here for today's suggestion.
Click here for a list of possible future words.
Click here for a brief statement of the principles that influence the selection of words.
Thursday, March 31, 2005: "ardvark" for "aardvark"
There's no need for a double-A at the beginning of this word, especially inasmuch as the second syllable doesn't have one. This reform would change the sequence of words in the dictionary by a lot, but that's a matter of no importance: "ardvark".
Wensday, March 30, 2005: "bur" for "burr"
There are two words pronounced ber or bur, one with a single-R, one with double-R. The two spellings are not just often but usually confused for instance, a burr that sticks to your pants leg is really supposed to be spelled with just one R but the spelling with two R's is an accepted variant. Let's just stop trying to distinguish them. One R is enuf in fur, cur, blur and the like. It's enuf here too: "bur".
Tuesday, March 29, 2005: "kayoss" for "chaos"
Today's word is, alas, always apt, today no less nor more than any other day. I'm uploading this entry very late because of disorder. Something went wrong with The Weather Channel's "Desktop Weather" program and set off other problems with my computer, so I had to shut down completely and restart. That interrupted my routine, and I went about other things I usually do, but out of sequence, such that I felt I had already added today's word! Chaos won a brief victory over order in my cyberlife, but I've beaten it back another day, and respelled its name to teach it who's boss.
There is no other English word in singular number parallel to "chaos" in either spelling or pronunciation. In plural number, no other word parallel in spelling is also parallel in sound. There's no CH-sound (as in church) in it, but a K-sound. The present spelling looks as tho it should be read like the plural of the Italian interjection ciao. It should not. Let's write it as it does sound: "kayoss".
Munday, March 28, 2005: "rezzumay" for "resumé" (usually written "resume")
Munday is a big day for jobseekers, given that the Sunday paper contains the week's largest listing of employment ads. So this seems an appropriate time to propose reform of the noun "resume", which is very often confused on first sight with the verb "resume", since most people do not put an accent on the final-E.
We can eliminate this confusion very easily, simply by getting rid of the French spelling and writing this important word in an English fashion.
Tho we might just write "rezumay", RE at the beginning of a word is often pronounced with a long-E (as, indeed, it is in the word with which this word is readily confused, "resume"). To show that the E is short, we need merely double the following-Z: "rezzumay".
Sunday, March 27, 2005: "eg" for "egg"
A fellow spelling reformer suggested that the word for today, Easter Sunday, should be "egg". And so it is.
There's no need for a second-G in this word. We don't have one in beg, keg, leg, or peg, so don't need one here except if we add -ed or -ing to the verb (to egg on), whereupon we follow the simple rule of doubling the final consonant first (begging, pegging). But most "eggs" are nouns, so we don't need a double-G for those occurrences of the word: "eg".
Saturday, March 26, 2005: "skeme" for "scheme"
There is no CH-sound (as in church) in this word, nor an SH-sound (borscht, schist). The sound sequence is S-K, so let's spell it that way: "skeme".
Friday, March 25, 2005: "crucifiction" for "crucifixion"
There are only 5 words in the entire, enormous English language that end in -ixion. That's 5 too many. There are dozens of words that end in -iction, and there's no reason kids and foreigners trying to learn English should have to remember 5 exceptions to the rule.
Today is Good Friday in Western Christianity, the day that most of the world's Christians commemorate Jesus's death on the cross, so this seems an appropriate time to reform "crucifixion". Moreover, a revised version of Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ was recently released, and many people will be watching its depiction of Christ's torment in coming weeks. There may never be a better time to offer today's reform: "crucifiction".
Thursday, March 24, 2005:
"veeyicle" for "vehicle"
"veeyament" for "vehement"
The silent-H in these two words is intended merely to show that the vowels on either side of it are separate. There is no H-sound in either word, but the presence of a written-H is misinterpreted by some people as a sign that they should pronounce an H. They shouldn't.
With long-E followed by another vowel, there is always a Y-glide, a little Y-sound to lead smoothly from the first vowel sound to the second without a break. So the silent-H in today's twofer should be replaced by a Y, to show that the vowels on either side are said separately and that there is a little Y-sound between them: "veeyicle" and "veeyament".
Wensday, March 23, 2005: "poeporee" for "potpourri"
Today's word came to English from French, tho the French got it from Spanish. French did not merely accept the Spanish phrase intact (olla podrida), however, but translated it, to "pot pourri", two words. English did not translate it, perhaps because the literal sense, "rotted pot", didn't sound so good, but merely closed up the two French words to create one preposterously spelled English word. Since the English is so far from the original Spanish, why not simply make its spelling easy to read and remember, and not worry that it bears little resemblance to the French from which it immediately derives? We have words like jamboree, camporee, and gymboree to use as models, so let's just make this "poeporee".
Tuesday, March 22, 2005:
"kacky" for "khaki"
"cheeno" for "chino"
Khakis (the irregular plural of an irregular word) are a big item in clothing sales nowadays. The term "khaki" has replaced "chino", a term in favor in earlier decades, for pants make from a tough, twilled cotton fabric. Both words are unphonetic. Tho it might not be important to change "chino", since it's not much used anymore, fashions change, in words as much as clothing, and it might make a comeback.
"Khaki" rhymes with tacky and wacky, so should be spelled like them, and take the regular plural "kackies".
"Chino" is parallel in form but not in sound to "China", from which it apparently derives: "American Spanish, mestizo, yellowish (from its original tan color), probably from Spanish chino, Chinese, from China[,] China". Indeed, some people use "Chino-", rather than "Sino-", for China in combining forms (Chino-Tibetan). To show chino's pronunciation as used for clothing, let's change its spelling, on the pattern of the popular snack food, Cheetos.
So today's twofer is "kacky" and "cheeno".
Munday, March 21, 2005: "quolity" for "quality"
"Quality" rhymes with "polity", not "reality", so let's spell it that way: "quolity"
Sunday, March 20, 2005: "gauz" for "gauze"
I was sitting in an examination room at a veterinary hospital today waiting for my kitten to be brought back to me after surgery (he is now a 'triped', not a biped nor quadruped, because of a broken leg and severe infection), and was looking around the room. I noticed a container labeled "GAUZE" and realized that there's no need for an E at the end of that word, because AU is unambiguous. There's no long-AU sound to distinguish from a short-AU by means of a silent-E.
