most english spelling reforms are bad


if you’ve ever been taught how English orthography
works, then you’re fully aware that it isn’t a very well designed system. colonel. ginkgo. one. you know all the common examples. it’s pretty much mandatory for me to bring
this one up: did you know you can spell “fish”and it would be consistent with English
spelling? I mean, you can’t. that’s definitely not how English spelling
works.andare only /f/ and /ʃ/ in specific
contexts. you could however spell “fish” and that would be consistent with English spelling. oh, and if you’re okay with ignoring context,
we can all agree that “thein nation” is absolutely too tame, right? might I suggest
“thein fuchsia” instead? despite everything, I don’t think it’s
fair to claim that English spelling is “broken”, or even that it’s unusually irregular. could it be better? yes, absolutely, but for
the most part you can pretty easily derive pronunciation from spelling. and sure, you absolutely would not be able
to guess from pronunciation alone that, say, /flɛm/ is spelled, but that doesn’t
mean it’s a bad spelling. you could probably guess that theis silent,
because in English whenever the spelling implies a consonant cluster that isn’t allowed phonotactically,
normally the first consonant is dropped. and keeping the silentin the word helps
show the connection to phlegmatic. so English orthography isn’t perfect, but
it’s definitely good enough. that hasn’t stopped a whole lot of people
from trying to fix it anyway. I’m jan Misali, and most English spelling
reforms are bad. most english spelling reforms are bad part wun: wut a speling riform is let’s make sure we’re all on the same
page. what exactly do I mean by “spelling reform”? a spelling reform is a proposed change to
or complete replacement for the spelling rules of a language’s orthography; in this case,
English. due to the perceived problems with English
spelling as it currently exists, there have been a lot of ideas for how to fix it. I classify English spelling reforms into three
main groups. the first group consists of complete aesthetic
overhauls to English spelling. this includes fully new alphabets made for
English, or any system for writing English with the Latin alphabet that doesn’t take
how the Latin alphabet is normally used, in English or otherwise, into consideration. these reforms don’t burden themselves with
needing to consider people’s expectations of what written English “should” look
like. and as a result, they tend to be very functional, making it very easy to derive
spelling from pronunciation and vice versa. these would also be the most difficult to
actually implement as a theoretical replacement for English spelling. nobody wants to learn a new alphabet, or unlearn
everything they know about the alphabet they’re already using. the second type of English spelling reform
is the dual of the first, preserving most of the current English orthography, only respelling
individual words that are deemed too irregular, or groups of words that are all irregular
in the same way. these are the least effective type of spelling
reform in terms of practicality, putting a bandaid on the problems with English orthography
without really changing how it works underlyingly, and inversely are the most effective in terms
of actually being implemented. every English spelling reform that has had
any amount of success in the history of Modern English has been in this category, most notably
the one made by Noah Webster. while not all of Webster’s ideas caught
on, the ones that did became the distinct features of American English spelling we know
today. the third type of spelling reform is those
that are somewhere between the first two. these are spelling reforms that rebuild English
orthography from the ground up, but in a way that’s meant to be intuitive to those who
are familiar with the current system. if done well, one of these reforms could have
the best properties of both of the first two types, being fully regular without requiring
English speakers to relearn everything. if done poorly, one of these reforms could
have the worst properties of the first two types, being completely incomprehensible to
anyone unfamiliar with its rules while inheriting many of the inconsistencies from the current
orthography. these spelling reforms are the most interesting
type, and the most fun to make. as a result, there are a lot of them. English speaking conlangers especially tend
to enjoy making them, often with secondary goals like ASCII compatibility or maximizing
how many words are spelled the same in the new system. part tu: wêr môst speling riforms go rong there are a few specific common mistakes that
I see a lot looking at different spelling reforms. one that’s embarrassingly common is where
a spelling reform is presented as though it actually has a chance of becoming the new
default way of writing English. maybe this was possible to achieve a few centuries
ago, but it’s definitely impossible now. even the reforms that acknowledge that fully
replacing English spelling with a new system made by someone on the internet would be completely
impossible almost always have some portion of their description spent going over the
potential benefits of making the switch, as though people are actually going to do that. and like, I get why they all do this. it’s so they can justify having made their
spelling reform. even though the actual reason is usually because
making an English spelling reform is just a fun design challenge. it’s really fun to look at English spelling
and say to yourself, “yeah, I could do better”, and then have a go at actually trying to do
better. this usually is entirely a problem with presentation,
but there are some reforms that genuinely were created with the intention of replacing
English spelling, and if that’s not what you actually want, then you should be completely
clear about that. and of course if that is what you actually
want, then you’re setting yourself up for failure because again it’s an impossible
goal. another issue concerns how the multitude of
English dialects are handled. English is spoken by a lot of people in a
lot of different ways, and a truly phonetic writing system for English would have to take
all of those different ways into account. this leads to one of two situations, neither
of which is ideal. option one is having the new standard spellings
