I’m pretty interested in spelling reform, at least theoretically. I’m fairly intolerant of inelegant solutions, and English spelling certainly is. However, I’m also pretty attached to actually, you know, being able to spell, so I acknowledge that it would be pretty annoying to implement reform in reality.
On the upside, it is not unreasonable to imagine various text transformation filters that could easily be written to allow round-trip translation between old spelling and new spelling.
The first place I read recently about spelling reform, by Justin B. Rye, is a wonderfully informal essay containing a point-by-point refutation of the possible arguments against the whole thing. He even refutes arguments not previously presented. Anyway, it’s a great introduction, and well recommended. His anti-Esperanto page is great as well.
A possible spelling reformation
The simplest, most coherent system I’ve seen presented (admittedly, I haven’t seen many, nor looked into any in detail
:) ) is described somewhere inside spellingsociety.org, linked from Wikipedia. The solutions there cover eliminating spelling inconsistencies as much as possible while still acknowledging the fact that a possibly “ideal” solution would be way too different to be adopted by the public. It’s also very clear in keeping phonetics out of the whole issue, which can be an easy target for any spelling reform argument.
A summary, adapted from the above, is shown below. Granted, it’s weird at first sight, but once you know the rules the system is clear like English currently is not. The advantages, theoretically, are persuasive: less brain power used overcoming English’s idiosyncrasies. Which means quicker learning for kids. Which means they can learn more important things at an earlier age, solidifying their education at an early age. Which increases the chance of mankind deflecting unexpected asteroids on a collision course with earth.
but, muther, flud
merjer, tern, (inkur)
replaced by k, kat, or s, faes
job, aej, brij
shiver, naeshun, preshus
wich or which
fiks, ekspekt, eksampl