I think English really needs a spelling reform

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Linguist
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I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Linguist » 2014-09-07, 12:15

Do you think so?

As English writing has absolutely nothing to do with the pronounciation, English needs a new way to be spelled. Evetime I see a new word, I have no idea how to pronounce it!!!! Dat rages me!!!! :evil:

I wanna suggest a few rules:

new letters replacing awful letter combinations:

Śś - sh (ship -> śip; sure -> śure)
Ðð - th (this -> ðis)
Þþ - th (think -> þink)

Vowels:
Aa - like a in bar
Ää - like a in bad
Ee - likke e in get
Iı - like i in bit
Íí - like ee in sheet
Oo - like o in ox
Óó - like o in horse
Uu - like u in butcher
Úú - like ou in tour

diphthongs:
ay - like ay in way
igh - like i in write
yu - like you in you, or like u in abuse
oy - like oi in oil
ow - like o in phone
and so on

English needs to be more phonetical. So we replace letters until they will be pronounced the same way as they are written.

colour - kolor
weigh - way
det - debt
right - write
maykrosoft - microsoft
igh fown - iPhone
ótometik - automatic
fowlder - folder

I also suggest using capitals for nouns as in German, so nouns and verbs can better be distinguished.

I like writing (nouns) vs. I see him writing (verb):
Igh lighk Righting ----- Igh sí hım righting.

Ðis is an Ixampel of ðe nyu engliś Spelling. Igh howp yu lighk it! :)
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2014-09-07, 13:02


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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby linguoboy » 2014-09-07, 19:32

Linguist wrote:As English writing has absolutely nothing to do with the pronounciation

Holy hyperbole, Batman!

http://www.zompist.com/spell.html
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-09-08, 1:44

Ðis is an Ixampel of ðe nyu engliś Spelling. Igh howp yu lighk it!
Waw, ðät śur iz än ighsór!

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby ling » 2014-09-08, 3:47

I'd simplify the diphthongs.

Why the trigraph "igh" when you could use "ai"?
ei for the sound in way
oi for the sound in boy
Etc.
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby TheStrayCat » 2014-09-08, 5:47

Linguist wrote:
Ðis is an Ixampel of ðe nyu engliś Spelling. Igh howp yu lighk it! :)


*än
*ıxampl
*Inglıś

What's so special about this supereasy spelling that even you are worse at it than at the classic one? :)

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Koko » 2014-09-08, 6:03

Why bring back the capitalization of nouns? There are many more sounds than /æ, a, ɛ, ɔ, ɪ, u, ʊ/, so you haven't really covered everything. Also, how is ox pronounced for you? I say ['ʔɑks]. And since <th> is rarely pronounced anything but /θ/ or /ð/, to spell the phonemes differently is pointless[*]. I can't think of any two words where /θ/ contrasts with /ð/, so it's even less necessary. The same with <sh>: when is it pronounced not as a /ʃ/? It's just as pointless.

Also, have you taken into consideration that the reason English is spelt how it is is because of etymological reasons? This gives a tiny bit of beauty to the written language. Plus, in Modern English, every dialect pronounces a phoneme differently from another. For example, in my dialect colour is pronounced ['kʰʌlɚ], but your reform dictates it should be ['kʰɔlɔɹ] (or ['kʰɑ-], still not sure).

How does one spell a word like chef or chew? The former being a loanword, would one feel obliged to spell it according to your reform's rules?


There are a few other languages that have similar problems as English in written language, so why aren't you asking for them to reform?

[*]pointless isn't the word I want, but since I can't for the life of me remember the word I want (which is a better one to use, IMO), I must settle for this.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Koko » 2014-09-08, 6:33

Also, why use a diacritic on a vowel that represents a more common sound? At least in my dialect, /æ/ is definitely more common than /a/ or /ɑ/. And why an i with not tittle if <i> has no use?

For än exämpl (ighv nevr wʌnts sed [ɪksampəl]), ðíz next fyu sentntsz demnstrayt migh dighälekt. ʌv kors, igh häv dlítid ðowz śwʌz witś(?) häv no reprisentayś(i)n. Ighv ɑlsow yuzd IPA for kaysiz wen igh downt now haw(?) tú spel ə fowním əkordin(g) tú yor ryulz. Ow, änd ighm ɑlsow spelin(g) /ɪ/ äs <i>.

Wud migh spelingz bí k(ʌ)nsidrd owkay änd äkseptid?

EDIT: I realize my attitude may be a little harsher than necessary. I just think that it needs a little more work. More explanation could do, too.

