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The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Certainly civil servants will receive this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this clear up confusion, but typewriters can have one less letter.

There will be growing public enthusiasm in the second year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "photograph" 20 percent shorter.

In the third year, public acceptance of the new spelling can be expected to reach the stage where more complicated changes are possible. Governments will encourage the removal of double letters, which have always been a deterrent to accurate spelling. Also, all will agree that the horrible mess of silent "e"s in the language is disgraceful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, people will be receptive to steps such as replacing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v". During the fifth year, the unnecessary "o" can be dropped from words containing "ou" and similar changes would of words be applied to other combinations of letters.