Spelling reform   Friday, November 14, 2003, 02:46 GMT
There was this one spelling reform that had this Idea

m -use unchanged.


a-pat, rat
aa-pot, ox
ae-day, say
air-care, where
au-pawn, gone
e-said, bed
ee-beat, eat
er-bird, heard
i-hit, silly
ie-fight, pie
oe-boat, note
oi-toy, coin
oo-wood, could
or-pour, four
ou-now, how
u-cup, tub
ue-moon, new

c-alone Not used
A.S.C.M.   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:30 GMT
(This is a test)
Советский Союз
A.S.C.M.   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:35 GMT
(Test 2)
Ñîâåòñêèé Ñîþç
A.S.C.M.   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:51 GMT
Test 1 unsuccessful. Test 2 successful.
Now for the real thing...

Note: To view the following text, please click on "View" in the Internet Explorer toolbar, then point to Encoding, point to More, and select Cyrillic (Windows).

Ïýðõàðñ âè êàï þñ äà Ðóø
A.S.C.M.   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:53 GMT
Ïýðõàðñ âè êàï þñ äà Ðóø
A.S.C.M.   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:56 GMT
Drat, it didn't work after all.

I was trying to propose using the Cyrillic alphabet to write English semi-phonetically.
Jim   Friday, November 14, 2003, 04:11 GMT
Is that you, Richard, calling yourself "Spelling Reform"?

Truespel shows us some of the dangers of the whole concept of spelling reform.

Truespel is based exclusively on the American accent with little regard to how the rest of us speak (perhaps I falsely accuse them but this is the case as far as I can make out). A spelling system based on someone else's
accent is completely unacceptable to most of us.

In British, Irish, Kiwi, Aussie and South African English (as far as I know) the vowels in "pot", "pawn" and "spa" are distinct and should be treated as such.

Truespel also ignors the "w" verses "wh" distinction.

Also, use we see in this example of a system of reform, there are arbitary choices one has to make when reforming spelling. How does one find the right balance between simplicity and consistency on one hand and sticking to tradition on the other?

Truespel tends to favour simplicity and consistency but does so somewhat conconsistenty. They distinguish /th/ and /TH/ by using "tth" and "th" (not "thh")* ... this is a little arbitary, why double the "t" on one and not the other, where's the logic behind it?

The difference between /th/ and /TH/ is only in voice, the first is unvoiced and the second is voiced. It's the same case with the difference between /S/ and /Z/ but they've used a different stratergy here. They represent /S/ and /Z/ as "sh" and "zh".

You can see the sense in this "s" represents /s/ and "sh" represents /S/, /s/ and /S/ are unvoiced, "z" represents /z/, /z/ and /s/ differer only in voice, /Z/ and /S/ are the same, so "zh" is a good choice of digraphs to represent /Z/.

Using the same logic "dh" would be a good way of representing /TH/ (this is what J.R.R. Tolkien used in his books). So why do they use "th" instead, relagating /th/ to the more lenghty and cumbersome "tth"? This is but a sacrifice to make their system more closely resemble traditional orthography but "zh", on the other hand doesn't exist in traditional orthography.

This is an arbitary choice that they make with /th/ and /TH/. When it comes to the vowels it's a different story. They stick to consistency over tradition but more on that later, I'm going for lunch.

However, before I go, one thing that the starter of this thread didn't mention is the way Truespel deals with stress. They indicate it by doubling the consonant letters. This is an interesting idea. It solves the problem of representing vowels like the "a" and "er" in "patroller". However, it makes the system a little complex.

Jim   Friday, November 14, 2003, 07:25 GMT
Actually, maybe they do use "thh". They respell the following in Truespel.

"That quick beige fox jumped in the air over each thin dog. Look out, I shout, for he's foiled you again."

This is what they come up with.

"That kwik baezh faaks jumpd in thee air oever eech thhin daug. Look out, ie shout, for heez foild yue uggen."

According to the site below.

This is how I'd respell it.

"Dhat quik baizh fox jumpd in dha air oaver eech thin dog. Look out, I shout, for he'z foild yu ygen."

Something my system has in common with Truespel is that it makes arbitary choices based on personal whim. The same is true for any reformed spelling system including Webster's.

They go for "th" and "thh" (or is it "tth"?) whereas I go for "dh" and "th". They double letters to show where unstressed vowels are (e.g. the one that the IPA uses schwa to represent), I use different letters.

One interesting choice that they've made is with the vowels in "bay", "me", "fly", "know" and "two". I guess (or is it that I read somewhere) that what they've done is to take the magic "e" rule and bend it to their will (so to speak). Here are some words and how they come out in Truespel.

made ==>> maed
eve ==>> eev
bike ==>> biek
poke ==>> poek
rule ==>> ruel

Here's one place where their choice is based on consistency rather than tradition. In the site given in the above link they claim that Truespel "Uses common English spelling patterns as a basis". However, I believe that there are better choices than the above which are more consistent with traditional orthoghraphy. Here's the way I'd choose to respell these words.

made ==>> maid
eve ==>> eev
bike ==>> biek
poke ==>> poak
rule ==>> ruul

I think that most of us would recognise my versions more readily than theirs this is because, in the case of these vowels, my versions really do use "common English spelling patterns as a basis" rather than some mangled magic "e" rule. Coincidently, however, these two approaches produce the same thing a couple of times.

Now, if you ask me, I'd say that "ai" is by far a better choice than "ae" to present the vowel in "train", "chain", "rain", "maid", "paid", etc. It should be obvious why: this is the most common way of representing this sound in traditional orthography (with the exception of the magic "e" way). Those five words, I'd keep the same whereas Truespel would respell them as "traen", "chaen", "raen", "maed" and "paed". Which is easier to read?

