When will the English language be reformed?

felix   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 00:22 GMT
When do you think the Engish language be reformed?

It's been suggested that the spellings should be more phonetic.

change of -ight to -ite
lite (light)
flite (flight)
fite (fight)
site (sight)
nite (night)
hite (hight)

improve the British English spellings
color (colour)
humor (humour)
flavor (flavour)
favor (favour)

change -ise to -ize (instead of having a choice)

improve other words
becoz (because)
woz (was)
exersize (excercise)
shud (should)
wud (would)
cud (could)
tho (though)
thru (through)
lern (learn)
tern (turn)

It will make children more literate, and make the English language easier for foreign speakers to learn. It makes sense.....

Do you agree?
Have you got any suggestions?
Do you think Australia, Canada, America, and Britain get together and reform the language, to make a true English language.?
gavin   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 00:38 GMT
I'm all for making the language more phonetic

nabor (neighbour)

apal (apple)
lital (little)
setal (settle)
ketal (kettle)
feebal (feeble)
peepal (people)

fatel (fatal)

bate (bait)
wate (wait)
felix   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 00:45 GMT
If your going to simplify the word "neighbo(u)r" then "naber" should replace it.

hume - humer
name - namer
game - gamer
nabe - naber
flave - flaver
fave - faver

That's phonetic spelling, the American English spelling for
humor, flavor, favor is not correct (niether is BE, obviously)
humer, flaver, faver are the "real" correct spellings.

Same with the following
meter is correct
leter (niether litre or liter are "real" correct spellings)
Jim   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 01:34 GMT
That's right, Felix, neither "color" nor "color" are phonetic, "culler" is better. If a word ends in "-or" it should rhyme with "lore", "before", "shore", "or", etc.

colour ==>> culler
humour ==>> humer
flavour ==>>> flaver
neighbour ==>> naber

I agree about the "z" verses "s". To me the rest of us are wrong using "-ise" but the Americans are worse using "-ise" sometimes and "-ize" other times. If it's voiced it should be a zed, maybe with the exception of pluralisation.

is ==>> iz
was ==>> woz
has ==>> haz
advise ==>> advize
clockwise ==>> clocwize
division ==>> divizion
exclusion ==>> excluzion
treasure ==>> trezure
pleasure ==>> plezure

I don't agree with some of your suggestions though. Changing the "au" in "because" to an "o" would be a bad move in my books. The letter "o" represents a different vowel in many dialects. I pronounce "caught" and "court" the same way but pronounce "cot" differently. Americans pronounce "caught" and "cot" the same way but pronounce "court" differently. I'm in favour of preserving all the distinctions made by speakers of the major dialects of the language so these three words should be spelt differently.

cot ==>> cot
court ==>> cort
caught ==>> caut
daughter ==>> dauter
author ==>> auther
because ==>> becauz

You're using "u" for the "u" in "put" but what about the "u" in "putt"? This letter is a good one the "u" in "put" if we can find another letter for the "u" in "putt". Kids would have a ball singing "Poof the Magic Dragon". How about this?

would ==>> wood
should ==>> shood
could ==>> cood

I like the idea

night ==>> nite
bait ==>> bate

but we could get rid of the "magic e" rule all together and use digraphs for these vowels. For example:

gate ==>> gait
eve ==>> eev
write ==>> riit
bone ==>> boan
cute ==>> cyuut (or even ceut)

Anther thing that I'm not keen on is Gavin's words ending in "-al". I think that the following would be better.

metal ==>> mettel
kettle ==>> kettel
foetal ==>> fetel
people ==>> pepel

I'd also add "dh" to replace the voiced "th"

thigh ==>> thy
thy ==>> dhy
that ==>> dhat

To answer the question. I think that the language is always being reformed but this is a very slow process which I can't see speeding up soon.
Mark   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 02:58 GMT
I agree with some of the above, my thoughts..............

riite --- (direction)
rite --- (to write a letter)
wood --- would
wud --- wood
cood --- could
shood --- should
ruem --- room
bluem --- bloom
becoz --- because (the word "coz" is a recognised spelling, it is short for because)
woz --- was
iz --- is
pepel --- people
leter --- litre/liter
culler --- colour
sivil --- civil
sivilize --- civilise/civilize
paradice --- paradise
tue --- two
que --- cue
tu --- to
chek --- check
cheq --- cheque
cheqbuk - chequebook
rime -- rhyme
sistem - system
himm --- hymn

Change all words ending with -ise to -ize
Change words ending with -isation to -ization
Change words ending with -ism to -izm
But keep the "s"

