The Spelling Society were asked to participate in a debate with the Queen's English Society in the hallowed pages of The Times yesterday. The central question being; do we need an Academy to look after the English language? France has the Academie Francaise, do we need an Academy of English to uphold the apostrophe's rightful place?

Jack Bovill, the Chair of the Society, appeared on BBC News to debate with the Queen's English Society's Chair Rhea Williams. Jack also appeared on World Service later in the day.

Jack Bovill from the Spelling Society, which calls for improving literacy standards in Britain, told The Times; 'while it's true that “23 percent of children emerge from school as functionally illiterate”, the proposed Academy of English runs the risk of becoming redundant if it refuses to adapt to modern changes and clings to the English of old.'

He said: “The creation of an academy will probably run the same risk as the French equivalent, whose authorities realised that French could die out if it didn't adapt. The Académie Française recently published 6,000 variant spellings. Language has to adapt to survive. The question is, do you do it deliberately or leave it to chance? While the QES may value what is around today, does it value what was around 100 years ago? It is very well meaning but caught in a bind.'

The story was picked up by the Hindustan Times in Indai, by the Agrentinian press and by Fortean Times.

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