who passed away at age 104. He's the man I described in a Believer piece last year as the last living link to the movement's Edwardian zenith.

From his obituary:

Such [orthographic] anarchy, Mr. Rondthaler came to believe, helped cause illiteracy and with it, a web of social ills. Among them, as he wrote in the 1977 profile in The Times, were “jooveniel delinquensy, criem-in-th-streets, hard cor unemploiment and poverty.”

...He wrote a song honoring the 100th anniversary of the Croton Dam. He invented things, including a slide rule that calculated currency-exchange rates and another slide rule that computed cooking times of foods based on weight...

In 1920, at 15, young Mr. Rondthaler bought a 2-cent card and addressed it to a classmate. Inside, he wrote, “The bluebirds are flying from my heart to you.” His message was written in standard orthography.

Reader, she married him.

(Hat tip to Ed!)

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