Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. made a statement we all should take to heart: "...we pause to become conscious of our national life and to rejoice in it, to recall what our country has done for each of us, and to ask ourselves what we can do for our country in return." Speaking before Civil War veterans on Memorial Day, 1884, he encouraged them to put aside individual, selfish purposes and to exert their best efforts to strengthen common elements of society for the common good.
This web site is part of my personal response to that exhortation.
I was born near
I graduated from
J. H. Kanzelmeyer and Harry Freund, "Ultraviolet Spectrophotometric Determination of Niobium in Hydrochloric Acid," Analytical Chemistry, 25, 1807-1809 (1952).
J. H. Kanzelmeyer, Jack Ryan, and Harry Freund, "The Nature of Niobium (V) in Hydrochloric Acid Solution," Journal of the American Chemical Society, 78, 3020-3023 (1956).
R. E. Van Aman, F. D. Hollibaugh, and J. H. Kanzelmeyer, "Spectrophotometric Determination of Antimony with Rhodamine B," Analytical Chemistry, 31, 1783-1785 (1959).
T. A. Collins, Jr., and J. H. Kanzelmeyer, "Spectrophotometric Determination of Indium in Zinc and Zinc Oxide," Analytical Chemistry, 33, 245-247 (1961).
R. E. Van Aman, and J. H. Kanzelmeyer, "Spectrophotometric Determination of Thallium in Zinc and Cadmium with Rhodamine B," Analytical Chemistry, 33, 1128-1129 (1961).
J. R. Knapp, R. E. Van Aman, and J. H. Kanzelmeyer, "Determination of Traces of Cadmium in Zinc-Rich Materials," Analytical Chemistry, 34, 1374-1378 (1962).
James H. Kanzelmeyer, "Zinc" in Treatise on Analytical Chemistry (I. M. Kolthoff, Philip J. Elving, and Ernest B Sandell, eds.), Part II, Volume 3, pp. 95-169, Interscience, New York, 1961.
James H. Kanzelmeyer, "Quality Control for Analytical Methods," Standardization News (American Society for Testing and Materials), Vol. 5, No. 10, pp 22-28 (1977).
I was a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) 1963
- 1999, participating in Committee E-3 on Chemical Analysis of Metals and its
successor Committee E-1 on Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores, and Related
Materials. Served as consultant on interlaboratory statistics to its precious metals
subcommittee 1991-present. As chairman of a subcommittee or task group, I
was responsible for development and publication of these Methods and Practices:
ASTM E 396, Standard Test methods for Chemical Analysis of Cadmium (1970).
ASTM E 536, Standard Test Methods for Chemical Analysis of Zinc and Zinc Alloys (1975).
ASTM E 882, Standard Guide for Accountability and Quality Control in the Chemical Analysis Laboratory (1982).
ASTM E 1024, Standard Guide for Chemical Analysis of Metals and Metal Bearing Ores by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (1984).
ASTM E 1601, Standard Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Evaluate the Performance of an Analytical Method (1994).
ASTM E 1914, Standard Practice for Use of Terms Relating to the Development and Evaluation of Methods of Chemical Analysis (1997).
ASTM E 1950, Standard Practice for Reporting Results from Methods of Chemical Analysis (1998).
ASTM E 2054, Standard Practice for Performance-Based Description of Instruments in Chemical Analysis Methods (1999).
ASTM E 2055, Standard Practice for Referencing Test Methods for Chemical Analysis of Metals and Related Materials (1999).
One day as we drove home from school when I was about 9 years old, I asked my Mother why so many words are spelled so strangely. Her answer, "that's just the way it is," was unsatisfactory and so uncharacteristically vague for my school-teacher Mom that that place and moment was fixed in my mind for all time. At the time I realized it was not an explanation, but rather a description of the status of our written language. As a 9-year-old child, I recognized that English spelling was deliberately inconsistent for no good reason.
Spelling retains its hold, no matter how difficult to learn and use, because people do not recognize that an alternative form of writing is preferable or even possible. I have never found a more intellectually honest explanation of spelling's long existence. Most experts consider the question of replacing spelling impertinent and refuse to "waste time" answering questions about it. Those who address the problem write either illogical or self-serving responses, citing tradition, scholarship, and etymology as essential bases for arguments supporting spelling.
Growing up, WW II, undergraduate and graduate education, starting a family, and pursuing a satisfying career to sustain them took my full attention over many decades. From time to time, the question "Why does the spelling 'system' seem so wrong?" reasserted itself, but I had no opportunity or time to consider the problem or solutions. Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I found many independent examples that proved to me that spelling does not represent words systematically:
The AKSES writing system, described on other pages of this web site, grew out of the above answers to my original question from 65 years ago, "Mom, why are so many words spelled wrong?" Subsequent thought and study changed that simplistic question to "Why do we continue to teach our children the separate language of spelling instead of permitting them to read and write standard English in a phonemic form?" The answer must be that most people do not understand the consequences of our present writing system. Unfortunately, those who do understand seem unwilling to do anything about it.
I welcome comments, corrections, or additions from thoughtful readers, especially responses from those who are critical of eliminating spelling. Critics should compare the literary and etymological value of spelling in communication and education (if they exist) against its role as the single most significant roadblock to reading and writing for future generations of Americans.
Click this link to reply:
What fate do you wish for America?
There are only 2 choices; by your actions you
will select either A or B:
A) Enable all children to read and write competently from the start of their schooling or
B) Continue spelled English and condemn half the future population to non-reading semi-literacy.
Both outcomes are equally achievable. Outcome B is inevitable if we do
nothing more than we are doing now. Outcome A is just as inevitable if
We, The People, convince our legislators to encourage educators to use AKSES
orthography to enable all children to read and write as well as they speak and
understand speech by first grade.
I seek help getting this IMPORTANT MESSAGE to those who can do something about it.
(Last worked on: 02-11-2013.) - James H. Kanzelmeyer