of words take into account the different ways those words can be pronounced. this effectively leads to requiring everyone
to memorize how every word is spelled individually, which is exactly how English spelling already
works. so this option isn’t very helpful. option two is allowing words to be spelled
in multiple ways, reflecting their multiple pronunciations. this is better, but it means
that every dialect of English has its own separate written form, fragmenting the written
language. you could also just not bother, and enforce
one specific dialect of English as the standard, which is unambiguously worse than either option. so no matter what you do this is going to
cause some problems. outside of these nearly universal fundamental
structural problems, there’s a few specific design choices I see a lot that I just don’t
like personally. a lot of spelling reforms try to be compatible
with the ASCII character set. this is a reasonable thing to want, but it’s
completely impossible for an English spelling reform to be fully phonetic in a way that
looks good while also being ASCII compatible. you can make an ASCII compatible system that
looks good, and you can make an ASCII compatible system that’s fully phonetic, but you can’t
have all three. now, what I actually mean by a spelling reform
“looking good” is obviously going to be different from what other people think looks
good. so like, this looks better to me than this,
which looks better to me than this. each of these ways of spelling the same word
has its own unique aesthetic. none of them look very much like English,
but my preference is definitely towards the ones that look more “languagey” in general. one little thing that definitely ends up being
super important is the way the schwa vowel is written. the reduced /ə/ is the most common vowel
in English, so it’s important to get it right, and most reforms that use the Latin
alphabet do not get it right. a large number of English speakers merge schwa
with the STRUT lexical set, myself included. now, the STRUT lexical set is usually written
in English with the letter, so it makes sense to write it that way in a spelling reform. however, if you useto write schwa, the
results look absolutely terrible. the dilemma is that things that work for STRUT
don’t work for schwa, and vice versa, so if you’re set on writing them the same way,
one of them has to be written unintuitively. the solution, of course, is to not write them
the same way. schwa only appears in unstressed syllables,
and the STRUT vowel only appears in stressed syllables, so it’s not that difficult to
tell them apart, even if you pronounce them the same way. on the topic of vowels, English’s long vowels
tend to be handled pretty inelegantly in spelling reforms. there’s this temptation to try to preserve
the relationships between the vowels that were long/short pairs in Middle English, like
the FLEECE vowel being the “long” version of the DRESS vowel. as we all know, the Great Vowel Shift made
it so that these historic pairs no longer sound very much like each other. it makes more sense in Modern English to consider
the FLEECE vowel to be the long version of the KIT vowel instead, for example. preserving these archaic pairs does have its
advantages, namely that it allows some words to be spelled more closely to their current
standard spelling. the problem comes when someone decides that
a Middle-Englishy way of spelling a vowel should be the only way to spell it. invariably, words that are currently spelled
in ways that make sense with Modern English vowels always look worse when respelled according
to imaginary Middle English pronunciation than words spelled in ways that make sense
with Middle English vowels do when respelled according to Modern English pronunciation. “tofu” with doublelooks worse than
“soon” with double. “kiwi” with doublelooks worse than
“green” with double. “café” withlooks worse than “pay”
with. any of the myriad of potential issues that
come from using the Latin alphabet in a spelling reform can be completely sidestepped by creating
a fully new writing system instead, a solution that works so well that it’s basically cheating. a spelling system can’t be unintuitive if
nobody learning it has any intuitions for it. now the question is, what would I do? part thri: the Fun Riform I have made a lot of spelling reforms. or at least, I’ve started and abandoned
a lot of spelling reforms. the ones I’ve actually published I largely
created as jokes, like the etymological spelling reform I made that was briefly mentioned on
the Lingthusiasm podcast that one time. the other spelling reforms I’ve worked on
I either decided partway through designing them that I didn’t like them, or decided
shortly after completing them that I didn’t like them. in fact, it’s my own experience with creating
so many spelling reforms that allowed me to better understand how I feel about what works
and does not work. earlier this year, I created my first spelling
reform that I am actually satisfied with. it’s called the Fun Riform. my goals are for it to be a fully defined
Latin script orthography for English that’s possible to comprehensively describe on one
screen of plain text, to be intuitive enough that an English speaker who doesn’t already
know how it works can still read text written in it, versatile enough to be able to handle
any dialect of English, aesthetically pleasing to me personally, and fun to use. so, how did I do? well, what you’re looking at now is a full
description of the Fun Riform and how it works. I won’t go over everything here, but there’s
a link in the description to my full definition of the reform on seximal.net. so that’s the first two goals achieved. as for how intuitive it is, here’s The North
Wind and the Sun. I’ll let you be the judge for how easy this
is to read. it’s worth noting that since one of the
goals is versatility, there’s a practically unlimited number of ways that this text could
have been transcribed into the Fun Riform. and, yes, I do think that this looks pretty
good, and that I have fun using it. so the Fun Riform achieves everything it set
out to achieve. great! but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, just
that it does what I wanted it to do. and there’s some things that the Fun Riform does that
I know other people wouldn’t like. some parts of it are intentionally ambiguous,
like how

