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Simpler Spelling
Word of the Day
Archive of Discussions
July-September 2011

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Friday, September 30, 2011: "vannity" for "vanity"

"Vanity" derives from "vane", which has a long-A, so some readers would be inclined to read "vanity" with a long-A too. The presence of only one N after the A contributes to the possibility of misreading. If we double the N, however, we make plain that the noun takes short-A: "vannity".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Thursday, September 29, 2011: "touwel" for "towel"

TOW is ambiguous, being pronounced, when a word to itself, with a long-O, but as part of longer words, with an OU-sound. Why should new readers have to wonder which sound it takes here? If the sound is OU, let's write a U before the W that marks where the next syllable begins: "touwel".

My thanks to "Firewall..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Wensday, September 28, 2011: "sepparit" for the adjective "separate", "sepparate" for the verb

There are two words in one in "separate", a verb with a long-A sound in the third syllable (as -ATE powerfully suggests), and an adjective, with a schwa so close to a short-I that we might as well just write an I before the T and drop the final-E.

The initial-E is short in both words, but a single-P does not make that clear. The long-A in the verb can be shown as it is now written: "sepparit" and "sepparate".

Tuesday, September 27, 2011: "retteric" and "retorical" for "rhetoric" and "rhetorical"

Why is there an H in these words? There's no H-sound, so there should be no H.

In the base word, the E is short, but whether it is short or long is unclear from the presence of a single-T after it (compare veto and detox, in which an E before TO is long, and balletomane and detonate, in which E before TO is short). To show plainly that the E in "rhetoric" is short, we need merely double the following-T. That has the added utility of showing that the word's stress falls on the first syllable.

The O in "rhetoric" does not take the usual sound in OR, the AU-sound of auburn, pause, and astronaut, but the sound most commonly spelled ER. Let's write ER.

In the derivative "rhetorical", the E is not short but more of a schwa, and the word's stress falls on the second syllable. So we don't need to double the T. If we double the R to indicate syllabic stress (which is not a usual function of spelling in English), we tip the balance between the two pronunciations now in place, the first with an AU-sound before the R, the second with a short-O. ORR would more likely be read as having a short-O than an AU-sound (borrow, horrible, correspondent). Let's not take sides, but just leave a single-R: "retteric" and "retorical".

Munday, September 26, 2011: "kot" for "qat", "kat", and "khat"

Let's expand our botanical vocabulary today to include the name of "an evergreen shrub, Catha edulis, of Arabia and Africa, the leaves of which are used as a narcotic when chewed or made into a beverage". The three spellings that have come into English are all wrong! In English, this word sounds exactly like the present word "cot", with a short-O. So we should use an O, not A. Since we already have a word of this sound with a C (the aforesaid "cot"), and since C doesn't really have any sound of its own but represents either K's sound or S's, let's use K: "kot".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Sunday, September 25, 2011: "perswade" for "persuade"

U is not a consonant, but here it takes the value of the consonant W. Why? If the sound is W, let's write W: " perswade".

My thanks to "yaora..." for this suggestion.

Saturday, September 24, 2011: "necter" for "nectar"

AR often takes the sound of "broad"-A or short-O (the same sound), as in tar, star, and carton. Here, the sound is that of what is most commonly written ER. Let's write that instead: "necter".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Friday, September 23, 2011: "maheemahee" for "mahimahi" and "mahi-mahi"

This Food Friday, let us anglicize the spelling of this Hawaiian name for the dolphinfish. It twice uses an I to represent a long-E sound. If the sound is long-E, let's write that sound the clearest way, as EE — twice. We don't need a hyphen: "maheemahee".

Thursday, September 22, 2011: "leesay" for "lycée" and "lycee"

Most people in English-speaking countries do not know how to put an accent over a vowel in typing, so today's word gets written as "lycee", which is unclear as to sound. Is it lí No. The Y is pronounced as a long-E, and the EE is, bizarrely, not pronounced as a long-E but as a long-A! Let's show the sounds clearly. The French origin of the word is irrelevant to the great preponderance of people. They just want to know how to say the word when they see it written: "leesay".

Wensday, September 21, 2011: "kouwtouw" for "kowtow"

OW is ambiguous, often being pronounced as long-O (show, know, lower) but comparably often being pronounced with the OU-sound (now, clown, glower). Here, the second syllable, "tow", is a word to itself, pronounced with a long-O, but in today's word the same letter sequence is pronounced as the OU-sound.

We need to clarify both syllables. Before the T, we could simply write OU, "kout". But at the end of the word, OU wouldn't do without more, because it is usually seen as representing a long-U sound (you, marabou, kinkajou). At the end of the word, then, we need to add a W, "touw". Some people would be confused by two different spellings for the same sound, so let's use a W in the first syllable too. It's not really a waste, since it makes plain that both syllables have the same sound, the OU-sound: "kouwtouw".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011: "eeritate" for "irritate"

For some reason I do not understand, publishers of dictionaries insist on showing an I-sound before an R where ordinary people hear a long-E, as tho somehow the presence of the R justifies an I. It does not. The sound we all hear in "irritate" is long-E, so let's write it the clearest way, EE: "eeritate".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Munday, September 19, 2011: "horce" for "hoarse"

OA is ambiguous (oat, broad, Croat, inchoate are pronounced oet, braud, króe.waat, and in.kó Here, the sound is AU, which, before an R, is ordinarily written O(R). Let's use that.

As for the S-sound, we can't simply use S, since there is already a very well-known word "horse". But we can use C before an E: "horce".

My thanks to "fishstick..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Sunday, September 18, 2011: "grannit" for "granite"

-ITE should have a long-I sound (unite, ignite, suburbanite). Here, the sound is short-I.  If there is a long-I in the second syllable, the word's stress would probably be there, which would render the A into a schwa. The actual sound of the A, however, is a full short-A. The way to show that plainly is to double the N, which will also incline the reader to put the stress on the first syllable, which would make it unlikely that the second syllable would have a long-I. But to show most plainly that the I is short, we should drop the superfluous and misleading -E, and save ourselves a letter : "grannit".

Saturday, September 17, 2011: "fe" for "fee"

We don't need a double-E in this word, any more than in be, he, or she: "fe".

