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Click here for an index to words discussed throughout this project, in chronological order, most recent first.
Click here for an index to words discussed throughout this project from A-M, and here for an index to words discussed throughout this project from N-Z, in alphabetical order.
(Within the webpages noted above are clickable links to all the discussions, organized by quarter year.)

Click here for a list of possible future words.
Click here for the principles that govern the selection of words for this project.
Click here for a list of words rejected for this project because of those principles.
Click here for links to other websites concerned with spelling.

Simpler Spelling
Word of the Day

We are running low on, or have already run out of, words in need of reform that start in I, J, K, L, N, O, Q, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z. If readers see the need for reform of words that start in any of those letters, and which have not already been used (as recorded in this project's chronological archives) or rejected for this project files, please suggest reforms. But we need not change spellings unless the present spelling is inadequate or misleading, or there is more than one spelling and we need to settle on only one.


The distribution of words that require reform is wildly uneven from one initial letter of the alphabet to another. Ordinarily, we have considered one word a day for each initial letter, but we have just about run out of words in various parts of the alphabet, so will treat of the letters that have many, many words (e.g., C, D, P, M, and S) on multiple days in a row before moving to the next letter in alphabetical order.

Thursday, September 22, 2016:  "eppidemmic" for "epidemic"

There are two short vowels in today's word, neither of which is shown clearly by the traditional spelling. We should double both the P and the M to indicate those short vowels: "eppidemmic".

Wensday, September 21, 2016:  "eet" for "eat"

Today's word is almost exactly like yesterday's, and the same argumentation applies, so I won't repeat it here. Just look for it there: "eet"..

Tuesday, September 20, 2016:  "eest" for "east"

EA is not the best spelling for a simple long-E, esp. in that in some words it is pronounced differently ("rhea", "area", "yea", "yeah", "Sean": rée.ya, áir.ree.ya, yae, yai, Shaun. EE is much better: "eest".

Munday, September 19, 2016:  "dynamizm" for "dynamism"

We have, again today, a situation in which an S stands in for a Z, the voiced pair to unvoiced-S. S and Z are different, so should be written differently. We have a letter Z for that sound. Why would we not use it?

A second issue arises as to whether we need a vowel between the Z and the following-M. The sound would indeed be clearer if we were to write, say, an A there, so the word would be shown as "dynamizam". But that might be seen as an unnecessary step too far by some readers, so let's not bother: "dynamizm".

Sunday, September 18, 2016:  "demmocrat/tic" and "democcracy" for "democrat/ic" and "democracy"

In these closely related words, we should show unambiguously which vowels are short, by doubling the consonant after each, and, as a byproduct of this consonant-doubling, show as well where the syllabic stresses fall. Plainly, the M should be doubled in "democrat" and both the M and the T should be doubled in "democratic". As to whether the C should be doubled in "democracy", arguments could be made either way. On the one hand, there are already two consonants following the O, which sophisticated readers might understand suggests that the O is short. But on the other hand, a reader, especially a new reader, could see the O as long, and -CRACY as having a long-A. So let's play it safe and double the C: "demmocrat/tic" and "democcracy".    

Saturday, September 17, 2016:  "defficit" for "deficit"

We need a second-F here to show clearly that the first-I in today's word is short: "defficit".

Friday, September 16, 2016:  "declention" for "declension"

We should not have to memorize multiple ways of spelling what is most commonly written -TION- (compare "invention", "detention", "intentional"), and, on top of that, have to remember which spelling goes with which word. Let's just write -TION- everywhere until we can agree on a single phonetic way to write that syllable (e.g., "-SHON-", "-SHUN-", "-SHEN-", "-SHAN-", or "-SHIN-"): "declention".

Thursday, September 15, 2016:  "cursiv" for "cursive"

A few years ago, the educational establishment of the United States was seized by madness, and decided to stop teaching children cursive writing. How, pray, are people supposed to sign their name on legal documents if they don't learn how to write a signature? Where a form says "Print Name Here" and "Sign Here", are they to print in the first space and mark an X in the second?

In any case, a lot of states have come to their senses, and are teaching cursive again. Now let us fix the spelling of the word "cursive" itself.