is used for both dental fricatives, and howcould either be one or two sounds. there’s also rules that serve no practical
purpose that are only there to make things look nicer, like how any word that ends with
a voiced fricative has a silentinserted after it. the Fun Riform also has a built in lack of
standardization. one of the most important rules is that if
a word looks wrong to you, then it is wrong, and you should spell it differently. this means that in theory every single person
using the Fun Riform could be using it completely differently from everybody else. other people might look at these aspects of
the Fun Riform and conclude that it’s a bad spelling reform, and I think I’m okay
with that, because to me they’re key features of what I wanted the Fun Riform to be like. I mean, it’s right in the name, this is
a spelling reform that I just made for fun, so I don’t have to worry about if other
people like it as long as I’m happy with it. and I am! part for: The Perfekt Speling Riform [Epik] to be completely honest, the actual ideal
spelling reform for English wouldn’t look much like the Fun Riform. if the goal is to
actually replace English spelling, then the perfect spelling reform wouldn’t even be
something that looks like a reform at all. the perfect spelling reform for English would
be for English speakers globally to agree that it’s okay to misspell things. there isn’t an organization regulating the
English language. nobody is in charge of how it works, it’s
completely up to the speakers. the only thing getting in the way of English
spelling becoming more regular is the idea that any given word has one “correct”
spelling. if every English speaker decided to stop correcting
each other’s spelling mistakes and to disable autocorrect and spellcheck, all irregularities
in English spelling would disappear within a single generation. if you consistently can’t remember how to
spell a word, it’s not your fault, it’s that word’s fault. and you as an English speaker have the power
to change it. almost nobody spells “hiccup” with
anymore. “miniscule” with anis replacing “minuscule”
with a, and more recently “thru” and “tho” have gained alternate spellings
that indisputably make more sense than their standard spellings. so English really doesn’t need a spelling
reform to fix the irregularities in its orthography. if you want English spelling to be better,
there is absolutely nothing stopping you from making it better yourself. thanks for watching. I’ve been jan Misali, and “amature”
is spelled with.

100 comments

  1. I came up with a spelling reform that only uses the letter 'e'.
    People laugh at me for this, but to them I say eee e eeee, eeeeeee.

  2. Do it like Swiss German! There's no official orthography for Swiss German and it's really only written down informally in text messages, so we've basically crowd-sourced our spelling system, a spelling system where everybody just writes like what they think looks best to them.

  3. now that htme (how to make everything) made his own "spelling reform" for English, i think you should make a short video about it. i would really love to hear your thoughts about it.

  4. Just use the korean alphabet. And if too many dialects form force ppl to use a pan european glyphs to symbolise universal concepts.

  5. An additional point… A spelling reform for English is like trying to catch fog. Our language is unruly and changes so fast that any reform would be out of date in a generation.

  6. "a writing system can't be unintuitive if nobody has any intuitions about it."
    Not sure if sarcasm or typo in script
    Otherwise this is surprisingly nuanced and very funny.