A single Z at the end of a word is unusual in English, but hardly unknown (adz, fez, quiz, whiz, etc.). By contrast, "gauze" is the only word in the English language that ends in -auze. I see no reason for either a silent-E as in the present spelling or a second-Z (gauzz). Besides, the adjective "gauzy" has no E nor double-Z. So today's word saves us a letter by dropping a nonfunctional silent-E: "gauz".
Saturday, March 19, 2005: "currij" for "courage"
Today's word is something we always need but is spelled wrong. There is no OU-sound in "courage". Its first syllable sounds not like "sour" but like the first syllable of "curry", so let's spell it that way. Moreover, the -AGE ending should be pronounced like the word "age", with a long-A, but is actually pronounced with a schwa so close to short-I that we might as well spell it with an I. And the G does not take G's own, unique sound, but J's sound. We have a J. Let's use it: "currij".
Friday, March 18, 2005: "drout" for "drought"
The Northwest of the United States is in the grip of what was termed on TV news yesterday a "megadrought", that is, a drought so severe and long as occurs only once in a hundred years. So in solidarity with our fellow speakers of English there, we offer today a little simplification for their lives, a saving of two needless, silent letters every time they have to write about that oppression: "drout".
Thursday, March 17, 2005: "feacher" for "feature"
Today's 'featured' word is pronounced parallel to teacher and preacher, so should be spelled like them: "feacher".
Wensday, March 16, 2005: "tuch" and "tuchstone" for "touch" and "touchstone"
The Michael Jackson child-molestation trial is still big news, so let's address today the word at its heart: a physical touch. This word does not rhyme with "ouch" but with "such", so should be written like "such". Derivatives naturally follow the same pattern: "tuch" and "tuchstone".
Tuesday, March 15, 2005: "blo/blu" for "blow/blew"
In last nite's Daily Show on Comedy Central (which is repeated today, if you want to catch it), Jon Stewart makes much of a mispronunciation by the head of the Egyptian antiquities team that put the mummy of King Tutankhamen thru a CT scan to investigate the cause of the pharaoh's death. A video clip of the Egyptian scholar is shown in which he says that the king suffered no 'blouz' to the head, but may have died from infection that resulted from a break to his leg. Stewart said, repeatedly, "no blouz", harping on the spelling-mispronunciation of "blows" by a highly educated Egyptian. But how is anyone to know how to pronounce "blow"?
We plainly don't need a W at the end of words like "blow" and now see that it can confuse even highly educated people who know English from reading, when they are trying to speak it. We can simply drop the needless W, which would yield "blo" for most present-tense verb forms and for the singular noun. Third-person singular ("the wind blows") and plural noun ("several blows to the head") would become "bloes", using the regular rule of adding an E before S in words ending in a vowel.
We might as well also reform the unphonetically spelled past and past participle, "blew", which is easy to do, simply by changing EW which is sometimes pronounced YU (skew and, by many people, new), sometimes just long-U (crew) and in a few words just long-O (sew) to U: "blu", which retains its distinctness from "blue". So today's twofer is "blo" and "blu".
Munday, March 14, 2005: "nae" for "neigh"
Today's word is an imitative term for a long whinny, that is, a sound that a horse makes. Horses have been companion animals of humankind for millennia, and were once ubiquitous in town and country. Nowadays, most people in the United States, an overwhelmingly urban country, rarely see a horse. But I live in Newark, NJ, and sometimes get into Manhattan, NYC. Both have mounted policemen (which only now strikes me as an ambiguous formulation).
New York has, as well, horse-drawn carriages, which I saw recently on a visit to Central Park to view the art spectacle "The Gates" by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. And yesterday a friend drew my attention to a gay real-estate site called TheGayborhood.com, which put "neigh[borhood]" in mind.
We have already suggested "naber/hood" (December 21, 2004), but did not, as might seem logical, deal with "neigh" first. However, the two words are not related. They're just both spelled funny.
So let us now fill in what might seem a logical step skipped, and phoneticize the word for 'the sound a horse makes'. The simplest and least-objectionable suggestion might be "nay" except that we already have a word spelled that way. We don't, however, have a similar word spelled parallel to "sundae", so that's available to convey the sense of a horse's vocalization, without confusing the reader with the pre-existing word "nay": "nae".
Sunday, March 13, 2005: "beluvvid/beluvd" for "beloved"
Today we have an oddball, a single spelling that misspells two different pronunciations of one word. The word in question looks like a past tense, but there is no verb "to belove", tho once there was (in the form "biloved", presumably said as three syllables). Our present word "beloved" has two pronunciations (in Augménted Fanétik, bi.lúv.ad and bi.lúvd tho some people give the first syllable a fuller E: bee.lúv.ad and bee.lúvd ). A single speaker will use both, in different senses: for instance, "dearly beluvvid", "a much-beluvd teacher". Neither pronunciation rhymes with "removed" or "roved". So let's adopt two phonetic and distinct spellings to show plainly which pronunciation we are using at any given time: "beluvvid" and "beluvd".
Saturday, March 12, 2005: "simptom" for "symptom"
Y is asked to do too much work, to represent too many sounds: long-I (my, psychology), long-E (carry, history), short-I (hysterical, cyst), even two different sounds in the same word (mystery, synergy). Let's lighten the load and use I everywhere a short-I sound occurs, as in today's word and its derivatives (simptomatic, asimptomatic).
Some spelling reformers would also like to get rid of the P in words that have M and T adjoining, since P is implied, in that it's almost impossible to say the two sounds adjoining without a P-sound intruding. But there is a weak P-sound in such words, and M-P-T is the way it is customarily spelled (empty, Humpty Dumpty), so it's neither necessary nor advisable to drop it: "simptom".
Friday, March 11, 2005: "keosk" for "kiosk"
IO is an ambiguous spelling that represents various sounds, for instance (a) two vowels joined by a Y-glide; the two vowels can be long-E and schwa (accordion), long-I and short-O (ion), long-E and long-O (audio), and either long-E and /AU/ or long-I and /AU/ (as in different pronunciations of a priori); (b) Y plus schwa (onion); and (c) as part of the /SH/-plus-schwa or /ZH/-plus-schwa sound of -tion and -sion endings (action, recision) at the least. Let's make plain that this Turkish borrowing is not to be pronounced like Kiowa or Iowa: "keosk".
Thursday, March 10, 2005: "buclay" for "bouclé"
America Online's welcome screen each day highlights several items of the day in different areas (news, lifestyle, sports and entertainment, finance). Today's "AOL Living" screen spotlighted "bouclé jackets", that is, women's jackets made from a rough-textured fabric. So let's reform the name of that thread and fabric today, to show plainly how it is pronounced and to get rid of the "un-English" accent: "buclay".