IVE should be said with a long-I, as in "hive", "jive", and "alive", but here, the sound is short-I. To show that, all we need do is drop the final-E, which offers the additional benefit of saving us a letter, which is always to the good: "cursiv".
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My thanks to "Red..." for this suggestion.

Wensday, September 14, 2016:  "collej" for "college"

Why is there a G in this word? The sound is not G's own sound, represented by no other letter (as in "get", "gear", and "gewgaw"), but the sound of J, an entirely different letter. If the sound is J, we should write J: "collej".
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My thanks to "Moon..." for this suggestion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016:  "crimzon" for "crimson"

The S in today's word represents not S's own, unvoiced sound, but Z's voiced pair to that sound. Alas, the presence of S in the traditional spelling has given rise to a spelling-pronunciation with an actual S-sound, which most dictionaries do not recognize. Once we replace the S with Z, that improper minority pronunciation should disappear: "crimzon".

Munday, September 12, 2016:  "compattible" and "compattibillity" for "compatible" and "compatibility"

We have in today's closely related words single consonants that do not give the reader clear guidance as to whether the vowel before them is long or short. They are both short-I. To show that, all we need do is double the consonants after them: "compattible" and "compattibillity".


Click here for an index to words discussed throughout this project, in chronological order, most recent first.
Click here for an index to words discussed throughout this project, in alphabetical order.
(Within the two webpages noted above are clickable links to all the discussions, organized by quarter year.)

Click here for a list of possible future words.
Click here for the principles that govern the selection of words for this project.
Click here for a list of words rejected for this project because of those principles.
Click here for links to other websites concerned with spelling.

Please bookmark this page and stop by each day. Tell your friends. Tell your teachers. Tell the world!


This website proposes modest spelling changes to make English easier to read and write. Each day, we list (at least) one word that could usefully be respelled as would make English easier for kids and non-native speakers to learn, and for all of us to use, every day. If ordinary people, in their emails and personal communications, note-taking, etc., were to adopt these little changes each day, over time we would achieve significant simplification of English spelling, because publishers and educators would have to follow the people's lead. (Proposed reforms apply to all derivatives of the word reformed, not just to the base word.)

Tho it would be neater to change all words of a pattern at the same time (e.g., all -OUS endings to -US), that is implied in the change of individual words of that pattern. But traditional English spelling isn't consistent, which is why it is so hard to master. Some words that sound the same are spelled differently (there, their, they're); some words that are spelled the same are pronounced differently (refuse as verb and noun). To impose complete consistency on English without radical reform is impossible. Short of radical reform, then, we can either reform some words or surrender to spelling chaos and do nothing.

English spelling didn't become crazy all at once, but one word at a time. Old English was phonetic, and such variations in spelling as occurred reflected variations in pronunciation. New words have come into the language one by one, with their own individual spelling, sometimes quite unreasonable. In like fashion, we can change some unreasonable spellings to reasonable, one word at a time, inefficient tho that approach may be. See below for radical reform that does address all the issues at once.


* SSWD is a project of L. Craig Schoonmaker, Newark, New Jersey, United States, creator of Fanetik: Reformed (Phonetic) Spelling - at Least for Teaching. Phonetic pronunciations on this site are rendered in Augméntad Fanétik, which employs accents for syllabic stress. For information about other ways to change irrational spellings, search the Internet for spelling reform.


Comments? Suggestions? If you have suggestions as to words to reform, please check first if they have already been used or have already been placed on the list of words to be addressed in the future or words that have been considered but rejected. Please also check the principles that control whether a word will or will not be offered. Once you have done that, or for any other purpose, please write to Fanetiks@aol.com. Because, for reasons I do not understand, some people have written under temporary email addresses that are abandoned before I can reply, I will not make personal replies to anyone who (a) does not request reactions and (b) does not provide a valid return email address (which will be checked, before I write any substantive reply, by a test email). And if you'd like credit on this page for any suggestion you make that is used, please provide a name and location (city, state/country) for that credit. Absent a personal name, credit will be given to an abbreviated form of the email address, without the at-sign or domain information (e.g., if the email address is "mjmartin@gmail.com", credit might be made to "mjmart...").