The main reason I would be against accepting a new ortho for English is because since there are so many people who have already gotten used to English how it is currently, to make 'em learn a new writing system, however simple, seems a little harsh. And then for natives, it's probably worse because we'd have to get used to it, too, but I think it would be harder for us since we've known written English almost our whole lives. Especially for a language like English, attempting to write it phonetically would be torture: there are so many realizations for both consonants and vowels (the latter more so), a simple word like "pity" could be spelt a minimum of two or three ways. English is better left to itself.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Linguist » 2014-09-08, 15:01

I wanted SUGGEST them. A FEW ones. :oops: :oops:

Please don’t hate me know because of these postings. :oops:
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby hashi » 2014-09-08, 22:22

I agree with Koko's suggestion of capitalising nouns. However I think the reform you have suggested is even more difficult than English itself, especially with arbitrary diacritics. Secondly, English is not that much harder to read than other languages, you just have to make the effort to learn the rules, and its quirks (all languages have them!).

I do agree however, that the vowel system could use a bit of 'realignment' to reduce ambiguities. I do understand the historical reasons for they way things are spelled, however practically it could be a bit easier. The consonants are fine the way they are though.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby JackFrost » 2014-09-09, 0:48

I can't think of any two words where /θ/ contrasts with /ð/, so it's even less necessary.

mouth, mouth (noun = θ vs verb = ð).
wreath, wreathe
sheath, sheathe

Anyway, the issue with English spelling reform is that the language has more than one standard and we have standards that obviously sound different enough from one and other. So, on which standard are we going to base the reform? Or a reform for each standard? But then that would make communication between communities somewhat more difficult.

Yeah, not really going to happen as there is virtually no desire among the speakers to undertake such a challenge.

I also suggest using capitals for nouns as in German, so nouns and verbs can better be distinguished.

Used to be a thing until the 18th century.

All you need to do is understand the word order better to know whether it's a noun or a verb... It takes time, so don't expect that ability to magically come to you by tomorrow or next week. :?
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Koko » 2014-09-09, 1:10

JackFrost wrote:
I can't think of any two words where /θ/ contrasts with /ð/, so it's even less necessary.

mouth, mouth (noun = θ vs verb = ð).
wreath, wreathe
sheath, sheathe

Right (thanks, too), but for the latter two you have the -e that tells you the <th> should be /D/. And anyways, it's not too big a difference because I've said many times [maʊθ] for the verb without any confusion. I understand that sometimes there's a different connotation between /maʊθ/ and /maʊð/ (both can be verbs on their own right) but when one /maʊθs/ they are usually expressing attitude.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-09-09, 19:03

I don't think mouth:mouth (v.) is a minimal pair for me, but loath:loathe is, and thigh:thy.

Anyway, the same objections I have to every radical spelling reform: numerous ones have been tried already and didn't catch on; there's so much material already written that will become inaccessible; English spelling is being reformed all the time anyway; most of them are ugly as sin.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby linguoboy » 2014-09-09, 19:07

mōdgethanc wrote:English spelling is being reformed all the time anyway; most of them are ugly as sin.

Y U mad bro?
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-09-09, 19:41

That wasn't what I thot tho'.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Linguist » 2015-05-08, 20:26

lol! I discovered that Google now uses an own way to "transcribe" english words in an own phonetic way. If you type one single word into Google Translate, it’ll show you a kind of own way to spell to show how the word is pronounced. They kind of stole my idea in this thread lol

"I use to go to school by bus" would be like "Ī yo͞oz to͞o gō to͞o sko͞ol bī bəz" :shock: :?

"plā st'āSHən fôr" is the way Google spells "PlayStation 4" wtf... :|
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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby hashi » 2015-05-28, 5:04

Linguist wrote:lol! I discovered that Google now uses an own way to "transcribe" english words in an own phonetic way. If you type one single word into Google Translate, it’ll show you a kind of own way to spell to show how the word is pronounced. They kind of stole my idea in this thread lol

"I use to go to school by bus" would be like "Ī yo͞oz to͞o gō to͞o sko͞ol bī bəz" :shock: :?

"plā st'āSHən fôr" is the way Google spells "PlayStation 4" wtf... :|


*pseudo-linguistics*

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby Koko » 2015-06-01, 6:33

/bəz/??? Excuse me but bus is /bʌs/ >.> (I shouldn't be surprised really if that is a real dialectal variation, but c'mon. That's… why?)

I've never liked Google's fake ass IPA. It's ugly and is 100% screwed up.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby mōdgethanc » 2015-06-01, 19:54

That's not even close to IPA. It's just some ugly dictionary respelling shit.

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Re: I think English really needs a spelling reform

Postby TeneReef » 2015-08-07, 0:05

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