Wensday, March 9, 2005: "enuf" for "enough"
I have used this informal variant spelling a number of times on this page but had not actually put it forward as a Werd of the Day itself. Today I do.
-OUGH- is one of those ridiculous spellings that gives kids and other new learners of English a lot of trouble, for no reason. There is no way to justify this absurd string of letters. At least with -IGHT you know to pronounce the I long, tho -EIGHT is ambiguous, sometimes signaling long-I (height, sleight), but other times signaling long-A (weight, freight). With -OUGH-, however, there is no way to know how to pronounce it. Sometimes it's long-O (though), sometimes long-U (through), sometimes "ow" (bough), sometimes "awe" (thought), sometimes AUF (cough), sometimes UF (rough, and today's word, enough), and even, in one word, "up" (hiccough)! Indeed, in a few words (e.g., slough, sough), some people say one thing, others another. It's preposterous. All -OUGH-'s should be written out of the language. Today's word is one step along that path: "enuf".
Tuesday, March 8, 2005: "syko" for "psycho"
The midst of the Michael Jackson trial seems a good time to offer this word, which has a silent-P and a CH but no CH-sound (as in church). Both problems are easily fixed: "syko".
Munday, March 7, 2005: "rite" for both "right" and "write"
One of the principles that has guided my choices as to which reforms to offer on this webpage has been to avoid creating new homographs, that is, additional words spelled the same as other words. B-o-w, for instance, spells two different sounds, one that rhymes with "now" and one with "know", and each of those has several different meanings.
The obvious reform for both "right" and "write" is "rite", but "rite" is already a word, spelled phonetically. So I have hesitated to suggest this obvious change for either unphonetically-spelled word. I asked for advice from visitors to this site, and the responses have persuaded me to grab the bull by the horns and just use "rite" for all three words.
After all, "right" is both a noun and an adjective, with many different meanings of its own that we do not try to distinguish by different spellings. "Run" has 91 meanings, all of them spelled r-u-n. There would be no way to distinguish those 91 meanings by spelling. Nor is it necessary to distinguish the various meanings of "right", "write", and "rite" by spelling. That's not the job of alphabetic writing, which is simply to convey speech over space and time. Two of the three present spellings don't do that. Only "rite" does.
"Write" is primarily a verb. "Rite" is an infrequently used noun. Rarely or never would the three very different words "right", "write", and "rite" be confused in context, especially given their different grammatical functions. The confusions we do generally have are with different meanings of the one word spelled "right": "Did you mean 'Turn right' or 'That's right'?".
It is impossible logically to justify continuing to use the crazy spellings "write" and especially "right". And a Google search for "rite" shows it to be used by many people and companies for both "right" and "write" (e.g., Rite Aid drugstores, "Rite in the Rain" paper). So let's just allow context to draw the distinctions, and spell these three words phonetically: that is, spell them all "rite".
Sunday, March 6, 2005: "orthografy" for "orthography"
Today, let's simplify the formal word for "spelling". There's only one thing wrong in this long word, the PH for F, which has a quick and obvious fix: "orthografy".
Saturday, March 5, 2005:
"nimonic/s" for "mnemonic/s"
"sasparilla" for "sarsaparilla"
Last nite, the cable station Nickelodeon's "Nick at Nite" offering of old sitcoms included an episode about a spelling bee, that peculiar contest we can hold only because the spelling of English is so bizar that it's a feat of great pride to be able to master its complexities. I suspect some opponents of spelling reform like the idea that English is so complicated that they prove how smart they are evry day just by spelling things right. But writing is not about devising and using a complicated and inconsistent code to exclude the masses or prove the brilliance of the few. It is about empowering people all people to convey speech, and thus information and feelings, over space and time in unambiguous form.
In the specific spelling contest at issue, the middle daughter Stephanie Tanner, of the extended family in the John Stamos comedy Full House, was coached for her grade school's spelling bee by her father, who used mnemonic devices ("C as in Chlorox" he's a neat freak) to get her to remember specific configurations. Alas, he didn't think to spell for her the word for "memory device" that they were using throughout their preparation, which turned out to be the first and only word she was asked to spell in the bee. Stunned and unprepared, she guessed "nemonic" and was eliminated immediately. Unwilling to admit defeat, she challenged the winner to a followup spelling bee in her home, where she was undone in offering "sasparilla" for the name of the soda. She learns to accept defeat.
Alas, the crazy spelling of English defeats tens of millions of people across the English-speaking world, rendering them into functional illiterates handicapped economically and socially for life.So spelling reformers must NOT accept defeat.
Let's just get rid of idiotic spellings like "mnemonic" and "sarsaparilla" (which has a 'mute A', as tho there were two words side-by-side, "sarsa" and "parilla", and one speaker just dropped the second A then another dropped the first R!). Let's spell this twofer sensibly: "nimonic/s" and "sasparilla".
Friday, March 4, 2005:
"bazar" for "bazaar"
"bizar" for "bizarre"
I suppose I cood offer wun of these paired werds today and the uther tomorrow, but let's du both in wun day to use contrast and comparison.
There are only three common English werds with AA: aardvark, baa, and bazaar. The sound the AA is supposed to represent is unclear. In "baa", is it short-A as in bat or broad-A as in father? Some people say wun, some the other.
AR is almost always broad-A plus R (are, car, bar). However, ARR is often short-A plus R (arrow, barren, arrogant). So we can't use a dubble-R at the end of these werds (bazarr, bizarr) to signal that the syllabic stress is on the second syllable, without risking a misreading of the vowel. Tho it would be nice if English had a convenient way of indicating unusual syllabic stress, such as a written accent (bazár, bizár), it duz not. Let's just show the sounds and let people supply the right syllabic stress because there is no werd with those sounds in which the stress falls on the first syllable.
These two werds, as shortened and simplified, remain distinct in their new spellings: bazar and bizar.
Wensday and Thursday, March 2 and 3, 2005:
"munny" for "money"
"hunny" for "honey"
These words, as traditionally spelled, should rhyme with "Coney [Island]" and "baloney". They do not, but with bunny, funny, runny, sunny, and tunny (another word for tuna). Let's make them sight-rhyme with these latter words, not just sound-rhyme. Winnie the Pooh spelled honey this way, and if it's good enuf for him, it's good enuf for me. So let's reform Pooh's favorite and many a human's favorite the same way: "hunny" and "munny".
