This strange page, part of a strange Australian site that advocates sustainability, limited liability, and “7 prinsipls to improve present spelling NOW,” purports to recount the history of Russian spelling reform. After a quick dash through tsarist times they arrive at the Bolshevik revolution and get down to business: the 1919 Decree on Illiteracy, the postrevolutionary reform of orthography that “simplified spelling and eliminated surplus letters,” and Stalin’s literacy campaign of the ’30s. Then things take a turn for the bizarre: “After 1945, spelling reform was predictably again on the agenda of reconstruction of a war-ravaged society. By the 1960s doubled letters without functions had been dropped. It was claimed that 90 tons of paper were saved annually by now spelling Kommunist as Komunist.” Leaving aside the question of whether “predictably” is heavy irony or simple insanity, there was no such reform. The word kommunist is, was, and probably always will be spelled kommunist. This makes me a bit suspicious of whatever other information and nostrums they purvey (as it does Avva, who suggests that it may be a voice from an alternate universe, and from whom I swiped this link).


  1. It’s somewhat amusing that the “tvjordyj znak” has now become the universally recognized symbol of the ultra-free-market paper Kommersant (Êîììåðñàíòú). It’s often referred to in other publications — and in its own pages — as simply “Ú”. (This post will make absolutely no sense if, as I fear, Yaccs munches the Cyrillic characters.)

  2. jkghjgjkguiguitvuitg

  3. Ъ

  4. Ҹ

  5. Andrew Dunbar says


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