  7. ııv màd mıı ön speliŋ rìfôm fô ŷs in mıı handritn nöts, n ıı konsidy it y sūkses bìkos ıı stil ŷz it 3 yrs làty
    (it is, of course, tied to my specific dialect of english, which can make it harder to read for some people but not others)

    I think your fun riform iz greit.

  8. See, these difficulties are the reason my opinion has shifted from "English should be respelled to match how it's spoken" to "English should be re-spoken to match how it's spelled". Look forward to my upcoming English Pronunciation Guide video, in which you will hardly understand a word I say.

  9. What if your new alphabet is most of the Latin alphabet, with two unique characters, and utilizes its own diacritics to represent as many sounds as possible? It's efficient for the most part, and can even represent the Welsh ll.

  10. I can honestly say as someone who loves learning, English, studying in the English language and talking with people of many backgrounds;

    that ur idea isn't too far off from the future; in reality, it is easy to combine items from poor English and Tagalog that make an idea simple; tho to try and fix something thru complex ideas are exactly why implementation gets hard when you can't break down ideas where all people can understand.

  11. I like the vagaries of English because they are history embodied. If you look into why words are the way they are you learn the whole history of the British Isles and a good part of Europe as well.

  12. Incredibly simple spelling reform idea:
    Replace all instances of the letter C with K or S as appropriate.
    Replace all instances of the letter Q with KW.
    Replace all instances of the letter X with KS or Z as appropriate.
    English is much better off without C, Q, and X.

  13. Some of those "schwas" aren't schwas but just actual "uh" sounds for me, and some of them are closer to "ih" ("bit") or "u-" ("foot") sounds. What counts as a schwa can be very context-sensitive.

    Anyhow the only spelling reform I'd gun for is the return of "þ". And maybe also getting rid of that stupid "s" in "island". (It's not even etymological!) Maybe some other predictable consonant shenanigans too, but trying to reform English vowels is a lost cause.

  14. hónestly the ónly spélling refórm I'd be in fávour of would be márking stressed vówels in words with more than one sýllable

  15. IMO spelling reforms should be fully intuitive to people who don't have experience with other Latin-based orthographies. i.e. who are primarily acquainted with the current English system.

    If you ask the average person how "hi" (he) is pronounced, they'll say /hai/, not /hi/. Similarly: a lot of people would say /ʃeind/ for "shaind", and not /ʃaind/. (These are examples from jan misali's reform.)

    edit: I've just realised than jan misali kind of has this as one of his requirements for his Fun Reform. So I guess my point is that it's not really fully intuitive.

  16. Very well, here are my changes:
    The ch in "chorus" shall be spelled kh, to distinguish it from the ch in "chair."
    K at the start of a syllable shall only be used before i or e to distinguish it from the soft c; otherwise, use c.
    Only use -ck in words like "licked" and "tracker" when a simple -k would sound different; otherwise use -k.
    Get rid of the silent h most of the time.
    Replace -or and -ar endings with -er; replace -ible with -able.
    Change Ps- and Pt- at the start of a word to s- and t-.
    Change the phth in "naphtha" to pt; change the chth in "autochthonous" to kt.

  17. And then there's portuguese, which made an agreement to make the words' spelling the same everywhere that is basically only used in Portugal. Fun.

  18. As someone who learned English as a second language I always struggled to understand why native speakers see having multiple pronunciations with just one spelling as normal. In Spanish if we can say it more that one way we can also write it more that one way.

  19. I'm not a big fan of attempts mainly bc ik that the way I pronounce things would be just as different from the reform as it is from the current spellings, since I use a dialect with sounds that a lot of other English speakers never use

  20. Solution: have the spelling based on how an italian would pronounce that word, so that gradually there will be more intelligibility to all romance languages. Fucking celts, give up already! Your sounds are wrong, ever wronger than the spelling

  21. i am bad at spelling in essays, this is mostly my fault as sometimes i (acidentally) add a random 'e' on the end of words, or when i'm writing a word and thinking another i end up with a blend of the two

  22. Heres my spelling reform

    First we need to replace the cl as in clay and clade with a x

    Second we need to abolish silent letters

    Ph shall be replaced with f

    The o in words like women shall be replaced with an I

    In the following words every capital letter shall be cut off – couLd,thouGh,hiccOUGHs(now spelt hiccups)
    becAuse and finally gloCk

    C shall be replaced with k or s

    Double Ls shall be abolished

    Ing Is now ung

    Ch Is now an s

    Z Is now an s

    Anyway hope yoi enjoyed my spelung reform hiris some words that have sanged bekis of the reform

    Sebra,xay,glok,wimen,flem and poopung

  23. I love the Fun Riform! The vowel sounds made intuitive since to me and I liked that you made English's single-letter diphthongs into actual diphthongs.