Tuesday, March 1, 2005: "ake" for "ache"
There's no reason for a CH to be present in this werd, since it has no CH-sound (as in church). The sound is K, so the spelling should be K: "ake".
Munday, February 28, 2005: "sincronize" for "synchronize"
There are two things wrong with the present spelling. First, there's a Y for a short-I. Second, there's a CH but no CH-sound (as in church). There's a quick, simple fix for both problems: I for Y, C for CH.
The short-form "sync(h)", as in "lip-sync(h)" becomes "sinc", parallel to zinc. The past and present progressive become "sincced" and "sinccing", parallel to the verb "sic" (as in 'command a dog to attack'). The full form, however, would be "sincronize".
Sunday, February 27, 2005: "dizert" for "dessert"
Let's conclude Food Week as we often conclude a meal, with dessert. You'd think a double-S would be pronounced S, wouldn't you? But in a very few werds, it is, bizarrely, pronounced Z (for instance, brassiere, Missouri, the most common pronunciation of hussar and hussy, and today's werd, dessert). Let's fix that.
Because there's an E in the second syllable, there is no completely satisfactory way to write this werd. If we write "dizert", some people will initially see it as having a long-I in the first syllable because of the influence of the E in the second. If we dubble the Z to show that the I is short, we also suggest that the syllabic stress falls at the beginning of the word, whereas it actually falls at the end. That seems to me the worse problem. I suspect that once people realize what werd this has to be, they will adjust more readily to a single Z than dubble: "dizert".
Saturday, February 26, 2005: "ohgrottin" for "au gratin"
On Day 6 of Food Week, we need a starch or carb to balance the staek and brockoly in our ontray. How about potatoes "au gratin"? This French phrase, which the American Heritage Dictionary translates as meaning "with the scraping from the pan", is ambiguous as to pronunciation, but is ordinarily said "oh grottin". We can push these two elements together to make a single fonetic werd: "ohgrottin".
Some hifalutin types will object that that looks 'silly', like a pronunciation key rather than an actual spelling. But that's what all spelling is supposed to be: a pronunciation key, a way to record speech without a sound recording so that anyone who sees it will know which sounds are encoded. The purpose of alphabetic writing is to record speech. That is all. Speech came first and is used most. Writing is not a separate language. It's just a way of transmitting speech without sound, period. The only silly spelling is spelling that does not convey the sounds clearly. "Au gratin", which looks like "awe gratin(g)", is a silly spelling. "Ohgrottin" is an intelligent spelling, and it is our word for today: "ohgrottin".
Friday, February 25, 2005: "brockoly" for "broccoli"
For Day 5 of Food Week, we need a vegetable to accompany our staek. How about some broccoli, which is said to help prevent various forms of cancer? It has an unusual spelling in a couple of ways. First, most werds with a short-O followed by a K-sound ar spelled with -ock- (as in rock, stockade, chockablock). Second, a final-I is at best ambiguous, often representing a long-I sound (alibi, cacti, hi-fi, sci-fi). Let's fix both those little problems: "brockoly".
Thursday, February 24, 2005:
"ontray" for "entree"
"staek" for "steak"
On Day 4 of Food Week, we come to the main course, or, in American usage, "entree". I originally intended to offer only the names of specific foods in Food Week, but as I got to the main course, I realized that the word we usually use for main course itself needs reform.
"Entree" looks as tho it should be pronounced "entry". It is not, but retains a French pronunciation. Let's spell it as it sounds: "ontray" (which is apt, since in a cafeteria you would put your meal on a tray, and in a restaurant it would often be brought to you on a tray).
As for this week's multi-course dinner, our ontray is "steak", which has the E and the A reversed unphonetically. S-t-e-a-k would ordinarily be pronounced "steek" (compare beak, leak, freak). It is not, but like "stake". However, that spelling is already taken, for a wooden spike. If we simply flip the E and A from the present spelling, to make AE as in "sundae", we have the perfect fix. So today's "ontray" is "staek".
Wensday, February 23, 2005: "supe" for "soup"
Continuing "Food Week", we come to the soup course. There is no OU-sound in "soup". Let's spell it as it sounds: "supe".
Tuesday, February 22, 2005: "cheez" for "cheese"
On this second day of "Food Week", I offer another common appetizer, cheese. We hav at hand a common reformed spelling widely known frum brand names like Cheez-It, Cheez Whiz, and Cheez Doodles. But some people seem to hesitate to adopt this spelling because it is 'too easy' as tho spelling should be hard!
The present spelling is ambiguous as to whether the S is to be pronounced S, as in "geese", or Z, as in "these". The ending -se is a common spelling for an S-sound at the end of a word, where -ss wouldn't werk or look right (case, nonsense, apocalypse), but it is also often pronounced Z (cause, arise, carouse). Z is unambiguous. The only question then becomes whether simply to replace the S with Z ("cheeze", like breeze, freeze, and sneeze) or drop the final E altogether. Spelling traditionalists would presumably prefer a final E, but it certanly isn't necessary to signal a long-E sound, since EE duz that very efficiently without mor. Since we already hav popular brand names that incorporate the shorter and mor efficient spelling, let's use that: "cheez".
Munday, February 21, 2005:
"cannapay" for "canapé / canape"
"orderve/s" for "hors d'oeuvre/s"
Today kicks off "Food Week" here at SSWD.
Let's start at the beginning of a meal of several courses. We have two badly spelled terms for types of appetizer, "canapé" and "hors d'oeuvre/s". Reforming "canapé" is easy. We can replace the final E (or accented-E) with AY: "canapay". We should also double the N to show that the first-A is short.
"Hor d'oeuvre" is trickier. The present spelling is one of the silliest to be found in all of English, and is almost impossible to remember for anyone who hasn't studied French. This very French-looking term is not pronounced in a Frenchified way (e.g., orh duvrha, where RH represents the gargled (uvular) French R), but has been anglicized, or"naturalized", in pronunciation. It's time to naturalize its spelling too.
One doesn't generally use "hors d'oeuvre" in the singular, and there is some confusion about what the proper plural is. Do you add an S to the spelling and a Z to the sound? Let's end that confusion too, by regularizing the English form to include an S (pronounced Z) for the plural: "orderves".
