Richard   Sunday, November 16, 2003, 04:36 GMT
There was this one spelling reform on the internet that had this idea.


m Use unchanged


th-then, breathe
tth-three, breath
zh-television, garage


a-ago, about, soda,
aa-can, fat
ae-day, plate
au-auto, taught, law,
aur-or, four, pour
e-said, fed, bed
ee-tea, wheat
er-burn, butter
i-it, bit, hid, guy
ie-tie, bite
o-not, bother, father
oe-oh, okay, poet
oi-boil, boy, toy
oo-wood, should
or-arm, start
ou-now, pout
ue-moon, new, poor, moot
Richard   Sunday, November 16, 2003, 04:37 GMT
It is a spelling reform called ''fanetiks'' by L. Craig Shoonmaker
Clark   Sunday, November 16, 2003, 04:55 GMT
This is not phonetic for me as I pronounce the "o" in phonetic as the "o" in soda.
Clark   Sunday, November 16, 2003, 07:38 GMT
I just thought of someting, and I will post it in all of these forums about spelling reform too.

What if one English-speaking country decided to have an English-language spelling reform, and the reform was based mainly on that country's accent(s). Let's say that the country that does this spelling reform is Canada; would anyone personally feel like adopting the system simply because the country has reformed and in theory improved the English spelling system?
Richard   Sunday, November 16, 2003, 20:10 GMT
The address for the Fanetiks spelling reform site is ''''
Jim   Monday, November 17, 2003, 03:55 GMT
Well, ignoring the "er", the words "not", "bother" and "father" contain three distinct vowels in my accent.

"not" = /not/
"brother" = /br^TH../
"father" = /fa:TH../

The "ur" in "burn" and the "er" in "butter" as distinct: one long the other short.

Fanetiks makes no distinction between "w" and "wh".

So L. Craig Shoonmaker's Fanetiks gets the thumbs down from me.
Jim   Monday, November 17, 2003, 07:34 GMT
How does it handle this sentence?

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

Let's see.

"Tha feree floueree fairee fool ov fieree fueree aand eeree glauree wood ofan kaaree koree veree boteree in hiz storee loree."

I think that's right but "starry", "curry" & "lorry" don't rhyme nor do "very", "buttery" & "furry".

Here's what I'd make of it.

"Dha fury floury fairy fool ov fiery feurry and eery glory wood ofyn carry curry verry butery in hiz stary lorry."
Simon   Monday, November 17, 2003, 07:43 GMT
In fact this is the real problem of reforming spelling. If we were to make English totally phonetic we would see just how different our versions are.
Richard   Monday, November 17, 2003, 18:06 GMT
Fanetiks spells go, no, and so as ''go'' ''no'' and ''so''. It had the idea of using a silent ''Q'' at the end of words which end in a short vowel ''e'' ''i'' ''o'' or ''u''. ''pa'' becomes ''poq'' ''ma'' becomes ''moq'' uh becomes ''uq''.
Richard   Monday, November 17, 2003, 18:07 GMT
for more information about there silent-Q idea visit their website at ''''.
Clark   Monday, November 17, 2003, 18:09 GMT
Yeah, I thought of trying something to see about seeing what all of us could come up with if we were to transliterate a standard English-spelling sentence into how each of us perceive the sentence to our ears. However, none of this fabricated spelling reform stuff. Just write the sentence as phonetic as possbile using English-type letters.

For example, "house" would turn into "hows." And if you were German, "house" would be "haus."

So, how would anyone write this sentence:

The black cow jumped over the high fence after I had told it to go see you.

I would spell this as:

Thu blak kow jump'd ovir thu hI fens aftir I'd (I had) told it too go see yoo.
Jim   Tuesday, November 18, 2003, 00:20 GMT
I guess this is what I would come up with if I were to transliterate that sentence according to how I perceive the sentence to my ears using the spelling patters I've become familiar with through reading and writing English.

"Tha blak cow jumpd oava tha hi fense aafta I had toald it tu go se yu."

This, however, makes no distinction between the "a" in "sofa" and the "er" in "loafer". To me "sofa" and "loafer" rhyme. Nor does this make any distinction between the "th"s in "this" & "thing".

Also I was tossing up between a few different things. Here's sentence with how some of the words almost came out:

"Tha blak kow jumpd oava tha hie fens aafta ie had toald it too goe see yoo."

Here's how it would come out in the most recent contrived spelling of my own fabrication.

"Dha blak cow jumpd oaver dha hi fens aafter I had toald it tu go se yu."

And this is how it would look in my crazy pretty-well-illegible system that I fabricated quite some time ago (though I've tinkered with it a little since).

"Ddx blqk kqo djampd xuvxr ddx hai fens aaftxr Ae hqd txuld it tuu gxu sii yuu."
Clark   Tuesday, November 18, 2003, 08:25 GMT
I think that we English-speakers develop patterns in our perception of writing. I am glad you said this Jim, as I was thinking this, but could not find the exact words.

I think that for me at least, the "a" can serve as an "a" in cat or as in father. To native English-speakers, we could probably firgure out which to use, but English-learners might have a bit of trouble. For example, "wat did yor fathir doo last nIt?" The "a" in both "fathir" and "wat" are not the same, but this could throw someone not familiar with English. And then I just noticed something; the "t" in "last" is not really pronounced when used in a sentence. But this brings me to an interesting point; how phonetic can one really get without going too far?

I guess my solution to this is to take each word individually/out-of-context, and to describe it like that. So, "them" in theory could just be exactly how it is, and then people not familiar with English would be taken aback with " 'em" or be a bit surprised that "Bring them too mee" is really pronounced "breeng 'em too mee."
Simon   Tuesday, November 18, 2003, 10:09 GMT
Phonetic languages are boring. I like English with all its flaws. It is a living history of its development.
Juan   Tuesday, November 18, 2003, 12:35 GMT
Reality check.

Children 'slow' at learning English
Children learning to read and write in English are slower to master it than other European youngsters learning their own language, new research suggests.
Scientists at Dundee University compared literacy skills of primary school children in Scotland with 14 other countries.

They found that the Scottish children took two to three years to reach the same literacy levels as their foreign counterparts

"Project leader Professor Philip Seymour told the British Association Festival of Science that factors like complex spelling and syllable structure could be responsible."

""Mastery of basic foundation elements of literacy clearly occurs much more slowly in English than in many other European languages.

"However, it seems likely that the main cause is linguistic and derives from difficulties created by the complex syllable structure and inconsistent spelling system of English."

Amen to that.

Simon, to which phonetic languages are you exactly referring to? There are not many I suppose so I'm just curious.

From my personal experience, I started reading when I was 5 years old. I began to fully read and comprehend the Bible (in Spanish) about the age of 7.