  24. "Fully new alphabet."

    How about abandoning alphabets entirely?
    ❌🍰😥🚀🏺🍧💿🧜‍♀️🍆🍐🍏🍅🎐🥈🥈🎀🎋

  25. So your solution to irregular spelling is to just tell people to spell words however they want? Because that would result in every person in the world who speaks English writing the same words with different spellings, and English as a comprehensible written language would no longer exist.

  26. th gets its own letter that looks like h but with the long part crossed, H but with the first vertical line crossed into a T

  27. kaanlaeng krïtïk ïz raang uhbawt "tho" dho, "though" and "tho" aekschyooïlii haev dïfhrïnt yoosïdjiz.
    Aalso dhïs riifourm (maaïyn) ïz rïdïkyooluhslii baed.

  28. Great video love your content good Sir.
    To the 49 down votes as of my viewing your idiots. ( does Idiot need any spelling reforms?)

  29. English isn't broken, it's weaðered.
    Þere is one spelling reform I'd like to see, and þat's the reïntroduction of þe þorn and eð.
    I þink þis would actually make it easiër for foreigners to learn þe language, while also making þe language visually more unique compared to other germanic languages.
    Like, for þe first 4 years I spoke English, I pronounced þe 'th' as an aspirated 't'. Þe teachers always said to me þat it was wrong, and always told me to speak more 'in þe front of my mouþ', but I never realised it actually was a different letter all togeðer.

  30. Þu fun speling riform lûks vishwalî a lot laik Frîsyan.
    Ay þink it is pretî, but it nîds þu 'Þ'.
    English nîds þu 'þ' in genural.

  31. The problem with English orthografy is historical more than anything else so, yeah, if we all just start riting mak the niif, it wil all maak sense.

  32. sumbudy wunce tôld mi the werld was gona rôl mi
    ai eint the smartest tûl in the shed
    shi was lüking kainda dum with her finger and her thum
    in the sheip of an el on her forhed

    wel the yirs start kuming
    and they dônt stop kuming
    fed tu the rûls and ai hit the ground runing
    didnt meik sence not tu live for fun
    yer brein gets smart but yer hed gets dum

    so much tu du
    so much tu si
    so wots rong with teiking the bakstrît

    yûl never no if yu dônt go
    yûl never shain if yu dônt glo

    hey naw
    yer an aul star
    get yer geim on
    go pley

    hey naw
    yer a rok star
    get the sho on
    get peid

    aul that gliters is gôld
    ônly shûting stars breik the môld

    its a kûl pleice
    and they sey it gets kôlder
    yer bundeld up naw
    weit til yu get ôlder
    but the mîtior men beg to difer
    jujing bay the hôl in the satelait pikcher

    sori aim tu leizy tu finish transleiting this mâsterpîce

  33. Dutch seems very much like a western Germanic language but spelled phonetically. Or more phonetically than english. Has anyone used dutch for english spelling?

  34. Þin syna pá ænglisc skriftasmál hwar óvansynaþ eki tálaþ i kenning.
    your sight on English written language was over seen and told in knowledge.
    Your view on the English written language had oversight and based on good understanding.
    Jor viu an de iŋlis writen laŋgwis had owersajt n bejsd an gud anderstəndiŋ.
    I'm bored.

  35. the main entrenchment of English & current orthography has to do with its usage in programing languages. so any spelling reforms need to take that into account.

  36. I always use tho differently from though, same with thru and through—does anyone consider them interchangeable? Or only certain situations where they are?

  37. Everybody gangsta with using “incorrect” spellings until our grandchildren start pronouncing “oh my God” like the phonetic “omg”

  38. the problem with a single enforced dialect of english is only that there are so many countries that speak english, not that there are already many dialects in existence. italy did fine in creating a standard italian language, but because of the fact that all people that spoke italian languages (excluding small minorities in neighboring countries) were united under one flag and so that language could be forced upon all speakers.

