Professor Yasen Zasursky, Dean of the Moscow University Department of Journalism, has spoken out against plans to reform the Russian language. At a press conference to mark Russian Press Day, he said such a reform would be a waste. The architects of the reform suggest simplifying Russian orthographic rules. Zasursky, a philologist renowned both at home and abroad, does not think this is a good idea, as Russia is a "very literate nation" and it is no problem for a contemporary Russian to remember that the word "Їа®дҐбб®а" ("professor") is spelled with two o's. Also, any language reform may change the original meaning of words, which is a rather dangerous prospect, he warned. Zasursky reminded his audience that the Russian word "¬Ёа" in its modern spelling has two senses-"peace" and "world." In the title of Leo Tolstoy's famous novel "‚®© Ё ¬Ёа" (known in translation as "War and Peace"), the word "¬Ёа" was originally spelled with the letter "i," reserved for the latter sense. But the language reform of 1917 abolished the letter "i" in the Russian alphabet. As a result, nowadays the novel's title is often misinterpreted as "War and Peace" whereas its true meaning is "War and World." "I have to explain it to my students," he complained.
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