English spelling reform

Despite always being the best at English spelling in class, even amongst true natives, its inconsistencies bug me. That’s why I’m fascinated with the idea of English spelling reform.

An English spelling reform must not be a mandate, and government’s role in it should be limited to simply recognising and universally adopting the new spellings in its facilities.

A universal spell-as-you-pronounce reform is not a good idea, as it would designate a certain accent as “the correct one”. It would also lead to words losing their roots: spelling friend as frend would kill its connection to fiend; spelling phlegm as flem or even just phlem would disassociate it from its adjective phlegmatic.

A good spelling reform sticks to rules that already exist, is easy on the eyes, and makes rules more consistent. I already spell the past verbal tense of focus as focussed and the plural of gas as gasses, to make it clear that these words do not rhyme with used and phases respectively. This idea can be expanded to other words: spelling intervocalic as intervocallic, since it does not rhyme with Gaelic.

The British -our spelling of words like colour and flavour has no reason to be, hence I will now be spelling these and similar words as color and flavor. This is retroäctive: I updated their spellings in my previous posts to make finding these words easier. I will also now spell the word mould as mold.

The perfect English spelling reform would be a grassroots initiative—our society agreeing that it is okay to “misspell” if doing so brings about orderly simplicity. I’m ready to be the first to begin.

I will now spell the word light, as in not heavy, as lite. Updated Nov 20, 2022

Though, although, through, and through-out will become tho, altho, thru, and thru-out.

Small will now be smol: it’s cuter, and, well, smoller. (Smoler rhymes with bowler.)