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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.

Sunday, August 28, 2016:  "burroe" for "burrow"

As mentioned two days ago, OW is ambiguous, sometimes being pronounced as a simple long-O ("slow"), other times as the OU-sound ("plow"). Here, the sound is long-O. To show that, we could drop the W, but that would make the spelling the same as "burro", a donkey. In the alternative, we can write OE, which works fine: "burroe".  

Saturday, August 27, 2016:  "boole" for "boule"*

Oddly, today's word has an OU, but no OU-sound. Rather, the sound is long-U without an initial Y-glide, as in "pool", "tool", and "fool". OO is, however, ambiguous, sometimes being given its short-sound, as in "good", "book", and "crook". This ambiguity has led to a number of words being pronounced with the two different sounds by different people: "room", "hoof", "oops", and such. To show plainly that the long-OO sound should be said here, we can add a silent-E at the end of the word, as in "loose" and "goose": "boole".
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* Microsoft Encarta dictionary: "a pear-shaped imitation gemstone made in a furnace from synthetic aluminum oxide corundum".

Froday, August 26, 2016:  "bouwel" for "bowel"

OW is ambiguous, sometimes being said as long-O ("show", "know", "overthrow") but other times being given the OU-sound ("now", "frown", and "upside-down"). Here, the sound is that of the diphthong OU. To show that clearly, we need to add a U to the spelling, before the W, which should remain to separate the OU from the E, in that "bouel" will seem confusing and uncongenial to many people: "bouwel".
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My thanks to "Music..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Thursday, August 25, 2016:  "bilj" for "bilge"

Here again we have a GE standing in for a J-sound. That is not only irrational but also inefficient. Why would we use a G for other than G's own sound but also write two letters to represent a sound that is much more sensibly written with one?: "bilj".

Wensday, August 24, 2016:  "asimmilate" for "assimilate"

We have today a word in which the wrong consonant is doubled. A followed by two S's should be pronounced as a full short-A (as in "ass" (donkey), "mass", and "grass"), but it is actually said as a schwa. Meanwhile, at the boundary between the second and third syllables, a single-M leaves the reader uncertain as to whether the preceding-I is long or short. It's short. To show that, we need merely double the following-M. Now, having undoubled one consonant and doubled another, we end up with a spelling of the same length in letters, but clear: "asimmilate".

Tuesday, August 23, 2016:  "arest" for "arrest"

ARR should be pronounced with a full short-A sound, as in "carrot", "barrel", and "marrow", but the sound here is schwa. To show that, we need merely drop one of the R's, which has the additional virtue of saving us a letter, which is always to the good: "arest".

Munday, August 22, 2016:  "arpejjeo" for "arpeggio"

This is an oddity: a word with two G's but no G-sound (as in "gift", "gilt", and "gearhead"). Rather, the sound is that of the altogether different letter, J. We have a J. Let's use it.

In today's word, we will need two J's to show that the E before that sound is short.

There are two other issues. First, IO should pronounced with a long-I, as in "Iowa" and "bio", but here the I is pronounced long-E. If the sound is E, let's write E.

The last issue today is that there is an alternate, puristically Italian pronunciation, with no E-sound before the O, but that is an affectation. The four major online dictionaries that offer recorded pronunciations (Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster, Oxford, and Cambridge) all show that pronunciation in print but play only the pronunciation with an E-sound. So let's ignore the affected pronunciation: "arpejjeo".


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...").