As I have said before, in my view the only credible spelling reform for
English would be that devised by Axel Wijk. This would not radically
transform English spelling, but would simply clean up some of the worst
irregularities. For instance, "night" need not be respelled because "ight"
is regularly [ait] (night, flight, sight) so it is not particularly
troublesome. The use of the "silent -e" to make "long vowels" is
regularized to prevent ambiguity for some sequences: cf. mat/mate,
sit/site, met/mete, cook/kooke (< kook).
This rather interesting read was published in 1959 in the series Acta
Universitatis Stockhomiensis, Stockholm Studies in English VII.
Regularized English: an investigation into the English spelling reform
problem with a new, detailed plan for a possible solution. Stockholm:
Almqvist & Wiskell.
As I say it's a very pleasant, sober, sensible book. It offers a real
solution which could make life easier for native-speaking schoolchildren
(allowing them to use their brains and analogy to spell) and learners; and
it's easy to read.
Of course, I'm a standardizer so I like this kind of thing. Doubtless the
only way such a spelling reform were to be implemented, however, would be
if the non-native speakers of the world were to get together and decide
that they were going to do it. The natives don't seem to have the will for
-- Michael Everson * Everson Gunn Teoranta * http://www.indigo.ie/egt 15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland Guthán: +353 1 478 2597 ** Facsa: +353 1 478 2597 (by arrangement) 27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire
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