Friday, September 16, 2011: "expensiv" for "expensive"

Logically, -IVE should be pronounced with a long-I (alive, arrive, revive), but here, it represents a short-I. Let's drop the -E and make the proper sound plain: "expensiv".

My thanks to "Fisherman..." for this suggestion.

Thursday, September 15, 2011: "diabeeteez" for "diabetes"

Let us strike a blow against ignorance, to eliminate a foolish mispronunciation of today's word as tho it were written "diabetis". Since "diabetes" is a medical word, and there are many medical words that end in -ITIS (appendicitis, arthritis, laryngitis), a lot of people confuse that ending with the -ETES ending of "diabetes". But that is wrong, and to pronounce the -ES as tho it were -IS is worse than careless. It is willfully ignorant.

If people were to mispronounce "diabetes", it would make better sense to read the present spelling as a three-syllable word ending in a pair for the word "beets". But nobody does that. Nor should anybody pronounce it with a short-I.

Do people who say a short-I at the end of "diabetes" also say "bases" (the plural of "basis") as tho it were no different from "basis"? How about "emphases"? "Parentheses"? Plainly, the -ES in all those words is NOT pronounced with a short-I. Nor is the -ES in "diabetes" properly pronounced with a short-I.

Let's fix the spelling so no one ever does that again: "diabeeteez".

Wensday, September 14, 2011: "cloze" for the verb "close"

There are two words spelled "close", an adjective, with an S-sound, and a verb, with a Z-sound. To show that the verb is pronounced with a Z, we need merely change the S to Z: "cloze".

My thanks to "Clap..." for today's suggestion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011: "byt" for "bight"

IGH is a preposterous way to write a simple long-I sound. Alas, common alternative ways of writing the sounds of this word are already taken by "bite" and "byte". But we don't need a silent-E to see a Y midword as long (hydro, hybrid, dynamic). So let's just use a Y in place of the IGH, and leave the rest alone: "byt".

My thanks to "Clap..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Munday, September 12, 2011: "aggony" and "aggonize" for "agony" and "agonize"

An A at the start of a word is often pronounced as a schwa (ajar, ahead, about). That is not the sound here, which is a full short-A. To show a short vowel, we commonly double the consonant immediately following. Let's do that here: "aggony", "aggonize".

Sunday, September 11, 2011: "ze" for "zee"

"Zee" is the name of the letter Z/z. Do we really need a second-E? We don't in he, me, or she, very frequent words that make plain the pattern that a one-syllable word ending in a single-E is often pronounced with long-E: "ze".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Saturday, September 10, 2011: "eelahng-eelahng" for "ylang-ylang" and "ilang-ilang"

We have, in today's unusual name for an aromatic tree from the Malay Archipelago, a couple of problems. First, the vowel sounds are not English, but "Continental". We can substitute EE for each of the Y's or I's, but the A's are problematic. The reader can be expected to see them as representing the short-A sound, as in at, but they actually represent the "broad"-A sound, which is also the short-O sound as in on, condiment, and fond. Unfortunately, we cannot write eelong-eelong, because LONG is a word to itself, pronounced most often not with a short-O but with the AU-sound as in haul, saunter, and laundry. That's not the sound here.

How can we show the right sound unambiguously? AH would do, as in autobahn, Brahmin, and shah. That spelling is admittedly unusual, but so is today's word.

One issue remains. Do we delete the hyphen and close the word up, as "eelahngeelahng". The answer is a resounding NO, because of another oddity of traditional English spelling. Sometimes NG is pronounced with an added hard-G sound midword (finger, anger, hungry), whereas it would not have that extra sound at the end of a word. The hyphen prevents the extra G-sound from being added in error: "eelahng-eelahng".

My thanks to "garden..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Friday, September 9, 2011: "wottij" for "wattage"

On December 1, 2007, I offered "wot" for "watt", but I didn't think to deal with the derivative "wattage". A double-T was excessive for the base word, since it represents a single sound, not a T-sound said twice. (The 1960s sitcom F Troop pronounced the needless two F's in the Albertan town of Banff twice in an episode about "The Burglar of Banff-f").

In the derivative "wattage", we do need a double-T, however, to show that the vowel before the T-sound is short. In the proposed reformed spelling, that vowel is O.

-AGE is ambiguous (rampage, collage, and passage being pronounced ráam.paej, ka.lózh or koe.lózh, and páas.ij). The sound in "wattage" is the same as in passage, a schwa so close to a regular short-I that we might as well write it with an I: "wottij".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011: "vernaccular" for "vernacular"

The sound of the first-A in today's word is unclear, as is where in this four-syllable word the primary stress falls. We can clarify both by doubling the C, which will at once show that the first-A is a full short-A, not a schwa nor long-A, and that the word's primary stress falls on the second syllable: "vernaccular".

Wensday, September 7, 2011: "treetiss" for "treatise"

(1) EA is ambiguous (cleat, bread, creation, and area are pronounced kleet, bred, kree.yáe.shan, and áir.ree.ya). In today's word, the sound is long-E, so let's write EE to make that plain.

(2) -ISE is also ambiguous (promise, paradise, and improvise are pronounced pró, páa.ra.dìes, and ím.pra.vìez). Here, it is pronounced as short-I followed by an S-sound, which at the end of a word is most clearly written ISS (hiss, miss, bliss).

Putting these two changes together, we get: "treetiss".

There is a minor alternate pronunciation with a Z-sound at the end. People who insist on that pronunciation can write "treetiz" on the model of "quiz" or "treetizz" on the model of "fizz".

Tuesday, September 6, 2011:  "seereus" for "serious"

Today's word has three little problems.

(1) The single-R renders unclear the sound of the preceding-E. Is it long, as in series? Is it short, as in serif? Is it perhaps a schwa, as in serene? It's long. Let's show that plainly, by doubling the E.

(2) The vowel sound of the second syllable is also long-E. Why is it spelled with an I? Let's change the I to E. We don't need to double it because it is followed by a vowel, so will not be seen as short.

(3) There is an OU but no OU-sound. If we just drop the O, we'll see the right sound.

Putting this all together, we get: "seereus".

