How to spell "bureaucracy"

This poster offers a memory trick for spelling "bureaucracy".

As part of its teaching commitment in the 1980s and 1990s, Edinburgh University's Centre of Canadian Studies aimed to help students improve their written English. Schools seemed (to put the matter politely) to be placing less emphasis upon accuracy of spelling and usage, while most academic departments felt that their function was to teach their own specialist subjects and accepted no responsibility for remedial work. Yet the same errors not only frequently recurred but could often be eliminated by simple tips and memory tricks. Much of the material produced by the Centre of Canadian Studies eventually became the "Using English Effectively" section of this website: https://www.gedmartin.net/using-english-effectively.

The word "bureaucracy" seemed to be a particular hazard – ironic, since many Edinburgh students were likely to work for government after graduation. In higher education, self-generating bureaucracy had replaced intellectual enquiry as the organising principle and controlling activity, and it seemed an appropriate act of deference to spell the word correctly. 

A whimsical sentence offered a memory trick: Buy Uncle Richard Eating Apples Until Charles Returns Aunt Charlotte's Yogurt.

Because of its length, the device seemed worth producing in a visual form. Superb art work was contributed by Briony Penn, of Edinburgh University's Department of Geography. Briony Penn now (2022) lives in British Columbia, where she is a naturalist, writer, educator, and broadcaster, noted for her defence of sensitive ecosystems – and still a creative artist and effective pen-and-ink illustrator: https://www.brionypenn.com.

"Charles" in the poster is, of course, HRH The Duke of Rothesay (as the heir to throne is correctly styled in Scotland). He appears as he was seen 40 years ago, when the poster was created.

Copyright © 2022 Ged Martin. All Rights Reserved.
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