an interesting obituary

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 30 16:16:49 UTC 2009

Energetic would-be spelling reformer as well as a major contributor to the
development of phototypesetting

Edward Rondthaler, Foenetic Speler, Dies at 104
Published: August 29, 2009

Edward Rondthaler was one of the 20th century’s foremost men of letters —
actual, physical, audible letters. As an outspoken advocate of spelling
reform, he spent decades trying to impose order on his 26 lawless charges.
As a noted typographer who first plied his trade 99 years ago, he helped
bring the art of typesetting from the age of hot metal into the modern era.

>From the early 1960s on, Mr. Rondthaler was known publicly for his energetic
campaign to respell English <>, a cause that
over the centuries has been the quixotic mission of an impassioned few. To
spell the language as it sounds, he argued, would vanquish orthographic
hobgoblins, promote literacy and make accessible to foreign readers English
classics like Keats’s “Ode to a
Nightingale”<>— or, more properly,
“Oed to a Nietingael” — whose opening lines appear on
this page.

Long before that, Mr. Rondthaler had already established a national
reputation by helping usher in the age of photographic typesetting.
Phototypesetting was for decades a vital bridge between the hot-metal days
of old and the digital typography of today.

[full text at]

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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