  39. The whole thing with just not caring anymore reminded me of how I use endonyms for languages, like Twaxobza and Rasenna or Euskara

  40. 0:50 No, you absolutely can't. Graphemes in English are nightmarish. gh, th, ou, a, e, i, etc all can have different pronunciations even when their location in the word considered. Also, where the hell are stressed syllables supposed to be?

  41. I pronounce the t in tsunami, and I see Merriam-Webster gives it as an alternate pronunciation. But if someone wrote sunami, I would understand it, which supports your ultimate conclusion.

  42. Some of the messy complications in Modern English which could be mended: Nouns that needlessly go from -y to -ies should return to their older spelling (e.g. philosophie – philosophies, orthographie – orthographies etc.) which often has the further benefit of showing their etymologies (e.g. philosophia, orthographia). Words where -gh became -ff should have it reflected in writing: "Laugh" now rhymes with "staff", and should be spelled "laff", while "tough" and "enough" now rhyme with "stuff", and should be spelled "tuff" and "enuff", et cetera.

  43. all these haters of the current english spelling are either
    a) bad at spelling
    b) speak it as their second language

    but hey, a reform sounds kind of neat.

  44. I think that a redesigning English spelling shouldn't be that hard… My first language is Spanish and we only have 4 or so main inconsistencies.

    Rily, Ai think dat it shud not bi dat hard, sins ui alredi hav an internashional fonetic alfabet. If iu meid ap e fiu speshial karakters tu mach with your saunds it wud bi isier from mai point of viu

  45. The "ts" in tsunami is a consonant cluster that is quite easy to pronounce. That was a bad example for an "obvious" silent letter.

  46. Noah Webstre [let's spell his name as it should have been!] and his followers have been guilty of a lot of bad spelling changes, some of which were less phonetic than the originals and resulted in a change of pronunciation, and some which resulted in a change of spelling of derived words and increased the number of syllables of the derivative. For example: "Anaesthetist" is pronounce in []English] as "Aneesthutist". [American]English changed this to "Anesthetist", which is not a phonetic spelling, and now many Americans pronounce the work in the phonetic manner of the new word: "Anessthutist". The []English "Centre" produces derived words "Central" and "Centring"; the trailing 'e' is dropped and the new ending added. In [American]English the spelling was changed to "Center", and what was the two syllable "Centring" became "Centering". (Theatre->theatrical, metre->metric, &c.)

    The lesson to be learnt is not to change spellings. The system may be a mess, but at least its a mess I grew up and with which I am comfortable.

  47. Your spelling reform is great Jan. Have to say though "klôk" confused me cause I thought it referred to a clock, so it read to me as "wrapped in a clock". Only later did I realize it was actually referring to a cloak, which makes more sense.

    Also i always thought it was spelled flem

  48. the idea of being able to just spell things however wed like honestly would be a pretty good solution. i struggle with words like "necessary" or "harassment" because i want to spell them with double consonants like you would "success." i think as long as what youre writing is easily read then errors shouldnt be that big of a deal.

  49. How does tofoo look worse than suun? There are basically no words with two u's in a row in English except for vacuum. There are plenty of words that have two o's in a row though. Soon, pool, school, etc. Same thing with keewee and griin. There are virtually no words in English with two i's in a row.

  50. Hey it's not the English language's fault if you pronounce colonel wrong
    Like where did that R sound come from?
    What is wrong with you?
    Or do all Americans do that?
    In which case… what is wrong with all of you?

  51. I would add one important point to your requirements: It should not confuse most people who learn English as a second language and whose mother tongue also uses the Latin alphabet.

    E.g. you consistently write æ as "a", when a German speaker would consider the vowel closer to "e". And you use "u" in "other" and "succeeded" when a German speaker would consider that an "a" sound.

    Here is how I, as a German speaker would spell the story. I will use a mix of German and English spelling rules. I will keep TH for voiceless th and the V/W distinction. I am also going to keep -er, even when it's pronounced ə because there's no dis-ambiguity there. And I am going to use SH over SCH for ​ʃ.

    De North wind end de san wer disputing witsh wos de stronger, wen a treveler keim elong wrept in e worm kloak. Dey egrid det de won hu först saksided in meking de treveler teik his kloak of shud bi konsiderd stronger den di (or de) ader. Den de North Wind blu es hard es hi kud, bat de moar hi blu de moar klosli did de treveler fold his kloak eraund him; end et last de North Wind geif ap di (or de) etempt. Den de San shaind aut wormli end imidiatli de treveler tuk of his kloak. End so de North Wind wos oblaidshd tu konfes det de san wos de stronger of de tu.

    Now thinking of it, "oblaidshd" is truly an ugly word.

  52. I would add one important point to your requirements: It should not confuse most people who learn English as a second language and whose mother tongue also uses the Latin alphabet.

    E.g. you consistently write æ as "a", when a German speaker would consider the vowel closer to "e". And you use "u" in "other" and "succeeded" when a German speaker would consider that an "a" sound.

    Here is how I, as a German speaker would spell the story. I will use a mix of German and English spelling rules. I will keep TH for voiceless th and the V/W distinction. I am also going to keep -er, even when it's pronounced ə because there's no dis-ambiguity there. And I am going to use SH over SCH for ​ʃ.

    De North wind end de san wer disputing witsh wos de stronger, wen a treveler keim elong wrept in e worm kloak. Dey egrid det de won hu först saksided in meking de treveler teik his kloak of shud bi konsiderd stronger den di (or de) ader. Den de North Wind blu es hard es hi kud, bat de moar hi blu de moar klosli did de treveler fold his kloak eraund him; end et last de North Wind geif ap di (or de) etempt. Den de San shaind aut wormli end imidiatli de treveler tuk of his kloak. End so de North Wind wos oblaidshd tu konfes det de san wos de stronger of de tu.

    Now thinking of it, "oblaidshd" is truly an ugly word.

  53. I would add one important point to your requirements: It should not confuse most people who learn English as a second language and whose mother tongue also uses the Latin alphabet.

    E.g. you consistently write æ as "a", when a German speaker would consider the vowel closer to "e". And you use "u" in "other" and "succeeded" when a German speaker would consider that an "a" sound.

    Here is how I, as a German speaker would spell the story. I will use a mix of German and English spelling rules. I will keep TH for voiceless th and the V/W distinction. I am also going to keep -er, even when it's pronounced ə because there's no dis-ambiguity there. And I am going to use SH over SCH for ​ʃ.

    De North wind end de san wer disputing witsh wos de stronger, wen a treveler keim elong wrept in e worm kloak. Dey egrid det de won hu först saksided in meking de treveler teik his kloak of shud bi konsiderd stronger den di (or de) ader. Den de North Wind blu es hard es hi kud, bat de moar hi blu de moar klosli did de treveler fold his kloak eraund him; end et last de North Wind geif ap di (or de) etempt. Den de San shaind aut wormli end imidiatli de treveler tuk of his kloak. End so de North Wind wos oblaidshd tu konfes det de san wos de stronger of de tu.

    Now thinking of it, "oblaidshd" is truly an ugly word.

  54. I would add one important point to your requirements: It should not confuse most people who learn English as a second language and whose mother tongue also uses the Latin alphabet.

    E.g. you consistently write æ as "a", when a German speaker would consider the vowel closer to "e". And you use "u" in "other" and "succeeded" when a German speaker would consider that an "a" sound.

    Here is how I, as a German speaker would spell the story. I will use a mix of German and English spelling rules. I will keep TH for voiceless th and the V/W distinction. I am also going to keep -er, even when it's pronounced ə because there's no dis-ambiguity there. And I am going to use SH over SCH for ​ʃ.

    De North wind end de san wer disputing witsh wos de stronger, wen a treveler keim elong wrept in e worm kloak. Dey egrid det de won hu först saksided in meking de treveler teik his kloak of shud bi konsiderd stronger den di (or de) ader. Den de North Wind blu es hard es hi kud, bat de moar hi blu de moar klosli did de treveler fold his kloak eraund him; end et last de North Wind geif ap di (or de) etempt. Den de San shaind aut wormli end imidiatli de treveler tuk of his kloak. End so de North Wind wos oblaidshd tu konfes det de san wos de stronger of de tu.

    Now thinking of it, "oblaidshd" is truly an ugly word.

  55. 11:30: Almost nobody spells “hiccup” with <ough> anymore.

    Wasn’t the <ough> version more recent than the <up> version, because of a false belief it was etymologically related to “cough”?

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