English spelling is notorious. In many languages, they don’t even have to have spelling tests. In English, when someone asks “how do you spell XXXX?” we often have to ask “How do you mean that word?” because English has so many homonyms.
I attempt to make English spelling a little more logical.
Making English spelling more logical: Part 1, consonants
The consonants in English are relatively simple to clarify. There are at least four sets of problems involving English consonants:
1. Silent consonants: Eliminate them
2. Doubled consonants: Make them single
3: Wrong consonants: Most prominently the ti in tion, and gh in all sorts of ways. TI should be SH. GH should be something else.
4. q and c, neither of which is needed. Q is followed by U (except for a few rarely used Arabic loan words) and pronounced KW. C is either hard, in which case it should be K, or soft, in which case it should be S. Q can thus be used for some other sound; C can be used for CH.
5. Other things – there’s the use of S to mean sh, and so on..
How do these four simple canges in English speling afect how English is writen?
Let’s take one of the most famous pasages in Amerikan history: The Getysburg Adres.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brout forth on this kontinent, a new nashon, konseived in Liberty, and dedikated to the proposishon that all men are created ekwal.
Now we are engaged in a great sivil war, testing whether that nashon, or any nashon so konseived and so dedikated, can long endure. We are met on a great batle-field of that war. We have come to dedikate a porshon of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nashon mit live. It is altogether fitting and pro p er that we shoud do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedikate — we can not konsekrate — we can not halow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who strugled here, have konsekrated it, far above our poor power to add or detrakt. The world will litle note, nor long remember wat we say here, but it kan never forget wat they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedikated here to the unfinished work wich they ho fout here have thus far so nobly advansed. It is rather for us to be here dedikated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take inkreased devoshon to that kause for whic they gave the last full meashure of devoshon — that we here hily resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nashon, under God, shal have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shal not perish from the earth.
Well, it’s obvious that I have already greatly improved English speling. I have not solved al the problems, even among the konsonants: There is, for one thing, the troubling G. But it is definitely an improvement.
On to the vowels!
Making English spelling more logical: Part 2, vowels
Vowels in English can be long or short. In kase you forget wich is wich, the long vowel says its name. I revise English speling by making the short vowels represented by a single use of the letter, and the long vowels by double use. This eliminaats the need for the dreaded silent E.
This works fiin for a, e, i and u, but it has a problem with o, because oo already has a sound: oooh. So, wee
represent that sound by q, which we don’t need anymor. This simple change in English speling already helps with sum combinashuns of vowels, altho wee ar not finished with them
For scor and seven yeers ago our fathers brout forth on this kontinent, a nq nashon, konseeved in Liberty, and dedikated to the proposition that all men are created ekwal.
Now wee ar engagd in a graat sivil war, testing whether that nashon, or anee nashon so konseeved and so dedikated, kan long endur. Wee are met on a great batl-field of that war. Wee hav kom to dedikaat a porshon of that field, as a finul resting place for thoos hq heer gaav ther liivs that that nashon miit live. It is altqgether fiting and pro p er that wee shud doo this.
But, in a larger sens, we kan not dedikate — we kan not konsekrate — we kan not halow — this ground. The braav men, living and ded, hq strugled heer, hav konsekrated it, far abov our por power to ad or detrakt. The world will litle noot, nor long reemember wat wee saa heer, but it kan never forget wat they did heer. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedikated heer to the unfinished work which they hq fout here have thus far so noblee advanced. It is rather for us to bee heer dedikated tq the graat task remaining befoor us — that from thees honord ded wee taak inkreesed devoshon to thaat kause for wic they gaav the last ful measur of devoshon — that wee heer hily resolv that thees ded shal not hav died in vain — that this nashon, under God, shal hav a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the peepul, shal not perish from the urth.
As tq blends and diphthongs and such, I won’t get intq them. I hav dun enuf.