English Spelling, My Frend, U Dont No English

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

From the 16th century AD onward, English writers who were scholars of Greek and Latin literature tried to link English words to their Graeco-Latin counterparts. They did this by adding silent letters to make the real or imagined links more obvious. Thus det became debt (to link it to Latin debitum), dout became doubt (to link it to Latin dubitare), sissors became scissors and sithe became scythe (as they were wrongly thought to come from Latin scindere), iland became island (as it was wrongly thought to come from Latin insula), ake became ache (as it was wrongly thought to come from Greek akhos), and so forth.[7][8]

English-language spelling reform


My frend, u dont no english.

Draw a breth for progress,
Tred abrest ahed.
Fight agenst old spelling,
Better “red” than “read”.
Spred the words at brekfast,
Mesure them in bed,
Dream of welth and tresure,
Better “ded” than “dead”.

Spelling Reform 1 or Spelling Reform step 1 (more commonly known as SR1) is an English spelling reform proposal advocated by British/Australian linguist Harry Lindgren. It calls for the short /e/ sound (as in bet) to always be spelt with E. For example, friend would become frend and head would become hed. SR1 was part of a 50-stage reform that Lindgren advocated in his book Spelling Reform: A New Approach (1969).

Spelling Reform 1 had some success in Australia. In 1975, the Australian Teachers' Federation adopted SR1 as a policy,[1] although the Federation dissolved in 1987.[2] However, there is no evidence outside this text that the system was “adopted widely” or indeed at all.

Examples:

DUE

DUE stands for “Drop Useless Es”. This proposal would remove the letter E from words where it is unneeded or misleading. This would mean dropping the E at the end of have but not at the end of behave, because the E makes the A sound longer (see “magic e”).

ph

Change ‘ph’ to ‘f’ when it is sounded as /f/ .

augh

Shorten ‘augh’ to ‘au’ when it is sounded as /ɔː/.

Change ‘augh’ to ‘af’ when the sound is /f/.

ough

Shorten ‘ough’ to ‘u’ when it is sounded as /u/.

Shorten ‘ough’ to ‘o’ when it is sounded as /əʊ/.

Shorten ‘ough’ to ‘ou’ when it is sounded as /aʊ/.

Change ‘ough’ to ‘au’ when it is sounded as /ɔː/.

Change ‘ough’ to ‘of’ or ‘uf’ (depending on the pronunciation) when there is the sound /f/.

SR1

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