4 There Were/Are Those Who Are Trying To Deliberately Mess With The Alphabet
Sometimes my friends will write to me on Facebook and, me being pedantic me, I just can’t seem to help but get an attack of the irks each time they misspell a word. Actually, by “sometimes” there what I actually meant was “every single god damn day”. If you are anything like me then you will be perfectly aware of what I mean. But there have also been some people in the past who appeared to deliberately make spelling mistakes based on the way they see the world and how they want those words to read. Yes it does sound a little selfish and surely there are bigger issues to worry about than how a word should or should not be spelled, but then again, wasn’t that the point from the very first sentence of this paragraph?
So most of these people want to change the spelling of the words simply by altering existing letters. Who knows why really? Maybe they were guided by voices or something. There are a myriad of potential reasons. All of a sudden we are spelling “compare”; “compair”, and “word”; “wird”. It could all get a bit ridiculous. But you know what is perhaps even more ridiculous; getting rid of existing letters to do it.
Many other people have proposed that we get rid of certain letters which appear to double up in the English language. I guess the most obvious one would be the similarities between “k” and “c”. I mean, it is already happening in some regard; do you play “Mario Cart” or “Mario Kart”? In fact, the letter “C” could really be shelved altogether if you really wanted to. I mean, between both “K” and “S”, wouldn’t they have the role of “C” all sown up?
Then there’s the whole thing about introducing new letters so as to cover common sounds that now require two; “SH” for example. But no – this is all a bit to ridiculous.
Benjamin Franklin didn’t think so it might appear. He actually proposed amendments to the English language which, if applied, would have been quite severe. While he was living in London in 1768, he penned “A Scheme for a new Alphabet and a Reformed Mode of Spelling”. Basically, it was a pretty spot on phonetic system to use in the spelling of English which he believed would have made it a lot easier and saved loads of confusion. It might be also interesting to note that if you look at American English versus English from England (which is typically used in Australia although a lot of American English words seem to have crept in of late), a lot of the words are spelt with phonetics in mind. An example might be “program” as opposed to “programme”. It is hard to say if this was a result of Franklin’s efforts though. Unfortunately for him and those who advocated his reforms, they never caught on.