LETTER TO THE EDITOR, SCMP:
I don't understand the brouhaha over learning simplified characters ("Simplified characters rumour wrong", February 23). Surely this is a storm in a teacup.
I learned Chinese at Peking University in the mid seventies. I learnt simplified characters.
When I came to Hong Kong I was confronted with traditional characters. I quickly realized that many of the differences were logical and straightforward. For example, simplified radicals (such as 訁to 讠), based on pre-existing cursive forms in use for centuries, account for many of the differences. These are very quickly mastered.
It took me just a few months of part-time study to be able to read Hong Kong signage and newspapers in traditional characters.
Moreover, I suggest it's easier to go from traditional to simplified, than the opposite route I did.
If an adult 鬼佬 such as me can quickly adapt from simplified to traditional characters, surely local mother-tongue Chinese speakers can go from traditional to simplified even more quickly.
In short, Hong Kongers should stop moaning and get on with the the job of learning the written form that's used by the vast majority of Chinese. What's more, it's fun!
Peter F, etc...
LATER: published on 6th April 2016: