There’s been a fun link floating around about English pronunciation and how random it is sometimes. Read it, it’s totally enjoyable.
I am a proponent of randomness. I love non-sequitureality. I am also a fan of evolution and this link reminded me that I think it is time for the English alphabet to evolve. Weird pronunciation and spelling exceptions can be a thing of the past if we just allow the alphabet to change. I propose that each letter makes just one sound, without exceptions, then: confusion would be avoided for people learning the language, spelling would be made easier, and reading would be a breeze. My daughter, Hannah, and I have been discussing this matter for many years and this pronunciation poem has renewed our passion to help the alphabet evolve. We’ve come up with some ideas over time that I’m sure, when you consider them, will make total sense to you and you’ll say, “YES! That makes total sense to me!”
First, the letters that can be eliminated… ‘C’. ‘C’ makes two sounds, both of which are covered by other letters in the alphabet, ‘K’ and ‘S’. So goodbye ‘C’. ‘Q’ is unnecessary as it is also covered by the sound ‘KW’ would make together. ‘X’ – as much as I love it, is unnecessary. That’s where we’d start so we are now down to 23 letters.
Also, ‘G’ should just be hard like “Gut” and let ‘J’ take care of the soft sound so words like “lodge” would be “lodj”. (Oh yes, the unnecessary ‘e’ should be eliminated – what’s it doing in ‘lodge’ anyway, it doesn’t even make the ‘o’ long.) And ‘Y’ should just make “yuh” and not sound like a long ‘E’ as in “many”.
Letters we’d add… a letter for each of the sounds ‘CH’, ‘SH’, ‘TH’ (both hard and soft – hard TH as in THAT, and soft as in WITH) and we’d add a letter for ‘ING’ because really it seems quite arbitrary why those letter combinations would make those sounds. And I’m sure there was reason at one point and Linguistic Historians could say, “Oh ‘CH’ makes that sound because…” but think of what future linguistic historians will say, “Then they figured – just create new letters. And that’s why reading and writing is so much easier today.” There are already alphabets out there that consider these sounds letters so I’m just suggesting we do the same. So add five letters, we’re now at 28. So really what’s two more letters to add?
We’d also like to make the vowels easier. I think we should just put a long accent, ‘-’, above the vowel if it’s long. French uses accents, English could too. A = ah, Ā = ay, E = eh, Ē = ee, I = ih, Ī = eye, O = o, Ō = oh, U = uh, and Ū = oo. So simple. Then we could lose the not-always-the-rule ‘e’ at the end of a word to make the vowel long (using lodge again as an example).
And I know that there is the sounding symbols they use in dictionaries but that seems too radical, too many new things to learn. Simplicity is my vote. So lose the rules like: “i before e except after c” – Ridiculous! ‘Gh’ and ‘Ph’ both make ‘F’. Did no one trust ‘F’ to be able to take care of it herself? Make it EZ, I say, Simplicity is Best. Now following is an example.
“This is a sentence that has no particular meaning, I am just using it as an example of how the genuine use of an inspired and evolved new English alphabet could benefit Canadian kind.”
Now for fun sakes only, use this map key to read the following. (I am not suggesting that these symbols be the future symbols of these sounds.)
ч = ‘ch’
ς = ‘sh’
ŧ = soft ‘th’
Ŧ = hard ‘th’
ŋ = ‘ing’
“Ŧis iz a sentens Ŧat haz nō partikūlar mēnŋ, Ī am just ūzŋ it az an ekzampl ov how Ŧu jenūin yūs ov an inspīrd and ēvolvd nū ŋliς alfabet kud benefit Kanādēan kīnd.”
Okay, maybe it’ll take some getting yūs tū, but I think in the end wee r heding that way eneeway. With teks and mesajing, peepl r shortning wrdz or making up nu wrdz all the time. Speling had its time, it is now the time for simpl sens. Rīt it how it sowndz. Simplisitē.
Ŧōz r mī ŧots on Ŧat. And mãbē if ēnuf pēpl bēgin to чalenj Ŧu hīr powrz of ŋlō-rēpreςun, nū and bēūtiful ekspreςuns kan bē bōrn.
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