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Lv 5

What If? from the start, every word in English was spelled as it sounds?

Here’s what I’ve thought up so far:

In the alphabet, I believe that there would be 23 letters, since I am pretty sure that C, Q and X would have never made it since there seems to be no new sounds at all created by those letters that are not found in others.

Words like Two, To, Too, Know, No (And others) would each sound at least a bit different from each other (No two words sounding the same) so that their spellings could be different.

Words from other languages like Fajita, spelling wise would conform to English rules when being used in English and no exceptions to the rules.

That stuff like grammar, punctuations, sentence structures and other lessons/teachings would be focused on more. That due to the far easier spelling, that we would know more stuff that would make life better, easier and richer.


Oh yeah, and Y never being a vowel (Never sounding like your saying the letters E or I when singing the alphabet).

And who knows what else...

I really do think that this could have worked (It may still, but boy oh boy would those changes cause major disruptions for quite some time... lolz).

My knowledge is obviously limited with this stuff, but still, it is a very entertaining thing to think about:

Update 2:

And if there are any letters that have a sound or spelling that can’t be accomplished with these changes, maybe you can have something like a ~ symbol above it if you want it to sound like your saying a letter straight out of the alphabet, so if you are saying dry, the y can be replaced with an i that has the ~ symbol above it (I can’t think of any ways to spell it for a word like that without the y being used as a vowel, so I think a symbol system would be very useful for this).

Update 3:

Different symbols can be used for different sounds as well. Like how when Scottish people say ach, you can have a symbol to indicate that sound. Same for an others that we might not be able to spell (This would also be extremely useful when making up slang words, new words or incorporating words/phrases/slang/etc from other languages so that people know exactly what they sound like just by reading them).

Update 4:

Thanks for the pointer Tommymc (And everyone else), I think that accent wise, it would still be the same, like with your examples of creek or crik, roof or ruf, and so on. Even though you can hear someone say ruf you know they mean roof, and like wise they know what we mean. You can also have words/etc added to slang.

Update 5:

And adding to that, true enough, you can have Canadian english, US english, British english, and so on (Spelled the way most speak it), so yeah, even with the same language, depending on your country of origin, the spellings can vary from country to country, which would be great too, since you will know how they sound before you even actually hear them speak, which in turn would even further help with language barriers and the wonders of diversity with keeping their own rules/languages intact :)

Update 6:

If you have the variations like say NewFoundLand compared to Ontario, it can be like Newfy slang, PEI slang/etc (Slang can also follow under the spell it how it sounds law). The use of slang can of course be optional since everyone in Canada will understand Canadian english regardless of the spelling/rules that most of us use. If you have the addition of symbols being taught, that would be huge in regards to language barriers and making things easier all around, at least I think so nayways :)

Update 7:

As for differences, I am pretty sure would still be/sound close enough to be understood, like if you just say ruf, then you could think of a dog barking, but if you say look at my ruf (Mmm, er, I guess that could be seen as something else, lolz) then you can pretty much tell it's roof :) Also, I am sure there can be programs to translate say Australian english into Canadian or whatevz, especially as there are apps that translate different languages. This is such a fun topic, I lovez it I do :)

Update 8:

Now if someone from India or where ever came here, then just as it is now with our current rules, it’s not like the spelling will change for them, it will still be Canadian english (Spelt the way that most in the country would say/spell it). We still know what they are saying anyways, so it should still work :)

Update 9:

Oh wow, hay, now wouldn't it be cool to have symbols, not just for different sounds (Like the sound your making if your about to spit, you know, the ach, along with lots of other cool sounds) but even musical ones above letters and words for those who would love to speak as if they were living in a musical, or getting a much better feel of a book/characters/etc, different pitches/tones/etc/etc/etc now that would be freakin SWEEEEET :D

Update 10:

And ya know, spelling Bs can be replaced with creativity in the usage of the symbols, of sentence structures, grammar/etc/etc/etc, go for the emotions, go for the symbols, go for being...ALIVE :D

Update 11:

No longer having to guess a characters state of mind, emotions, adding so much richness to the environments, the senses… Words can truly become the ART that they are meant to be, and on top of it all, this would automatically enrich the mind/awareness so as to become better with words/expressions/grammar/etc, even words/etc without the use of symbols, we would become more poetic/etc, and, want, to…LEARN & TEACH :)

Update 12:

Certain symbols don’t necessarily have to be placed above by/etc a latter letters but can be on their own too in certain cases too, now you want to talk about making learning fun for virtually everyone, well, here, ya, go. Also, another fringe benefit of being more alive, well, being more in tuned, so it will be easier to help others (As well as those who can’t help themselves) and for most of us, ourselves, mysterious/mystical/positive/etc moods are contagious, come on now, ya know it’s true :)

Update 13:

Oh and why with printing style in computers does the capital I (Ninth letter) look like a lower case l (Twelth letter), I mean shouldn’t the ninth letter have the I beam look to it? :)

Update 14:

Now, I just realized that, maybe we actually should still have the letter C, but, only use it for any words that have the “CH” sound, like “Chee, Cheese, Choose, Chocolate/etc/etc/etc”, but, this time when saying the letters of the alphabet, make the third letter sound like “Chawz”, so…A, B, C (Chawz), D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z :)

Update 15:

Oops... my bad... I didn't know that the word Chee had more then one definition (One of those being the B word)... I though it was #5 :)

1)Chee: B

2)Chee: A word used for emphasis when talking about something good.

3)Chee: Drugs (Another word for Marijuana)

4)Chee: Something that fanfiction writers think is a cute petname

5)Chee: Used to describe a person who is popping, fresh, beautiful, the whole package.

-Chee: The noise made when holding back laughter to the point where some noise slips out.

Update 16:

Anyways, I also feel that the h should be removed from the whole "Ch" thing :)

Maybe instead of saying something like Chawz, have it flow better, like maybe, well, Chae (The A & E "Not the channel, lolz" sounding like your saying those 2 letter of the alphabet) :)

Update 17:

When people learn their ABCs, it is a lot of fun, and also learning how to use said symbols and emphasizing the emotions/etc being learned during that phase, wow, I mean, you can have more singalongs with it and all kinds of stuff in the learning process. This would all be a massive boost to society, creativity and the works, it would truly transform so much for the better for virtually everyone, and those that still have trouble with language, it would still be easier then our current system...

6 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    Many people over the centuries have proposed reforming English spelling. But it's never taken hold. For one thing, new words are being adopted into the language all the time. If you read up a little on the history of English, you'll find that spelling was quite different in Old English and Middle English. Spelling wasn't at all standardized until the production of the first dictionaries. In the US, that was the Webster dictionary, and it's Webster who decided to eliminate the "u" in words like "honor" and "favor", specifically to make American English different from British English.

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  • 8 months ago

    English has no start.

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  • 8 months ago

    The first problem that comes to mind is that people pronounce words differently. Before moving to phonetic spelling (which we already have to some extent) we would have to standardize pronunciation.

    Depending on where you're from,

    The stream may be called a creek or a crik.

    The top part of your house is a roof or ruf.

    Do you put a tomayto or a tomahto on your BLT?

    In Boston, they pahk their cah's in the driveway.

    As an interesting aside, I've been reading on the early history of my hometown. It was one of the first settlements in Massachussetts, circa 1639. There are many documents from this time period, and the thing that struck me is the variation in spelling. Remember, back then, only educated people could write. I've seen documents written by clergy and lawyers, all with unusual spelling of common words. Sometimes, the same word will be spelled differently within the same document. My suspicion is that they were spelling phonetically. While this gives us clues as to how they spoke, it makes for hard reading.

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Well, a lot of homophones would have been replaced with other words to avoid written text from being utterly unintelligible

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Yeah that would be too French

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Not actually feasible in the way that a mongrel language like English developed. If you look at a created langauge like Esperanto was devised I think you will see the problems that encountered.

    Some attempts were made to rationalize the English language when it was exported to the New World, to imptrove the logic, but you still end up with Greyhound buses being gray.

    • Zirp
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      As someone who uses Esperanto, I have no idea what problems you are referring to

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