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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.


Munday, January 23, 2016:  "gregareus" for "gregarious"

There are two little problems in today's word (for "sociable"), both in the last four letters. First, why is there an I there, when the sound is long-E? There shouldn't be. Instead, we should write E, which before a vowel will be understood to represent a long-E sound. The second problem is that there is, as so often happens in traditional spelling, an OU but no OU-sound. If we just drop the O, the reader will see the correct sound, a schwa: "gregareus".

Sunday, January 22, 2016:  "gondoleer" for "gondolier"

Why would we spell a simple long-E sound with the misleading IE, which could be seen as long-I or long-I plus a short-E or schwa? The simplest and clearest representation of long-E is EE, so let's write that: "gondoleer".

Saturday, January 21, 2016:  "glamor" and "glamorus" for "glamo(u)r" and glamo(u)rous"

Each of today's related words has two accepted spellings in the United States ("glamor/ous" and "glamour/ous"), but only one, "glamour" for the noun and, peculiarly, "glamorous", for the adjective, in Britain. The British version of the noun is indefensibly stupid, in that there is no OU-sound there. There is also no OU-sound in the adjectival form in either country, so the U in both places should be dropped: "glamor" and "glamorus".

Friday, January 20, 2016:  "ganosh" for "ganache"

This Food Friday, let's reform the spelling of a confectionary term.* ACHE is a word in English, pronounced aek. That is not the sound here, which is nosh (as it would be pronounced in English, tho the traditional spelling is French): "ganosh".
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* Dictionary.com: "a whipped frosting or filling made with semisweet chocolate and cream, used for cakes, pastries, and candies".

Thursday, January 19, 2016:  "flejling" for "fledgeling" and "fledgling"

DGE and DG are ridiculous and inefficient ways to write a simple J-sound. If the sound is J, let's just write J: "flejling".

Wensday, January 18, 2016:  "ferth" for "firth" and "frith"*

IR is misleading here. It sometimes takes the sound of a long-E plus R ("irritate"); other times, it represents the ER sound (as in "bird"); yet other times it is almost the same as short-I plus an R ("iridescent"). How is the reader to know which sound it takes here? Well, the sound is that most commonly written ER, so let's write that: "ferth".  
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* Microsoft Encarta Dictionary: "a wide inlet of the sea". There is an alternate spelling which takes an alternate pronunciation: "frith", pronounced exactly that way.

Tuesday, January 17, 2016:  "fachuus" for "fatuous"

T does not spell the CH-sound (as in "church"). CH does, so let's replace the T with CH. There then remains one small issue, the presence of an OU where there is no OU-sound. Fortuitously, that too is easily fixed. Just drop the O: "fachuus".

Munday, January 16, 2016:  "falal" for "fallal"*

ALL is usually pronounced with an AU-sound, as in "ball", "call", and "stall"). That is not the sound here, which is a simple short-A, which is much better written AL, as in "pal", "gal", and "Sal": "falal".
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* Dictionary.com: "a bit of finery; a showy article of dress".


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...").