Ideally, we'd like to write "orderv/s", with no silent-E, since there is no long vowel sound in the werd. But no present English werd ends with -erv. Since the pattern people are comfortable with is -erve (nerve, serve, verve, deserve), let's conform this respelling to that convention. So today we offer an appetizing twofer take two; they're small "canapay" and "orderve".
Sunday, February 20, 2005:
"luze" for "lose" and
"chuze" for "choose"
There are two unrelated words with similar spelling that are often confused, especially since one of them is irregular: lose and loose.
The first derives from Old English, has a spelling for its sound that is shared by only one other common word (whose), is irregular in inflection (past and past participle lost), and has a common derivative (loss) that sounds little like it.
The second derives from Old Norse and is quite regular, save that its spelling is ambiguous as to whether the S is pronounced S or Z, parallel to "goose" or to "choose". It is that confusion that confuses lose and loose! So let's reform one of the L-words to end the confusion, and change the spelling of choose to eliminate the word that compounds the confusion and needs reform itself.
Of the two words lose and loose, lose is the obvious choice for change, since its present spelling is bizarre and produces the confusion. Loose is sensibly spelled, given that -oose is ordinarily pronounced UES . Why change the word that is consistent with the standard pattern?
It makes far better sense to eliminate the oddball. In the case of lose, that would mean at least exchanging the O for a U (luse). But that is ambiguous, as in use, abuse, and excuse, each of which has two pronunciations, one with an S-sound, one with a Z. It wouldn't end the confusion with loose at all! Let's just bite the bullet and write "luze". Let us then use the same pattern to reform choose. So today we have a twofer that would permanently end the endless confusion between lose and loose: "luze" and "chuze".*
* Conforming the conjugation of "chuze", then, we get "choze" and "chozen" as well.
Saturday, February 19, 2005: "vue" for "view"
"Vie" is a word to itself, pronounced as it looks. "View" is not "vie" with a W-glide added onto it. Rather, the I represents a Y sound, but that's not obvious to readers. (Oddly, French, which in general is even more insanely spelled than English, long ago reformed its spelling from "view" to "vue".)
There are a lot of words in English of the form -ew (few, new, mew), so perhaps we could simply drop the I: "vew". But in many of these -ew words (crew, threw, corkscrew), there is no Y-glide, so people might see "vew" as voo. By contrast, we already have the word "revue", for a show comprising skits and musical numbers, and nobody pronounces that revoo. So let's just use that pattern.
The derivative "viewer" becomes "vuewer" ("vuer" would not be clear). But verb forms would not need a W: "vued", "vueing", "vues". Today's base word, then, is "vue".
Friday, February 18, 2005: "wuend" for "wound"
There are two words spelled w-o-u-n-d. One is a noun and a verb to itself relating to injury. The other is an adjective and also the past and past participle of the verb to "wind" (which is itself a homophone, but we'll deal with that another day). The second sounds as it looks, with the OU representing the OU-sound. The first, however, has a long-U sound and rhymes with "spooned". Let's respell that one.
"Crooned", "swooned", and "tuned" also rhyme with this word, but they are all verb forms and look it. So we shouldn't write "wooned" or "wuned", because they look like the past tense of the nonexistent word "woon" or "wune". We can, however write UE as in "accrue" and "blue": "wuend".
Thursday, February 17, 2005: "frunteer" for "frontier"
Yesterday's word was "front", to "frunt". Building on that, I suggest we change both the root of "frontier" to "frunt" and the -ier ending to -eer because -ier can be pronounced a number of ways: IEYER as in "amplifier"; EEYER, as in "carrier"; YAE, as in "atelier"; EEYAE, as in "couturier" or "croupier"; ER, as in "brazier" or "glacier"; and EER as in "bombardier" . The most common pronunciation is EEYER, in the comparative of many adjectives ending in Y: easier, cheesier. Change the spelling to -eer, however, and the reader knows exactly how to pronounce it: "frunteer".
Wensday, February 16, 2005: "frunt" for "front"
We've had a couple of very mild days, but temperatures ar due to drop sharply today as a cold front muves thru the area, bringing rain as well as a dip in temperatures. So this seems as good a time as any to face the fact that there is no O-sound in "front". Rather, the vowel sound is short-U. So let's spell the werd as it sounds: "frunt".
Tuesday, February 15, 2005: "millenium" for "millennium"
I passed by two signs with misspellings in East Orange today. One, for a muffler shop, included the word "exaust", which I proposed here on November 19th. The other included "millenium". "Millennium" is one of those words that pedants love to use to test people's spelling savvy, and if heaven forfend! someone should leave out the second N, they jump on the error triumphally. Spelling is not about proving one person smarter than another. It's about communicating effectively.
Do we really need two N's to convey the word "millennium"? Most people don't seem to think so. Let's save ourselves a letter and drop this needless second N: "millenium".
Munday, February 14, 2005: "masheen" for "machine"
This is Valentine's day, so I wanted to offer an appropriate werd for the occasion, but those that came most readily to mind have already been used (luv, bokay, choclat) or need no reform (valentine, card, dinner, romance). So I went another way.
There's a notorious incident from the lawless days of Prohibition, in which seven mobsters were made to face the wall of a Chicago garage, then shot dead by machine gun: the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre". So I offer today the word "machine" (gun).
There is no CH-sound in this word, but an SH-sound; and the -ine looks as tho it should rhyme with mine or, for that matter, valentine. Let's fix both these problems: "masheen".
Sunday, February 13, 2005: "wership" for "worship"
Sunday's a good day to offer this werd. The present spelling looks like "wor ship", a clearer rendering of "warship" that substitutes the correct vowel, O, for the incorrect vowel A. But it's really a spelling that has its own wrong vowel, O, which should be E!
I hav already proposed "wor" for "war" to fix that misleading spelling. In an ideal world, we could now adopt "wership" for what one does in a church or temple and "worship" for "warship". This is not an ideal world, and it would be very difficult to re-uze "worship" right away. Perhaps we could use a hyphen in the term for a military vessel for a while, until people get used to seeing "wor" for "war": wor-ship.
In any case, there is certainly no reason to continue to spell the word for 'religious devotions' in misleading fashion, with an OR that does not rhyme with "or". Let's spell it as is actually sounds: "wership".
Saturday, February 12, 2005: "braek" for "break"
Saturday, the start of most people's weekend break from work, is an apt time to reform this werd. "Break" is an ambiguous spelling that looks as tho it should rhyme with "beak". It does not. We already have a word "brake", but can use the AE spelling pattern of sundae to break from the irrational spelling of the past and create a distinctive, clear spelling for this homophone: "braek".