Munday, September 5, 2011:  "riddicule" and "ridicculus" for "ridicule" and "ridiculous"

There are three little problems with this pair of words. First, there are only single-consonants, which leaves the sound of the two I's less than certain. The U is marked long by the silent-E (or "magic-E") after the L. One or the other of the I's could be pronounced long by some readers, especially new readers from outside an English-speaking country. And we must always remember that English is now a world language. It doesn't "belong" to the old-line English-speaking countries, but must be made clear for all users.

The second problem with these words is that the syllabic stress is unclear, especially in the longer word. Doubling the consonant after the appropriate vowel will show the differing syllabic stress in the two words. "Ridiculous" is not pronounced like "ridicule" plus another syllable. Rather, the stress shifts toward the end of the word, and we should show that.

Third, there is an OU in the longer word, but no OU-sound. We should drop the O and leave only the U (as in abacus, emeritus, and radius): "riddicule" and "ridicculous".

Sunday, September 4, 2011: "keeveeut" for "qiviut"

This unusual word* has a needlessly bizarre spelling that employs a Q to represent a simple K-sound. Why? If the sound is K, let's just write K.

The  two I's do not represent either of I's customary sounds, long as in idol or short as in it, but a long-E sound. The clearest spelling of long-E, midword, is EE. Let's use that in place of both I's. It is tempting to use only one E before the U, but EU is ambiguous, often being pronounced as a long-U with an initial Y-glide (euphemism, eulogy, therapeutic), or other ways aneurysm, neurotic). So two E's before the U is not too many: "keeveeut".

My thanks to "garden..." for suggesting reform of this word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

* "the soft, dense, light-brown woolly undercoat of the musk ox, used in making fabrics" (from Inuit).

Saturday, September 3, 2011: "faize" for "phase"

PH is an absurd way to write an ordinary F-sound, so we need to replace it with F. That would yield "fase", which is still not quite right, in that the S represents not an S-sound but a Z-sound. We cannot just use Z there, however, because there is already a word "faze". We can, however, borrow the pattern of maize and baize, an AI in place of the A. That is not shorter than "phase", but it is clearer and far more sensible: "faize".

My thanks to "Clap..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Friday, September 2, 2011: "oe" for "owe"

As with yesterday's word, today's doesn't need a W, which introduces an element of uncertainty as to the pronunciation, since OW can be pronounced as either long-O or as the OU-sound. Here, the sound is long-O, which we could write as "o" without more except that "o" is already a word, for the letter, shape, or sound O, or (capitalized: "O") as a poetic interjection. So let's drop the confusable W and leave the final-E. The only place anyone is likely to find that spelling even a little odd is in the present-progressive tense, with -ING, but since there is an extremely well-known corporation called "Boeing", that spelling for that sound is well understood: "oe".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Thursday, September 1, 2011: "narro" for "narrow"

OW is ambiguous, having two common pronunciations, one the OU-sound and the other a long-O. Here, the sound is a simple long-O. The W merely complicates matters in the noun. In the verb, "to narrow", there's no problem except with the -ING present-progressive tense, where some people might be slitely confused by "narroing", because in most words, OI has its own sound, as in join, hoist, and boisterous. But we don't see a problem with going or doing, so it's pretty hard to argue against dropping the W in today's word, and simplifying it to: "narro".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Wensday, August 31, 2011: "mantion" for "mansion"

We don't need more than one odd spelling (-TION, -SION, -SSION, -CION, as in condition, emulsion, tranmission, suspicion) for what is usually spelled -TION but has an SH-sound, not a T-sound. Moreover, -SION is most commonly pronounced with a ZH-sound (television, aversion), not the SH-sound it has in today's word. We write "mention". We should also write: "mantion".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011: "luminesse/nce" for "luminesce/nce"

A listener would not envision a C anywhere in this pair of words (or their derivatives). If the sound is S, why would we write a C, especially after an S, which shows that S is the sound intended? Let's get rid of the C, and replace it with a second-S. Should we also get rid of the final-E? No, it suggests that the last syllable takes the word's stress, which it does.

The noun especially should not have a C. Compare "essence". We don't write "escence", do we? And if anyone were to suggest we replace the second-S in "essence" with a C, we'd think them insane:  "luminesse" and "luminessence".

Munday, August 29, 2011: "kibutz" for "kibbutz"

A double-B suggests that this word's stress falls on the first syllable, when it actually falls on the second. If the first syllable were stressed, the second would likely have a schwa sound, rather than any kind of U-sound, whereupon it would be confused with "kibitz" (which I offered here on August 5th as "kibbitz", for the same reason, to show the proper syllabic stress, tho in reverse, the first syllable of the traditional spelling "kibitz" being stressed).

Once we eliminate the second-B to make today's word "kibutz", three issues remain. (1) Do we need to change the U to OO?; (2) should we retain the Z, or change it to S, the actual sound?; and (3) should we retain the Hebrew plural, -IM, or accept that this word is firmly entrenched in English, having entered, at latest, in 1935, and regularize the plural to -ES?

(1) If we change the U to OO, most readers of English will see it as a long-OO, that is, a long-U without an initial Y-glide as in pure and utilitarian, especially given the familiar word "boots". Some people do pronounce it that way, but the preferred pronunciation is short-OO, as in book, foot, and good, not the long-OO of boot, food, and goon. A U might be misread as a regular short-U, but OO would be more misleading, so let's leave the U.

(2) If we change the Z to S, the word will look to many people to be plural, whereas it is actually singular. So let's leave the Z.

(3) If we retain the irregular plural of the Hebrew word, we should change the spelling from -IM, which suggests a short-I sound, to -EEM ("kibutzeem"), which at once shows the correct long-E sound and suggests that the last syllable takes the word's stress, which it does. If, however, we decide to accept that the word is now English, we should regularize the plural to -ES.

Putting this all together, then, we get: "kibutz" in the singular and either "kibutzeem" (puristic) or "kibutzes" in the plural.

Sunday, August 28, 2011: "joccular" and "joccularrity" for "jocular" and "jocularity"

The single consonant (C) after the O renders unclear the sound of the O. Is it long (as in the related words jocose and one pronunciation of jocund)? Is it short? It's short, and that would be much better shown by a double-C.

