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The reason why you should open one spade, playing Acol, is that if you don't mention your four-card suit now your partner will never believe that you have one.
You intend bidding no trumps at your next bid and you will complete the picture telling partner that you hold a balanced hand with a four-card spade suit and a narrowly defined point count. What could be more helpful to partner?
I do not get stressed about the poor quality suit. If partner supports spades, she is likely to hold some honour cards (there are plently out), but even if she doesn't you simply draw trumps and watch as the opponents' honours crash each other. If the trumps are dividing badly, then it is unlikely that 3NT will succeed.
It is worth comparing with the first problem hand on the cover of the current (May 2014) Bridge Magazine. Bernard Magee advocates opening one spade with:
In this case Bernard is prepared to "rebid" a poor suit (e.g. if the auctin is 1S, 2H, 2S). Bernard quotes the saying "Length is Strength".
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