Friday, February 11, 2005: "cloathe" and "cloathing" for "clothe" and "clothing"
Finishing up "Fashion Week", I offer reform of "clothing" because it includes the word "cloth" but doesn't sound like "cloth" plus -ing. The verb "clothe" itself is fine, but when you add the -ing in the present progressive form, it loses its foneticity. So let's reform both these words, the noun and verb form "clothing" and the verb "clothe", on the model of "loathe": "cloathe" and "cloathing".
Thursday, February 10, 2005: "voeg" for "vogue"
In keeping with the "Fashion Week" theme, today's word offers a reform of what now looks like vogyu or vog (compare "catalogue" and "dialogue"): "voeg".
Wensday, February 9, 2005: "fashon" for "fashion"
It's "Fashion Week" in New York, a time when the clothing-design jet set gets together to evaluate upcoming collections, so this seems an appropriate time to jettison the needless I in "fashion": "fashon".
Tuesday, February 8, 2005: "harang" for "harangue"
I had no idea there was a UE at the end of this word, since I have generally heard it, not read it. I found this odd spelling today thru my electronic American Heritage Dictionary, in checking for the wildcard *gue, and was so struck by it, especially given the contentious politics of this period so soon after the presidential election and State of the Union address, that I'm offering it right away.
There is plainly no justification for a UE in this word. We don't write "hangue", "rangue", "gangue", or "clangue". Indeed, the UE might lead some readers to think there's a hard-G beyond the NG-sound. Moreover, the Middle English form of the word was "arang", a simplification of a borrowing from French, harangue, in which the silent H and UE were (intelligently) dropped. Apparently purists decided arang was ignorant, so restored the original French spelling, which led to the way we say it today a spelling-pronunciation! Let's simplify this now, lest we get a new spelling-pronunciation, with a hard-G!: "harang".
Munday, February 7, 2005: "amung/st" for "among/st"
The second syllable of this common preposition rhymes not with "gong" but with "rung". So let's replace the O with U: "amung/st".
Sunday, February 6, 2005: "quort/er/back" for "quarterback"
It's Superbowl Sunday, and a fellow spelling reformer suggested that the word for today should be "quarterback". Good idea! "Quarterback" contains the shorter words "quart" and "quarter". In none of them does the -art- rhyme with the word "art". So let's reform them all in one swell foop: "quort/er/back".
Saturday, February 5, 2005: "nymf/o/mania/c/al" for "nymph/o/mania/c/al"
The base word here is "nymph", which has a Y for the short-I sound and PH for the F-sound. Once we get rid of that nonsense, we are left with "nimf", but might as well deal with derivatives: "nimfo", "nimfomania", "nimfomaniac" and "nimfomaniacal" a fivefer!
Friday, February 4, 2005: "lepard" for "leopard"
"Leopard" is a confusing word for kids and other new readers, since they already know the name "Leo", so are naturally inclined to read "leopard" as "leo" + "pard", which they see as parallel to "part". Nope.
There is a British rock band known as "Def Leppard". The name was originally (1975) the standard spelling "Deaf Leopard" but they changed it in 1977. I don't think we need a double-P (compare lizard, wizard) for the name of the big cat. Let's leave the double-P to the band and apply a single-P to the cat: "lepard".
Thursday, February 3, 2005: "spagetty" for "spaghetti"
There's no H-sound in the middle of spaghetti, and no I-sound at the end. We know how to spell the last two syllables from the familiar gasoline brand Getty. So let's just write "spagetty".
Wensday, February 2, 2005: "neffew" for "nephew"
Two days ago I suggested "neece" for "niece", but I hesitated to address "nephew" because it is a little more contentious. Some Brits say nevyu; and in any case there are issues with how best to represent the yu sound. Should we leave EW, since it is a common way of representing this sound and is the way it's spelled in this word now? or change it to UE? or just U? Which: neffew, neffue, neffu?
Do we accommodate the pronunciation nevyu by offering as well "nevvew", "nevvue", and/or "nevvu"? Of course, this webpage merely offers suggestions. I have no power nor will to impose my proposals on the world against majority preferences.
All things considered, perhaps the simplest and most widely acceptable replacement for the present, preposterous use of PH for the F-sound is the smallest change that makes the sounds plain, a double-F to show that the first syllable contains a short-E, but leaving everything else the same: "neffew".
Tuesday, February 1, 2005: "revvilly" for "reveille"
The traditional spelling of this word has to be one of the most peculiar in all of English. I can think of no justification whatsoever for retaining it. So let's just spell it as it sounds: "revvilly".
Munday, January 31, 2005: "neece" for "niece"
IE is a standard way of spelling the long-I sound (pie, tie, flies), but the vowel in "niece" is long-E. Let's show that, on the pattern of fleece, which requires us to change only wun letter, the I to an E: "neece".
Sunday, January 30, 2005: "buffay" for "buffet"
Sunday, a brunch kind of day, seems an appropriate time to propose this reform. There are two words spelled b-u-f-f-e-t. One is a common noun for a counter from which food is served, and for meals taken from such counters. It is pronounced bufáe or, more Frenchified, buefáe. The other is a verb and uncommon noun, pronounced búfit. We can leave the verb alone, since the T is sounded. But in the more commonly used noun, the E is wrong the vowel is long-A and we don't need a silent-T. So let's make this word look as it sounds: "buffay".
Saturday, January 29, 2005: "jel" for "gel"
G before E is an ambiguous spelling. Perhaps the first word we learn that has this spelling is "get", where the G is "hard", and that influences the way we read other G-E combinations. New readers of English often see "gesture" as having a hard-G, an impression reinforced by encountering the word "jest", which seems a plain contrast to "gesture".
Let's reserve G for the hard-G sound, to the extent possible, and use J for the soft-G sound more widely. In the case of "gel", there is a verb "jell" and a noun "jelly", as well as a familiar brand name that has now become a generic word for "gelatin dessert", "Jell-O" (usually written "jello"), all of which have paved the way. So this reform should be pretty readily accepted: "jel" and, by extension, "jellatin" and "jelattinous". Further, since there is no OU-sound in the traditional -OUS ending, we should as well drop the O, to end up with "jelattinus".