Similarly, the sound of the A in the derivative jocularity is unclear because of the single-R, given that AR is commonly pronounced with a broad-A/short-O (the same sound: star, bar, car). That is not the sound here, which is short-A. That is much more clearly written with a double-R (arrow, barrel, marriage). So let's double the R.

Putting these two little changes together, we get: "joccular" and "joccularrity".

My thanks to "garden..." for suggesting reform of "jocular", tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Saturday, August 27, 2011: "impeech" for "impeach"

EA is ambiguous (e.g., creature, creation, Sean, rhea, area: pronounced krée.cher, kree.yáe.shan, shaun, rée.ya, á Here, the sound is a simple long-E, which is most clearly shown by EE, so let's use that: "impeech".

Friday, August 26, 2011: "hebbetude" for "hebetude"

This unusual word* has an absurd spelling pattern, two instances of the pattern vowel-consonant-E that are pronounced entirely differently.  The word looks as tho it should be pronounced héeb.tued. It is actually pronounced héb.a.tùed. The second vowel-consonant-E pattern, UDE, is, as we expect it to be, pronounced as a long-U plus D. The first pattern, EBE, however, is not pronounced as long-E plus B. Good thing, because it would then sound like a slur for "Jew" ("Hebe", being short for "Hebrew", and "hebetude" being the quality or state of being a "Hebe"). To clarify the pronunciation, all we need to do is double the B: "hebbetude".

* [Mental] dullness or lethargy.

Decades ago, when I worked as a clerk-messenger for ABC News in NYC, I met a guy who was an employee of a company our documentary unit did business with, located on an upper floor opposite Lord & Taylor department store, as I recall, who referred to himself as a "Jebrew" (jée.brue), a playful, joyful combination of "Jew" and "Hebrew".

Thursday, August 25, 2011: "grennadeer" for "grenadier"

IE is ambiguous (carrier, amplifier, sommelier, pronounced káèr, áam.pli.fìe.yer, sùáe), as well as its sound here, a simple long-E. We need to show which sound is meant in any given word. Here, the sound is long-E, which is most clearly shown, midword, by EE.

The other problem with today's word is the sound of the first-E. It's a full short-E, which we can make plain by doubling the following-N: "grennadeer".

Wensday, August 24, 2011: "fle" for "flea"

EA is ambiguous. Sometimes it is pronounced in two syllables (rhea, idea, apnea). Other times, it is pronounced as tho written simply EE: tea, sea, and today's word, flea (all of which have homonyms spelled with EE: tee, see, flee. There are, as well, other pronunciations, such as short-E (head, bread, thread) and the AU-sound (Sean). Here, the sound is a simple long-E, which is most clearly written EE but is almost equally-clearly written, in final position, with a single-E (be, he, abalone). That would save us a letter, which is all to the good. Let's use that: "fle".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Note: It is not generally appreciated that a severe flea infestation can kill kittens and even full-grown cats. I know, from tragic experience. You'd think that makers of flea-control products would do everything they could to alert people to that appalling reality, but they have treated fleas as a mere nuisance, rather than deadly danger to beloved pets. I am infuriated that science has made no attempt to push the flea into extinction. No, we'll consent to human activities that push pandas and whales to the verge of extinction, but nobody is working to wipe the flea off the face of the Earth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011: "ekidna" for "echidna"

The CH in this word represents not the CH-sound (as in church), but a simple K-sound. Why would we write two letters where one will do? And why would we use CH to convey a K-sound? We have a letter K that does that efficiently and unambiguously. Let's use it: "ekidna".

The echidna, also called "spiny anteater", is a small, egg-laying mammal of Australasia that eats mainly ants and termites.

Munday, August 22, 2011: "dimention" for "dimension"

-TION is the standard (tho completely absurd) way we spell the sound of the last syllable of this word, and people shouldn't have to deal with multiple ways of spelling the same sound with the same general meaning: -TION (contention), -SION (dissension). We spell mention with -TION. Why not "dimension"?: "dimention".

Note: Ultimately we do need to get rid of -TION and other atrocious spellings for a simple SH-sound, and replace them all with SH. Some people will fite changing -TION, however, on the basis that altho the spelling is preposterous, it is a single convention — or will be, once we get rid of alternate spellings such as -SION, -TIAN, and -CIAN — and is found in a huge number of words.

Sunday, August 21, 2011: "Crischan" for "Christian"

We don't generally deal with proper nouns in this project, but this common adjective and noun has uses that make it more like an ordinary word ("Christian name", "that's not very Christian of you"). In any case, today's word has a CH where there is no CH-sound (as in church), and a TI for a CH-sound! So we should fix it.

The present CH represents a K-sound, which can be represented by either K or, before R, by C. Altho we do have personal (or "Christian") names like Kristin and Kirsten that use a K without arousing irritation, I suspect many people would reject a K here. So let's just drop the H and leave the C.

Where there is a CH-sound, today's word writes TI. TI does not spell a CH-sound. So let's write CH there.

Putting these two little changes together, we get: "Crischan".

My thanks to "Dogs..." for this suggestion.

The derivative "Christianity" has two pronunciations, one with a CH-sound and the other with a T-sound. People should write whichever they prefer, say, "Crischeannity" or "Cristeannity". Some writers might prefer an I over an E, but everyone should double the N to show where that long word's stress falls.

Saturday, August 20, 2011: "bibleofile" and "bibleofil" for "bibliophile" and "bibliofil"

PH is an absurd, inefficient, and ambiguous (uphill, diphthong) way to write a simple F-sound. Let's use F.

IO is a silly way to write the sound sequence long-E (not long-I) plus either schwa or an abbreviated long-O: "bibleofile" and "bibleofil".

Friday, August 19, 2011: "aicalculea" for "acalculia"

An initial A- is often pronounced as a schwa (ajar, afar, anonymous). The sound here is a full long-A, so we need to show that. Midword and initally, AI is the way a long-A sound is commonly written (aid, paid, straighten). Let's write that here.

The ending -IA is less than ideal, sometimes being pronounced in two syllables, long-E and schwa (anorexia, trivia), sometimes in one syllable, as a consonantal-Y plus schwa (begonia, ammonia), and even, in the phrase "Black Maria", with a long-I (ma.rie.ya). It's a bit odd to write a long-E sound (as here) with an I. E makes better sense: "aicalculea".

