Michael Skapinker, in the Financial Times, reviews a few new books about English. Check out the total burn at the end of this paragraph:

But Crystal cannot stop himself wanting to teach people to spell the old way. If only, Crystal writes, young people understood the derivations of words. If they learnt a little Latin, they would realise that “aberrant” had one “b” and “abbreviate” two because they came from the Latin source words ab+errant and ab+breviate. Crystal is as entertaining and erudite as ever in this book but he has probably spent too long at his desk if he thinks young people are eager for etymology lessons. Those who really want to know how to spell and what words mean can look them up in a dictionary.

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