The above improvements can be done, without harming the language or confusing people. It will improve it, along with the improvement humer, flaver, faver etc


If I was going to totally reform the language I would
Change words ending with "s" to "z", i.e apples = appelz
Change words ending with "ce" to just "s"
Change -"tion" to "sion" (where pronunciation differs)

commers, comersialize,
commersializasion and detention
observasion and mention
fens, defens, defensive, offens, offensive, tens, sens, sensorship, immens,

servis --- survice

(The problem with language is that many people are narrow-minded and do not want any change, even the public, not just that, many people won't agree on the changes that will be made. That's why not many changes are made)
Jim   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 04:04 GMT

You're right about people's not agreeing on the changes that will be made.

The spelling "coz" is very informal. I couldn't even find it at http://www.dictionary.cambridge.org not that the Cambridge Dictionary is the last word on language. I think that "becoz" and doesn't really fit the pronunciation of the word. This spelling might be fine for American pronunciation but reform should be inclusive of all dialects.

You're suggesting different spellings for different words that sound the same. There are arguements for and against that. I'd go for one spelling per sound if it were up to me.

right (opposite of left) ==>> riite
write ==>> rite

But what about "right" the opposite of "wrong" and "rite"?

Why keep the "e" at the end of words which don't need it? Wouldn't it be better to drop it?

give ==>> giv
have ==>> hav
love ==>> luv
come ==>> cum
defensive ==>> defensiv
offensive ==>> offensiv

I don't like using "u" for both short vowel in "put" and "putt".

"could" vs "cud"
"poof" vs "puff"
"room" vs "rum"
"look" vs "luck"
Jim   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 05:49 GMT
Typo: The sentence "I think that "becoz" and doesn't really fit the pronunciation of the word." doesn't need the "and", I forgot to delete it.

I like the idea of changing "-tion" to "-sion" where pronunciation differs. I'd also add "-zion".

mention ==>> mention
question ==>> question
motion ==>> mosion
notion ==>> nosion
nation ==>> nasion
invasion ==>> invazion
derision ==>> derizion

But what about "-ction", shall it become "-csion"?

fiction ==>> ficsion
fraction ==>> fracsion

I'd rather make more use of "-xion" as in "crucifixion".

fiction ==>> fixion
fraction ==>> fraxion
Stan   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 06:15 GMT
I disagree with this entirely. I also think that if this would be the case maybe we should change all other languages so they are easier for me to learn. So there

Kind Regards
Jim   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 06:54 GMT
Spelling reform is not for the benifit of foreigners alone.
cmhiv   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 07:39 GMT
"...but the Americans are worse using "-ise" sometimes and "-ize" other times."

Excuse me, but Americans have a STANDARD system! The British are the ones who have the "-ise" v. "-ize" choice!

In the American system, one ALWAYS spells "organise" as "organize" and "personalise" as "personalize;" never changes.

The Americans are not my favourite people, but they are part of my history and ancestors, so I do not mind defending them on a situation like this.
Jim   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 08:01 GMT

I think what was being referred to here is words like "wise", "advise", "rise", etc. Americans don't always use "-ize". It's true that in British English both "-ise" and "-ize" are acceptable for certain words but most people outside North American use "-ise" for everything.
J   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 21:16 GMT
Reeform dha Inglish speling and puut uz bac intu dha drieving seet wen it cumz rieting!

Ie want ai wurld in wich noa won iz considerd iliterat just beecoz dhai doant riet liec Shaicspear or Chorser. Tradishunl speling iz nuthing but snoberi wair it iz dha snobz hoo canot spel properli!

Ie doant cair if mie abuv reiting iz consistant or not, if yoo can reed it, it iz enuf. And wot iz mor, duz it mater hou wee riet at orl? Let mee riet hou ie pleez (shorli mie riet?) and yoo riet hou yoo pleez, it duznt maic ai diferens for mee. Everithing ie hav ever red dhat waz in ai (moderatli) reeformd script waz orlmost instantli reedabl, and most natyurl wons ie had ajustid too it.
Mark   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 21:41 GMT
Americans AND British pronounce "because" like "becoz", what accent in Britain doesn't?

I definetely don't agree with making th as a dh. That stupid in my opinion.
Mark   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 21:45 GMT
I definetely don't agree with the spellings of what "J" wrote.
Mark   Wednesday, February 26, 2003, 21:50 GMT
J, I coudn't understand the way you rote sertan wurds. Som wurds that pepel argue about shud stay the same, or be slitely impruved. I coud reed wot you rote, but very slowely.