"Acalculia" is an inability to cope with numbers and arithmetic calculations, produced by brain injury.

Thursday, August 18, 2011: "eeclept" for "yclept"

Altho "yclept" is rarely heard nowadays, I suppose it is still popular in Scrabble and other word games. says it is archaic but still used, for "called" or "named", "now chiefly in the past participle as ycleped or yclept". Y at the beginning of a word usually takes its consonantal value (you, yes, yacht). In a very few words it takes a vocalic value, but as short-I (yttrium, yttric, ytturbium). Here, however, it takes a vocalic value as a long-E. We need to show that pronunciation: "eeclept".

"Ycleped", rarer still than "yclept", of course becomes "eecleped".

My thanks to "garden..." for today's suggestion.

Wensday, August 17, 2011: "waestrel" for "wastrel"

I actually once heard an educated man say wáa.stral. He was plainly misled by the three-letter consonant cluster STR into thinking that the preceding-A must be short. The A is actually long, as in the word it derives from, waste — despite the two-letter consonant cluster, ST, that follows it there. We need to show the long-A in the spelling of the vowel itself, not by what follows it. AI is probably the most common way to show a long-A midword, but we already have a word waist, which is not the word "wastrel" is related to. AY is less common for a long-A midword (payday, waylay, daytime), but that would make "wastrel" appear to relate to "way", which it does not. AE is available, tho, so let's use that: "waestrel".

Note:  I offered "waste" here as "waest" on March 7, 2010.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011: "vannish" for "vanish"

A single-N renders unclear the sound of the preceding-A. Compare danish, which has a long-A, and banish, which has a short-A. Why force readers to guess? Let's just double the N when the vowel before is short: "vannish".

My thanks to "garden..." for this suggestion.

Munday, August 15, 2011: "trubador" for "troubadour"

There are two OU's in this word, but not a single OU-sound. Let's fix that.

The first-OU represents a long-U sound without an initial Y-glide, which is also conceived of as a long-OO sound (true, flu; poor, boost). We can replace that with U, since it is followed by a single consonant, so will be seen as long.

The second-OU represents not an OU sound but an AU-sound, as in haul, fauna, and sauna. When that sound precedes an R-sound, it is most commonly written O(R): or, forgo, nor. So let's write that: "trubador".

Note: There is a spelling-pronunciation with a second long-OO sound for the second written OU. We don't need to accommodate it, because it arises only from a mistaken comparison of the two OU's, which represent different sounds, not the same sound.

Sunday, August 14, 2011: "rychus" for "righteous"

"Righteous" is a truly grotesque spelling, with four silent letters, G, H, E, and O! And TE does not show a CH-sound. Let's drop all the silent letters and write CH for the CH-sound. "Richus", however, would not be read right, but as having a short-I, when the sound is actually long-I. Mid-word, Y is much clearer for that sound (hybrid, dynamo, typhoon): "rychus".

My thanks to "Caste..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Saturday, August 13, 2011: "personnify" for "personify"

The single-N in today's word renders unclear the sound of the O before it. Is it long? Is it short? I actually heard an educated man say per.sóìe in a formal presentation at a museum, so this possible confusion is not merely hypothetical. We need two N's to show the O short: "personnify".

Friday, August 12, 2011: "ohpwovra" for "au poivre"

This Food Friday, let's fix a term from French cooking that means "prepared with whole peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper", "poivre" being French for "pepper". The current spelling is wholly French. This is English. We don't write sounds that way.

In English, OI is ordinarily pronounced as in hoist, adroit, and coin. Much less commonly, it also represents two syllables, as in coincidence, heroine, and Paleozoic. But OI is not pronounced as in "au poivre" (oe pv.ra) except in other words from French that also need to be anglicized.

The simplest way to show a long-O sound before a consonant cluster such as the PR that follows the O here is to write OH. Let's do that.

A broad-A or short-O in the second syllable of this phrase is easily shown by O (novelist, proverb and grovel, as most people say it), especially since there is another consonant cluster, VR, following

Two issues remain. First, should we continue to write this phrase as a phrase, or is it better as one word, since, in English, the two elements cannot be separated? Clearly, one word makes more sense since neither of the two parts can stand on its own.

Second, do we accommodate a super-Frenchified pronunciation (from northern France) that drops the -RE and pronounces the phrase in two syllables? No. Anyone who wants to affect that pronunciation can use the traditional spelling. This is English. We might drop a bunch of (silent) letters, but we don't drop entire syllables: "ohpwovra".

Thursday, August 11, 2011: "toald" for "told"

The two-letter consonant cluster LD should be seen as marking the prior vowel short (as in folderol, and one pronunciation of polder and doldrums), but here, the O is long. We should show that in the spelling of the vowel itself, since the following consonant cluster does not work to show a short vowel.

There is no completely unambiguous way to do that. OE might work (hoe, buffaloed, heroes), but it might be seen by some readers as two syllables (coed, macroeconomic, poem). OA could also work, tho again, some readers might see two syllables (inchoate, benzoate, oasis). I think that in this particular case, OA is the better choice, given the existence of the word toad, which has only one syllable: "toald".

My thanks to "Clap..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Wensday, August 10, 2011: "sysal" for "sisal"

The present spelling is ambiguous, and many people see it as representing a long-E sound in the first syllable, which is wrong, rather than a long-I, which is right. If we replace the I with Y, we give people very strong guidance to say a long-I sound, as in hybrid, thyroid, and hyperbole: "sysal".

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: "rifraf" for "riffraff"

We don't need two F's to mark the preceding vowel as short in either position in today's word. One F in each syllable will do nicely: "rifraf".

Munday, August 8, 2011: "foneme" for "phoneme"

PH is a cumbersome, preposterous, and ambiguous (uphold, naphtha, diphthong) spelling for a simple F-sound: "foneme".

Sunday, August 7, 2011: "milyoo" for "milieu"

The present spelling is peculiar and not easily either deciphered or remembered. The proposed spelling is simpler to read and recall. The OO could be pronounced as the long-OO (a long-U sound without an initial Y-glide, as in food and bamboo), tho short-OO (as in good and neighborhood) is the preferred pronunciation. Familiarity with the word will tell careful readers which OO-sound to use: "milyoo".