Friday, January 28, 2005: "sinnapse" for "synapse"
Wun main reason to reform the spelling of English is to giv clearer guidance as to how things ar pronounced. The spelling of English is so chaotic that it provides all too little such guidance, and even highly educated people make mistakes because of it. Yesterday, retiring New York Times columnist William Safire, an expert "On Language" (the name of his weekly column about interesting features of English), appeared on a cable news program and made the startling pronunciation error síe.naaps for "synapse"! He was apparently misled by the Y in the standard spelling into thinking the vowel in the first syllable is long-I. It is not. If even a William Safire can be misled by bad spelling, who can't? Let's get rid of misleeding spellings, and make the wun that led Safire astray one of those we reform: "sinnapse".
Thursday, January 27, 2005: "culot/s" for "culotte/s"
We can drop two letters from this word with no loss in clarity, since it has four pronunciations all of which would be accommodated by this change: kuelót/s, kyuelót/s, kúelot/s, kyúelot/s. So let's save some writing or typing time and some ink: "culot/s".
Wensday, January 26, 2005: "kiyak" for "kayak" or "kaiak"
Dictionary.com reports that the American Heritage dictionary gives the etymology of this werd as "Canadian, and Inuit qajaq." I don't recall having seen "Canadian", by itself, in an etymology before "Canadian French", perhaps, but not just "Canadian". So in honor of our Canadian cousins, I offer today a further simplification of this werd from the Canadian simplification of Inuit qajaq. After all, the vowel in the first syllable is long-I, not long-A: "kiyak".
Tuesday, January 25, 2005: "segway" for "segue"
Johnny Carson, king of American late-nite television for 30 years, and the king of segues, died Sunday at the age of 79. It is from him that I first heard the word "segue", so this seems an apt time to offer a reform for this word's Italian spelling. A company that makes a free-standing "Human Transporter" / electric scooter adopted the name "Segway", which is a perfect rendering of "segue" in traditional English form. Tho we might violate their trademark if we were to use it for another scooter, trademarks apply only to products or services, not to general use of a pre-existing English word, albeit with a different spelling. So let's simplify finding this word in a dictionary and recognizing it when we see it: "segway".
Munday, January 24, 2005: "terpsickory" for "terpsichore"
This unusual werd for the Muse of the dance or art of dancing is very puzzling to new and intermediate readers of English, native or non-native. It looks to have three syllables, terp-si-chore, like "chore", a task. It actually has four syllables, the last three of which rhyme with "hickory". So let's spell it parallel to "hickory": "terpsickory".
Sunday, January 23, 2005: "shure" for "sure"
This werd starts with an SH-sound, not an S-sound, so let's just add an H to make it look as it sounds: "shure".
Saturday, January 22, 2005: "fasod" for "facade / façade"
In French, frum which this werd derives, façade may (or may not) be a reasonable way to spell this sound combination (French is almost as insanely spelled as English, altho in French you usually know how odd spellings are to be pronounced). In English, it's a preposterous spelling and givs rise to confusions. I hav actually heard Britons on television pronounce it as it usually looks ("facade", since most typewriters in English-speaking countries have no cedilla, and most people do not know how to compose a c-cedilla combination in a word processor or email program): fa.káed! No, that's wrong. Let's conform the spelling to the pronunciation: "fasod".
Friday, January 21, 2005: "ern" for "earn"
Friday, payday for most people in the U.S., seems an apt time to propose dropping the A frum "earn". EA most often represents the long-E sound (sea, pea, plead), but "earn" has a short-E. We can save a letter and gain in clarity simply by dropping the needless A: "ern".
Thursday, January 20, 2005: "kast" for "caste"
This reform, suggested by a fellow spelling reformer, neatly eliminates a needless letter without producing another homograph in a language littered with homographs. It obeys the rules of English by employing a letter often used to represent the K-sound, K itself, while offering a spelling that is sufficiently "un-English" as to show the foreignness of the entire idea of assigning individuals to a permanent and unchangeable social position no matter how brilliant they might be nor how hard they might work: "kast".
Wensday, January 19, 2005: "carburater" for "carburetor"
-ETOR is a peculiar way to spell what sounds like -aeter, and indeed the present spelling misleeds some people to say -etter. Let's revise the spelling to giv clear guidance to the pronunciation: "carburater".
Tuesday, January 18, 2005: "weerd" for "weird"
Today's werd is wun of the 'exceptions' to the I-before-E rule:Write I before E
Except after C
Or when it sounds like an A
As in "neighbor" and "weigh".
The Purdue University website that givs that rule also givs 14 exceptions. There may be mor. Like so many "rules" of spelling in English, the I-before-E rule is not very helpful. Let's just eliminate the I in this werd and not hav to deal with a "rule" that has so many exceptions: "weerd".
Munday, January 17, 2005: "teknical" for "technical"
There is a lot of impatience with "tech" for what sounds like tek, and "tek" is a very common pop-fonetics spelling for business and product names, websites, etc. You'd have to be teched (yes, that is a word, and the CH represents the CH-sound) to defend CH for the K-sound: "teknical".
Sunday, January 16, 2005: "shanker" for "chancre"
Yesterday's werd, "sifilis", leeds naturally to today's, the name of the sore that marks the entry point of the germ that causes sifilis. The present spelling is absurd. "Chancre" is just "chance" with an R in it. Why should the CH change to an SH-sound? It shouldn't. Nor is CRE a sensible spelling for what sounds like KER. Let's just fix both these things at once: "shanker".
Saturday, January 15, 2005: "sifilis" for "syphilis"
The trivia question today at LuckySurf.com asked "What disease, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, is characterized by bleeding gums and extreme weakness?" and offered the two alternative answers "Syphillis" and "Scurvy". Yup, they misspelled "syphilis". And why not? The common female name "Phyllis" has two L's, so it's a natural enuf mistake to make. Still, perhaps the reason it's important to have LL in "Phyllis" but not in "syphilis" is that the syllable before the L's in "Phyllis" is stressed but not the syllable before the L's in "syphilis".
The other problems with this word, of course, are the Y for the short-I sound and PH for the F-sound, both of them absurd. So how do we improve the spelling? "Siffilis"? "Siffillis"? Or would a single F and single L do the trick? I think so, especially since the original spelling didn't have any double letters: "sifilis".
(The correct answer, by the way, is scurvy.)
Friday, January 14, 2005: "oncor" for "encore"
In French, from which this werd derives, EN is a typical way of representing a nasalized version of the short-O in English, but in English it is an unusual way that has led to some spelling pronunciations ("envaloep" for onvaloep, "enklaev" for onklaev). There is not yet a common pronunciation "enkaur" for onkaur. Let's keep it that way, by respelling this werd to show its proper sound. We can change the first E to O, and drop the final-E because it's not needed and might misleed readers to think the werd is somehow related to "core", which it is not: "oncor".