Similarly, "oa" suits the vowel in "boat", "known", "vote", etc. better than "oe" does. Sure, you have "toe" and "hoe" and these would look odd spelt as "toa" and "hoa" but these are not as much a problem. Besides at the end of a word I propose this sound be spelt with a simple "o" as in "so", "go" and "no". Here are some words as they are spelt in Truespel.

boat ==>> boet
known ==>> noen
vote ==>> voet
most ==>> moest
coast ==>> koest
soak ==>> soek
shoulder ==>> shoelder
go ==>> goe
slow ==>> sloe

Here's how I'd respell them.

boat ==>> boat
known ==>> noan
vote ==>> voat
most ==>> moast
coast ==>> coast
soak ==>> soak
shoulder ==>> shoalder
go ==>> go
slow ==>> slo

Which you you find easier to read? It just goes to show you that any reformed system of spelling has to be based on some arbitary choices. There is no perfect choice. My choice to use different spelling depending on what follows the letter (e.g. "oa" before a consonant and "o" at the end of a word) is arbitary I've got my reasons for it but the next person might not agree.

Here's an example of another system I invented. It's based on the principle of using letters efficiently and systematically. In this respect it beats even Truespel but it is illegible to any who doesn't know the super-simple rules of the system. This is the story about the beige fox.

"Ddqt kwik bqij foks jampd in ddx er xuvxr iitc ttin dog. Luk qot, Ae cqot, foor hii'z foild yuu xgen."

See if you can figure it out.
Richard   Friday, November 14, 2003, 20:23 GMT
Yeah, truespel spells the sound as ''thh'' while Fanetiks spells it ''tth'', while Neytoe Inglish spells it ''th'' but, to distinguish between the two, they spell the other sound as ''d'', what a really stupid idea, that doesn't distinguish the two sounds because, ''d'' is the same way they spell the ''d'' sound in ''dig''.
Richard   Saturday, November 15, 2003, 15:15 GMT
The reason why truespel spells ''th'' as ''thh'' instead of ''tth'' is because of the double-letter rule, again comes out as ''uggen'' although comes out as ''aultthoe''.
Richard   Saturday, November 15, 2003, 18:10 GMT
Yes, toe and hoe would look odd spelled as ''toa'' and ''hoa'' they would look like they should rhyme with ''boa''.
Jim   Monday, November 17, 2003, 03:12 GMT
In Welsh they spell the "th" sound in "thing" as "th" and they spell the "th" sound in "this" as "dd". They still use "d" for the "d" in "dig" but this causes no problem because they have no rule doubling letters like we have in traditional English orthography and in Truespel.

I'd never heard of Neytoe Inglish before and I don't know their system but perhaps if they used "th", "dd" and "d" as they do in Welsh it could work ... e.g. "That dog is thin." ==>> "Ddat dog iz thin."

This is along the lines of what I was doing with my rather odd-looking system I mentioned above, only I took it a step further. In that system you'd have the following respellings.

tin ==>> tin
thing ==>> ttinn
thigh ==>> ttae
thy ==>> ddae
die ==>> dae
witch ==>> witc
which ==>> wwitc
lock ==>> lok
loch ==>> lokk

Different consonants are represented by single verses double letters. Still, this system, though actually quite simple, is not really much of a candidate for spelling reform: it's too far removed from what we're used to.

By the way there's a typo in the example above. It should be "Ddqt kwik bqij foks djampd in ddx er xuvxr iitc ttin dog. Luk qot, Ae cqot, foor hii'z foild yuu xgen." ... not that it matters much.
Richard   Monday, November 17, 2003, 23:23 GMT
the address to ''Neytoe Inglish'' is
hmm   Wednesday, November 19, 2003, 11:33 GMT
Truespel looks messy and quite simply just doesn't look elegant.
When reforming languages I don't see why the English language can't just admit that using the alphabet of a foreign language alone doesn't quite fit and instead just add a few letters or even just accents to differentiate all the sounds!
Jim   Thursday, November 27, 2003, 02:50 GMT
Yes, Truespel does look messy. Let's see what a mess it makes of the sentence I posted on the "Fanetiks" thread. Here's the sentence.

"The furry flowery fairy full of firy fury and earie glory would often carry curry very buttery in his starry lorry."

Okay, it already is a bit of a funny-looking sentence even in normal orthography but here's how it looks in Truespel (this is my transliteration which might not be correct).

"Thu feree floueree fairee fool uv fieree fyueree and eeree gloree wood aafun karee kuree veree buteree in hiz staaree laaree."

Now I could have made a mistake or two here or there but there are some obvious problems with this system. First of all there is no letter for the /o/ sound of "lorry", "of" and "often". Okay, the creators of Truespel are Americans so perhaps they don't need this sound but I do. For me "uv", "aafun" and "laaree" just don't work. The words "lorry" and "starry" don't rhyme for me, they're not even close.

Also, if I'm right with my "Truespelling" of "furry", "flowery", "very" and "buttery" there is another problem. The "-ery" in "flowery" and "buttery" are the same but the "-urry" in "furry" is different. I think that Truespel might actually have a way of dealing with this that I haven't quite mastered yet but if not then there is a problem.

Still, whatever they might do to distinguish these I wonder about the "-ery" in "very". Suppose I was wrong an the "-ery" in "flowery" and "buttery" becomes "-erree" whereas the "-urry" in "furry" becomes "-eree", then they are distinguished and all's well here (I'd have to check but I think this might be the case). However what then would become of the "-ery" in "very"? This is different to both of them so neither "-eree" nor "-erree" will do.