Saturday, August 6, 2011: "loudspeeker" for "loudspeaker"

On April 17, 2005, I offered "speek" for "speak", to conform it to "speech" and eliminate the ambiguity intrinsic to EA. The same reasons hold for changing today's word: "loudspeeker".

My thanks to "GreenD..." for this suggestion.

Friday, August 5, 2011: "kibbitz" for "kibitz"

The single-B makes unclear the sound of the preceding-I and the word's syllabic stress. It is far better to double the B, as will show unambiguously that the preceding-I is short and that the word's stress falls on the first syllable.

The other issue today is the Z, which represents a simple S-sound, unvoiced, whereas Z is voiced. However, an -S would be seen as plural, or as the third-person singular of a verb, whereas this S-sound is integral to the verb's root, so we should leave the Z: "kibbitz".

Thursday, August 4, 2011: "erk" for "irk"

IR is ambiguous, sometimes having a long-E sound (irritable, spirit), sometimes a short-I (cirrhosis, iridescent), and yet other times having an ER-sound (bird, chirp). The sound here is the third, which is most commonly spelled ER. Let's use that spelling here: "erk".

Wensday, August 3, 2011: "halucinate" and "halucinojen" for "hallucinate" and "hallucinogen"

ALL is a word to itself and part of many other words  (hall, call, fall) where the vowel is the AU-sound (astronaut, fault, taught). Nor is the vowel sound a short-A, as in allegory, callousness, or shallow. The sound here is a schwa, and we don't need a double-L after a schwa. So let's drop one of the L's. The other problem with today's word is the G, which represents not G's own, unique sound (get, gecko, geezer), but J's sound. If the sound is J, let's write J: "halucinate" and "halucinojen".

Tuesday, August 2, 2011: "ganggleon" for "ganglion"

The present spelling appears to be a compound word, of "gang" and "lion". It is no such thing, and the NG represents not just the NG-sound in "gang" but also a following (hard-)G, as in anger, finger, and single. We need to show that, and can do so easily by doubling the G, one G to go with the N, the other to stand alone.

The "lion" part is wrong, too, in that "lion" is said with a long-I, whereas "ganglion" is said with a long-E. If the sound is E, why would we write an I?: "ganggleon".

Note: There are presently two plurals, "ganglia" and "ganglions". Once the Latin-Greek spelling is changed for the singular, there is no reason to retain a Latin-Greek plural at all, and "ganggleons" would do. But if people nonetheless want to retain the irregular plural, they should spell it "gangglea".

Munday, August 1, 2011: "escalater" for "escalator"

There is no reason to spell the ending of this word with -OR, since it is pronounced like multitudinous words that end in -ER. There is, however, good reason not to spell it with -OR, since there are a lot of simpleminded people who seem to think that every occurrence of the letter sequence O-R must be pronounced as in the word or, that is, with an AU-sound (as in haul, caustic, and dinosaur): "escalater".

My thanks to "Dogs..." for this suggestion.

Sunday, July 31, 2011: "douty" for "doughty"

DOUGH is a word to itself, pronounced with a long-O. That is not the sound here, which is a regular OU-sound. OUGH is not just preposterously cumbersome, but also preposterously ambiguous: tough, bough, trough, through, though, thought are pronounced, respectively, tuf, bou, trauf, tthrue, thoe, and tthaut. Here, the sound is OU, so let's just write OU without more: "douty".

Saturday, July 30, 2011: "champeon" for "champion"

ION is a word to itself, said with a long-I. That is not the sound here. Rather, the I represents a long-E sound. Why? If the sound is E, let's write E, as in eon, nickelodeon, and galleon: "champeon".

Friday, July 29, 2011: "bolm" for "balm"

Dictionaries do not presently accept a pronounced-L in today's word, but many people feel it foolish to say "balm" as tho it were "bomb", an antithetical concept. Dare we go against convention to stand for a distinction? Yes, we certainly can. If people don't accept the L-sound, they can drop it, as they do presently. But at least they will have the right vowel, an O as in "bomb", to read: "bolm".

My thanks to "Clap..." for this suggestion.

Thursday, July 28, 2011: "aquire" for "acquire"

In the base word, the verb "acquire", the C is silent, and adds nothing but length and uncertainty as to the spelling on the part of the listener. Let's just drop it. In the derived noun, "acquisition", there is the additional problem that the S represents not an S-sound but a Z-sound. Let's use Z: "aquire" and "aquizition".

Wensday, July 27, 2011: "til" for the preposition and conjunction "till"

There are three words with the spelling "till". The first is a preposition and conjunction meaning "up to" or "until". The second is a verb, meaning "to plow". The third is a noun, meaning a cash drawer. It is the first word that I suggest we simplify. We can leave the second-L for the other words, which should reduce the possibilities of confusion.

The word I propose we simplify has an alternative, informal spelling, 'til or til, which suggests until, which has no need of a second-L. Neither has the preposition/conjunction till. So let's just drop the second-L and save ourselves a letter: "til".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011: "silluette" for "silhouette"

There is no justification for a silent-H in today's word, so let's just drop it, OK? Once the H is gone, we need to show the I short by doubling the L, since the LH consonant cluster, which had served to mark the I as short, is reduced to a single-L once we drop the H.

Also, the O confuses the issue of the second syllable, since OU here does not represent the OU-sound. So let's drop the O too. The rest is OK, including the -TE, which shows that the word takes stress on its last syllable: "silluette".

Munday, July 25, 2011: "rumatollojy" for "rheumatology"

There are four things wrong with today's traditional spelling. First, the H is silent. Let's get rid of it. Second, the E is silent. Let's get rid of it too. Third, a single-L leaves unclear the sound of the O before it. Is it long (polo, solo, bolo)? Is it short (apology, colony, colonnade)? It's short, and we should show that plainly, as we can do easily by doubling the L (hollow, colloid, trollop). And fourth, the G does not represent G's own, unique sound (as in get, give, and gynecology) but J's sound. If the sound is J, let's just write J: "rumatollojy".

Sunday, July 24, 2011: "parroxism" for "paroxysm"

As with yesterday's word, we have today a Y used midword for a sound other than long-I. If the sound is short-I, let's write an I, which, being followed by two consonants, will be read correctly, as short.