Thursday, January 13, 2005: "weppon" for "weapon"
Yesterday's big news story was that the hunt for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq has been ended, so this seems an apt time to deal with the word "weapon". EA is a very ambiguous spelling with a number of pronunciations (as in, for instance, e.g., nausea (where it has two different pronunciations, EE-schwa and just-schwa), pear, heart, azalea, and break, more than just as here and in head). Let's just cut out the doubt and drop the A. That would leave "wepon", which is unclear as to whether the E is long or short. We can clarify that thru using the simple convention of doubling the consonant-after to show a short vowel: "weppon".
Wensday, January 12, 2005: "camra" for "camera"
Few people pronounce "camera" as three syllables save under the pressure of trying to seem highly educated by pronouncing all the syllables the spelling implies. Let's relieve people of the worry about whether saying "camra" would make them seem uncultured by eliminating the needless syllable: "camra".
Tuesday, January 11, 2005: "leed" for the verb "lead"
Altho EA is a common way of spelling the long-E sound, it is ambiguous, for representing other sounds as well: e.g., nausea (where it has two different pronunciations, EE-schwa and just-schwa), pear, heart, azalea, break, and, most problematic for this particular word, head. You see, l-e-a-d is a homograph for the two words pronounced leed (a verb, meaning to guide), and led (a noun, meaning a soft, heavy metal), and the two are often confused on first sight.
In the past tense, this irregular verb takes "led", pronounced as it looks. But it is sometimes misspelled "lead" out of inattentive confusion with the unrelated noun. We can solve the first problem, initial uncertainty about which word we see on a page, by changing the spelling of the verb on the pattern of deed, feed, and seed. Whether that will eliminate the second problem, unthinkingly writing the noun "lead" for the past tense of the verb, remains to be seen, but it would seem likely that such confusion will occur less often if one associates the present tense of the verb with EE, not EA. So today's proposed reform is to respell the verb: "leed".
Munday, January 10, 2005: "bom/ming" for "bomb/ing"
Today's word is, alas, always apt, since there is always military or terrorist violence somewhere on this planet. There is no reason for a B to 'be' at the end of a word that sounds simply like bom. Let's just drop it. That works fine for the noun and some forms of the verb, e.g., boms. For others, we would follow the standard rule that if adding grammatical endings would make a short vowel seem long, you double the last consonant before adding the suffix: bommed, bomming. Thus, in the noun and some forms of the verb, we save a letter with this reform, but in other forms of the verb we save not a letter but a silent letter, and it's always a good idea to get rid of letters that add nothing and complicate remembering how to spell things: "bomb".
Sunday, January 9, 2005: "slae" for "sleigh"
This past week, large parts of the U.S. had a foot or more of snow. A sleigh might be a good way to get around there, tho "sleigh" is not a good way to spell this word. -EIGH is a preposterous way to spell the long-A sound, and is indeed ambiguous in that it can also be pronounced as long-E (as in the name "Leigh"). We could respell "sleigh" as "slay", but that's already a word. To avoid creating a new homograph, let's just revise this word on the pattern of sundae: "slae".
Saturday, January 8, 2005: "seege" for "siege"
IE is a typical way of spelling the long-I sound (die, lie, pie), but there is no such sound in "siege". Rather, the vowel is long-E, and the simplest way to represent that sound is EE, tho E/consonant/silent-E is another common way. We could, therefore, just drop the I and leave "sege", but many people would not be clear how to pronounce that on first sight, like allege or college? renege? So a spelling similar to squeegee, without the extra syllable of squeegee, would be better: "seege".
Wensday-Friday, January 5-7, 2005:
"cood" for "could"
"shood" for "should"
"rong" for "wrong"
There are three auxiliary verbs of the curious pattern -OULD, "could", "should", and "would". We can easily reform the first two, on the pattern of "good" (with which they rhyme, tho you wouldn't know that from their spelling), but "wood" is already a word. Another spelling reformer has suggested to me "woodd", but -OODD is not a pattern presently found in English and 'looks funny', so would probably meet more resistance than "cood" or "shood". We'll let that pass for now.
Burger King just started running a funny commercial for its "wraps" in which two men are in a car at Burger King's drive-thru ordering station. The passenger says he'll have a "wa-rap", which puzzles the driver, who spells out w-r-a-p and says it's pronounced "rap", the W is silent. The passenger says 'Why should it be silent?' The driver says it's just a convention, like "wrench" (silent-W). The passenger corrects him, 'Wa-rench. I think you've been pronouncing these wa-rong all this time.'
So in honor of Burger King's playful jab at silly and misleading spelling, "wrong" is the third word in this set. Some people might object that simply dropping the silent-W (yes, it is supposed to be silent) leaves a word that appears to rhyme with "bong" or "King Kong", but some people do pronounce it that way. Others will ignore that similarity, see it as parallel to "long" and "song", so pronounce it raung, which is right.
Tuesday, January 4, 2005: "ile" for "aisle"
The present spelling of this word is bizarre, for having the wrong vowels, the AI combination that usually represents the flat-A sound or long-A, plus a silent-S. (Contrást paisley.) Let's just shorten and simplify this word by dropping the A and S to end up with a word on the pattern of mile, file, and pile: "ile".
Munday, January 3, 2005: "niet" for "knight"
-IGH is a silly way to represent long-I, and there's no way to justify a silent-K. We hav the familiar pattern die, pie, tie to use as a model for the long-I sound, and can simply drop the K, so let's save a couple of letters and make the spelling of this werd much simpler: "niet".
Sunday, January 2, 2005: "choclat" for "chocolate"
The last syllable of today's word is not pronounced "late" so shouldn't be spelled that way. The second O is silent. Let's just drop it, okay?: "choclat".
Saturday, January 1, 2005: "frunt/eer" for "front/ier"
On this first day of 2005, the very front of the year, so to speak, let's fix the word "front", which has the wrong vowel. Its present spelling suggests it rhymes with "frond". It does not. It rhymes with "runt", so let's spell it that way. We can also, this auspicious day, deal with the new frontier each new year is, by replacing the ambiguous -ier ending in "frontier" (compare amplifier, carrier, atelier, croupier, brazier) with the crystal-clear ending -eer. So we start 2005 with a twofer: "frunt" and "frunteer".
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