This article was posted by "alienmole" on http://slashdot.com (aka "/."), in response to comments about the proper spelling of the element Al (which is Aluminium, as anyone with half an education knows):
Spelling matters to the /. editors when there are alternative spellings and one of them is American. In these cases, such as with "aluminium" and "aluminum", /. editors feel obliged to take a strong patriotic stand, denying the existence of any other spellings. This offends many non-Americans, and over time, countless little incidents like this build up, eventually spawning an irrational hatred of Americans, which ultimately turns into terrorism. Some hapless terrorist then attacks America, which gives America an excuse to bomb all the countries it has been itching to bomb for the last few decades. Thus, spelling is an important tool of military conquest, and /. plays a leading role in America's foreign policy.
The use of spelling in this way goes back to the very founding of America. In early secret sessions of the Congress, it was decided to deliberately change certain spellings, at that time as an irritation to the British. The King's court in England would be plunged into a grammatical outrage when receiving a communication from the American colony, containing strategic abuses of the King's English. This prompted the King to send troops to whip the colonies into shape, which in turn inspired ordinary American colonists to rise up and throw off their oppressor's yoke.
This is why the "spelling bee" is such an important feature of America's education system. As any boy can tell you, "bee" is for "bomb". Indoctrinating young Americans to misspell is the secret weapon which America has used to devastating effect against its enemies, who are so flummoxed by the apparent illiteracy of their opponent that they forget to watch for incoming Tomahawks. Misspellings are behind some of the key events which have shaped our history. Next time you see a /. editor use "then" instead of "than", turn on your TV - the consequences are sure to follow swiftly.
Makes perfect sense to me! An anonymous person agrees:
The parent poster has hit the nail on the head.
Here's an example:
"We're launching an attack over the dessert."
While our grammatically precise foes waste their resources deploying surface to air missiles around their Baskin-Robbins and chocolate shops, our tanks march without resistance across the big sandy area where it doesn't rain much. This strategy (or strategery) was used during the Gulf War, decimating the Iraqi forces.
"Our sourthern forces are being overwhelmed! Send another compliment immediately!"
Now the enemy will think the general is going to tell their soldiers what a good job they're doing, in order to boost their morale. Confused by this choice in tactics, they fail to notice reinforcements are on the way. This tactic was used extensively during the Spanish American war.
Europeans should be thankful that Americans play fast and lose with the English language, because it has guaranteed the freedoms they enjoy today. The Europeans and the rest of the world may dismiss Bush, but his speech actually reveals he is the greatest military mind of the 21st century.
p.s.: Original thread at http://slashdot.org/articles/01/10/21/1414253.shtml