The second problem today is actually earlier in the word, an AR that is not said as AR usually is, with a "broad"-A or short-O (bark, star, card). Here, the sound is a regular short-A, which is better shown with a double-R (arrow, barrel, carry). Let's double the R: "parroxism".

Saturday, July 23, 2011: "methal" for "methyl"

Y is best reserved, midword, to a long-I sound (hybrid, dynamite, cyan). Y is overloaded with at least five sounds: (1) a consonant as in yes and yet; (2) a long-I, as above; (3) a short-I, as in mysterious and hymn; (4) a long-E, as in analogy and ability; and (5) a schwa, as in today's word and Polynesian. It is because so many letters have so many possible pronunciations that English is so hard to learn and use. Let us liten Y's load, as by changing the Y here to an A, a much better choice for a schwa sound (as in medal, denial, and actual).

Today's proposed reform reflects the fact, pointed out yesterday in regard to "lethal" (to be changed to "leethal"), that a two-letter consonant cluster like TH should be seen as marking the prior vowel short. Here, it does: "methal".

My thanks to "fishstick..." for this suggestion.

Friday, July 22, 2011: "leethal" for "lethal"

A two-letter consonant cluster should take a short vowel before it, but here, the vowel (E) is long. To show that, we need merely double the E: "leethal".

Thursday, July 21, 2011: "houzes" and "houswerk" for "houses" (plural) and "housework"

"House" itself has three uses, noun, adjective, and verb. The verb, which has a Z-sound, was offered here as "houze" on May 22, 2005. The noun's plural also has a Z-sound (for the first-S). Should we recognize that in print, "house" for the singular but "houzes" for the plural (since we aren't changing the grammatical-S for plurals)? Yes, because a lot of people actually say the plural (houses) with an S-sound, so need to be guided not to do that.

The compound word "housework" does not need all the letters of "house". Quite the contrary. Leaving the E produces ambiguity as to whether "housework" is two syllables or three. It is two, and the E adds nothing but length and ambiguity, so let's drop it.

Moreover, the OR in "housework" does not take OR's usual sound, AU (as in haul, caustic, and aura). Rather, it takes the sound usually shown by ER (as in better, certain, and ermine). So let's replace the O with E: "houzes" and "houswerk".

My thanks to "GreenD..." for suggesting reform of "housework", tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Wensday, July 20, 2011: "grizly" for "grisly"

This word for "gruesome" has an S, but no S-sound. Rather, the sound is Z. If the sound is Z, let's write Z, but one Z will do, so we don't need to create a new homograph for "grizzly" (bear): "grizly".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011: "eraddicate" for "eradicate"

The presence of only a single-D after the A in today's word leaves the sound of that A unclear. Is it long, as in irradiate? Is it short? It's short, and to show that plainly, we need merely double the D: "eraddicate".

Munday, July 19, 2011: "dygress" for "digress"

The present spelling permits the spelling-pronunciation di.grés, with a short-I sound, which improperly recognizes as the first pronunciation. Other online dictionaries, however (Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Cambridge) all recognize the pronunciation with a long-I as the preferred, or only correct, pronunciation. Let's end the confusion by putting a Y in place of the I. Anyone militant about using a short-I sound can persuade himself that the Y permits such a pronunciation (mysterious, hysterical, pygmy). People generally, however, will understand that the word should be pronounced with a long-I: "dygress".

Sunday, July 17, 2011: "cardbord" for "cardboard"

As with yesterday's word ("bilbord" for "billboard"), we can save a letter by dropping a needless A: "cardbord".

My thanks to "Shoe..." for this suggestion.

Saturday, July 16, 2011: "bilbord" for "billboard"

Let's save a couple of letters by getting rid of a superfluous L and A: "bilbord".

My thanks to "Foog..." for this suggestion.

Friday, July 15, 2011: "appodictic" for "apodictic"

This unusual term was's Word of the Day today. It means:
1. Necessarily true or logically certain.

2. Incontestable because of having been demonstrated or proved to be demonstrable.

Our concern, however, is its pronunciation, which is unclear as to the A by virtue of the following consonant, P, being single. The A is short, so let's double the P to show that: "appodictic".

Thursday, July 14, 2011: "eunite" for "unite"

UN- is a common prefix, pronounced with a short-U. That is not the sound here, which is a long-U with initial Y-glide. We can show that with EU, as in euphemism, eulogy, and eugenics.

I thought at first that the fact that "United" is part of the name of the United States of America, the largest English-speaking country, and United Kingdom, the oldest English-speaking country, and those countries are abbreviated "U.S." and "UK", would make it impossible to substitute "Eunited" because the abbreviations would change to "Y.S." and "YK". But I have thought better of that, and have restored "eunited" from the Rejected webpage, esp. in response to a suggestion from "space..." that

"eunite'"would still permit the abbreviation "U.S" [in that it] still contains a "u", even though it doesn't begin the word. People could still use the old abbreviation "U.S." if they wish, even with "united" reformed to "eunited."

I separately concluded the same thing, in that not all abbreviations employ only letters within the word abbreviated.  For instance, "oz." for "ounce/s" derives from Italian "onza"; and "No." for "number" derives from "numero". There is no Z in "ounce/s", and no O in "number". Besides, with the onset of texting, U is a common abbreviation for anything that sounds like "you", so could fit with "eunited" (U.S., UK, UN, etc.): "eunite".

Wensday, July 13, 2011: "trofy" for "trophy"

PH for an F-sound is preposterous, inefficient, and ambiguous (uphold, diphthong, phthisis: pronounced up.hóeld, f.tthong or p.tthong, thíe.sis). If the sound is F, we should write F: "trofy".

My thanks to "Clap..." for this suggestion.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011: "semmafore" for "semaphore"

There are two problems with today's word. First, a single-M leaves unclear the sound of the preceding-E. Is it long? Is it short? It's short, which we can make clear by doubling the M.

Second, PH is a ridiculous way to spell an ordinary F-sound. If the sound is F, let's just write F.

Altho we might drop the final-E, "semmafor" might be seen as an agent noun, like actor, curator, or perpetrator, so let's leave the -E: "semmafore".

