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Another tongue-in-cheek spelling reform

From:Gary Shannon <fiziwig@...>
Date:Thursday, April 21, 2005, 1:48
Rather than go in the direction of increased calrity
and phonetic precision, why not move in the direction
of increased ambiguity and phonetic confusion?

The vowels "e", "i" and "u" are dispensed with
entirely, and "y" takes their place in many contexts,
while they simply disappear in other contexts.  "o" is
usually used to indicate somewhat round sounds (toe,
dew, book, hoop, etc.) and "a" (usually) for somewhat
broad sounds (fat, pond, fall, etc.), although it also
stands for sounds like "oi", "aw", and "ou" in some
contexts, as explained below.  For the most part, long
words only retain one vowel at most.  Initial vowels
are usually kept, subject to the simplification rules,
but as a general rule most vowels would be left out
except where absolutely necessary.

A set of about 1,000 ambiguous, overlapping and often
contradictory rules (with 1,001 exceptions) would tell
us, more or less, which vowel was omitted.  For
example, "ss" would imply that the the preceeding
vowel was meant to be "a" (or maybe a short "i").  Due
to this rule "glass" unambiguously becomes "glss", and
cannot be mistaken for "glass" ("gloss"). ("a" is "aw"
when followed by a double consonant, as explained
below.)  Long, initial, or stressed "i" and "e"
(including "ea", "ee" "ie", etc.) are usually just
written "y" with the context identifying what sound
they represent.  The exception is the "-ite" sound
which is invariably written "ght" (with extensions
such as "pint" -> "pghnt") as in "Y bght of py ynd y
pghnt of yl byfor nghtfall." ("A bite of pie and a
pint of ale before nightfall.")

"a" represents just about any occurance of "oi", "ow",
"au" or "ou" with "oil" being spelled "al" and "out
house cow" spelled "at has ca."  The exception is when
it is followed by a double consonant, in which case it
represents "aw" ("fall") or the "ah" in "pond"
(spelled "pannt"). (Note that rather than doubling
"th" in "father" the required "thth" is spelled "dd"
as in "faddr".   "Has" (English "house") should not be
confused with "hzz" (English "has"), and "at" (English
"out") should not be confused with "att" (English
"at").  For example: "has" ("house"), "hzz" ("has"),
"hyz" ("haze"), "hyzz" ("highs"), "hz" ("his").

"gh" represents "f", except in the initial position
where it is written "ph", or when it is followed by
"t". Since "lght" could be both "light" and "lift"
according to that rule, when "f" is followed by "t" it
must be written "kh" so that "lift" -> "lkhtt". (Note
that the "kh" is not doubled to indicate a short vowel
preceeds it, instead the following consonant, "t" is

Most short words (two, three and four letters) have
arbitrary spelling that must simply be memorized,
although they generally follow more of the rules than
they break, except when they break more rules than
they follow.

When two words are spelled the same it is often the
case that one of them falls into disuse, being
replaced by a new word or an existing synonym.  For
example, in final position the voiced/non-voiced
distinction is seldom made out so that "pig" becomes
"pgg", but "pick" also becomes "pgg", resulting in the
eventual loss of the farm animal meaning of "pgg",
which is replaced by "hagg" as in "Pgg wn yv td haggz
t bochr fr td fyzd tmarro." ("Pick one of the hogs to
butcher for the feast tomorrow.")

Voiced "th" followed by a broad vowel is written "d".
When that vowel is an "a" in conventional spelling the
following consonant is doubled so "that" becomes
"dtt".    Contractions are made by attaching the
contracted word to the following word, without
apostrophe, rather than the preceeding word so that
"that's enough" becomes "dtt syngh".

"ng" is always pronounced "ing" when not preceeded by
a vowel or followed by a consonant.  "sing" -> "sng",
but "song" would be "*sangng", ("a" followed by
doubled consonant = "aw") except that the "ng" is not
doubled.  Instead, it is followed by "h" to indicated
the equivalent of doubling so that "song" -> "sangh".
(Note that "sanford" is "snghrt", so care must be
taken to notice whether an "ngh" combination is parsed
""ng+h" or "n+gh".)  To differentiate between "sang"
and "snag" the "n" is doubled to show that it stands
apart from the "g" as in "snag" -> "snng".  "sang" and
"sung" are spelled "syng" and "syngh" for no
particular reason, and must be learned by rote.

(rule book continues for 147 more pages giving
arbitrary rules and their many, many conflicting


# 1 <salut_vous_autre@...>