Munday, July 11, 2011: "rewaurd" for "reward"

AR is most commonly pronounced with a "broad"-A or short-O (the same sound): hard, bard, card. Here, the sound is AU, as in haul, aura, and causation. If the sound is AU, let's write AU: "rewaurd".

My thanks to "Music..." for this suggestion.

Sunday, July 10, 2011: "parridolea" for "pareidolia"

This unusual word* has a short-A sound in the AR portion of the word, whereas AR is most commonly pronounced with a "broad"-A or short-O (the same sound): card, star, farther. To show a short-A before an R sound, it is better to double the R (arrow, barrel, carry). Let's do that.

the -IDOL- has a long-I, as does the word "idol". There is no unambiguous way to show that in this context, but the "idol" comparison helps. The O is long, which would be clearer if the L were followed by an E, which we can perfectly well write, given that EA can be pronounced the same as the IA here. Indeed, why should we use an I to write a long-E?: "parridolea".

* Meaning "the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in considering the moon to have human features". This word was the subject of's "Hot Word Blog" for January 7th, 2011.

Saturday, July 9, 2011: "mettamorfosis"  and "mettamorfoze" for "metamorphosis" and "metamorphose"

The E in today's words is short, but you'd have no way of knowing that, because a single-T, following, permits it to be seen as long.

PH is a preposterous, inefficient, and ambiguous way to write a simple F-sound.

And the -OSE in "metamorphose" is properly pronunced as a Z (despite a spelling-pronounciation that not all dictionaries recognize, with an S-sound). If the sound is Z, let's write Z: "mettamorfosis" and "mettamorfoze".

Friday, July 8, 2011: "luggij" for "luggage"

G is ambiguous, and should be reserved to its own, unique sound (as in gecko, geese, gecko — and, indeed, luggage). In today's word, the third-G represents a J-sound. Why would we want G to represent two different sounds in the same word? If the sound in the second syllable is J, let's write J.

-AGE is ambiguous (consider the word age itself, damage, and collage, which are pronounced, respectively, aej, dáam.aj, and ka.lózh), and should ideally be pronounced with a long-A, in that it takes the pattern vowel-consonant-E (as in rage, sage, and rampage). If we change the -G- to -J-, -AJE will still appear to take a long-A.

The actual sound in today's word is a schwa that is so close to a regular short-I that we can reasonably substitute I. But first we must drop the -E after the J, not G, that should be there.

Putting this all together, we get: "luggij".

My thanks to "fishstick..." for suggesting reform of today's word, tho I chose a slitely different solution.

Thursday, July 7, 2011: "hairdu" for "hairdo"

The first part of today's word is fine. It's the second that is absurd. Why would we pronounce O as long-U?: "hairdu".

My thanks to "Box..." for this suggestion.

Wensday, July 6, 2011: "jeerandole" for "girandole"

This week seems an appropriate time to revise this word, one of whose meanings is a type of revolving firework.

G is ambiguous (for instance, girl, gist, Gila monster, and the French pronunciation of gigolo: pronounced gerl or goorl, jist, héel.a, zhíg.a.lòe). Here, the sound is J, so let's write J.

IR is ambiguous (irate, irritate, iridescent, triumvirate: pronounced ie.ráet, éer.i.tàet, ir.i.dés.ant, trie.yú Here, the sound is long-E, which is most simply written EE.

The rest of the word is fine: "jeerandole".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011: "fashea" and "faisha" for "fascia" and "facia"

These words ("facia" is a variant spelling of "fascia") have two different spellings for a simple-SH sound (as in shush). If the sound is SH, let's write SH.

"Fascia" has a short-A, and an SH immediately following would show that nicely.

"Facia" has a long-A, so needs something between the A and the SH to show that. Midword, AI is most customary.

IA is ambiguous (iambic, deviation, media, camellia: pronounced ie.yáam.bik, dèe.vee.áe.shan, mée.dee.ya and ka.méel.ya). At the end of a word, EA would be better.

Putting this all together, we get: "fashea" and "faisha".

Munday, July 4, 2011: "enceffalitis" for "encephalitis"

PH for an F-sound is preposterous (the sound of P and sound of H put together do not make an F-sound), inefficient (why use two letters where one will do?), and ambiguous (diphthong, naphtha, uphold). Let's replace it with F. Since the vowel before it is short, we should double the F to make that plain: "enceffalitis".

Sunday, July 3, 2011: "dillijent" for "diligent"

There are two problems with the traditional spelling. First, DI- often takes a long-I (dilate, dichotomy, diverticulitis), but here, the I is short. So we should double the L to show that.

Second, the G represents not G's own, distinctive sound ("hard"-G as in get, give, and gear) but J's sound. If the sound is J, let's write J: "dillijent".

Saturday, July 2, 2011: "carrafoor" for "carrefour"

Let's expand our vocabulary a bit today, by reforming a rare word for "crossroads" or "a public square, esp one at the intersection of several roads". It was borrowed from French at latest in 1485, but retains a French spelling. It's time to anglicize it, esp. in that the French spelling would lead the reader to say it in the French fashion, with a broad-A and mute-E, whereas the English pronunciation has a short-A and the E is said as a schwa in a full syllable, not elided. The RR after A works fine once we make the spelling more English and show an A in the middle syllable: "carrafoor".

Friday, July 1, 2011: "booch", "boocher", and "boochery" for "butch", "butcher", and "butchery"

This Food Friday, let's reform the spelling of the word for a person who prepares meat. That word, "butcher", incorporates the shorter word "butch", so we need to reform that too. And the longer word "butchery", which usually does not refer to the trade of a butcher, should take the same change to the base word.

OO is ambiguous, to be sure (good, food, blood: pronounced good, fued, blud), but so is U (hutch, butch, illusion: huch, booch, i.lúe.zhan). UTCH is likely to be seen by new readers as having a short-U (Dutch, hutch, crutch), so OO would be a little better.

TCH is an inefficient way to write the CH-sound (as in church), and we do have some words, like such and much, that don't use a T after U. So let's drop the T and save ourselves a letter: "booch/er/y".

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SSWD is a project of L. Craig Schoonmaker , Newark, New Jersey, United States, creator of Fanetik: Reformed (Phonetic) Spelling — at Least for Teaching. For information about other ways to change irrational spellings, search the Internet for "spelling reform".

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