English-language spelling reform

English spelling reformEnglishEnglish language spelling reformspelling reformadvocated spelling reformsEnglish (Ñspel orthography)English spelling reformerEnglish spelling reformersEnglish-language spelling reformerextending or replacing the basic English alphabet
For centuries, there has been a movement to reform the spelling of English.wikipedia
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English orthography

English spellingspellingb'''ir'''d
It seeks to change English spelling so that it is more consistent, matches pronunciation better, and follows the alphabetic principle.
This is mainly due to the large number of words that have been borrowed from a large number of other languages throughout the history of the English language, without successful attempts at complete spelling reforms.

Noah Webster

WebsterNoah Webster, Jr.American Spelling Book
Many of the spellings preferred by Noah Webster have become standard in the United States, but have not been adopted elsewhere (see American and British English spelling differences).
Noah Webster Jr. (October 16, 1758 – May 28, 1843) was an American lexicographer, textbook pioneer, English-language spelling reformer, political writer, editor, and prolific author.

American and British English spelling differences

spelling differencesorsee spelling differences
Many of the spellings preferred by Noah Webster have become standard in the United States, but have not been adopted elsewhere (see American and British English spelling differences).
However, English-language spelling reform has rarely been adopted otherwise, and so modern English orthography varies somewhat between countries and is far from phonemic in any country.


Spelling Reform 1 (SR1)Spelling ReformSpelling Reform 1'' or ''SR1
Harry Lindgren's proposal, SR1, was popular in Australia at one time.
Spelling Reform 1 or Spelling Reform step 1 (more commonly known as SR1) is an English spelling reform proposal advocated by British/Australian linguist Harry Lindgren.

John Hart (spelling reformer)

John Hart
John Hart (died 1574) was an English educator, grammarian, spelling reformer and officer of arms.

Webster's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster DictionaryMerriam-Webster's Collegiate DictionaryWebster
It was published in 1828 as An American Dictionary of the English Language.
Webster was a proponent of English spelling reform for reasons both philological and nationalistic.

Charles Butler (beekeeper)

Charles ButlerCharls ButlerBUTLER, CHARLES
He was also an early proponent of English spelling reform.

Isaac Pitman

Sir Isaac PitmanPitmanPitman (publisher)
In 1837, Isaac Pitman published his system of phonetic shorthand, while in 1848 Alexander John Ellis published A Plea for Phonetic Spelling.
Pitman was a lifelong advocate of spelling reform for the English language, producing many pamphlets during his lifetime on spelling reform.

English alphabet

modern English alphabetEnglishalphabet
In terms of writing systems, most spelling reform proposals are moderate; they use the traditional English alphabet, try to maintain the familiar shapes of words, and try to maintain common conventions (such as silent e).
Alternative scripts have been proposed for written English—mostly [[English-language spelling reform#Extending or replacing the basic English alphabet|extending or replacing the basic English alphabet]]—such as the Deseret alphabet, the Shavian alphabet, Gregg shorthand, etc.


Rondthaler's American Spelling (SoundSpel)
SoundSpel is an English-language spelling reform proposal.

Deseret alphabet

DeseretEnglish (Deseret alphabet)
The Deseret alphabet (Deseret: 𐐔𐐯𐑅𐐨𐑉𐐯𐐻 or 𐐔𐐯𐑆𐐲𐑉𐐯𐐻 ) is a phonemic English-language spelling reform developed between 1847 and 1854 by the board of regents of the University of Deseret under the leadership of Brigham Young, the second president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Cut Spelling

Cut Spelling is a system of English-language spelling reform which reduces redundant letters and makes substitutions to improve correspondence with the spoken word.

Benjamin Franklin's phonetic alphabet

he developed a phonetic alphabetphonetic alphabet
Benjamin Franklin's phonetic alphabet was Benjamin Franklin's proposal for a spelling reform of the English language.

Simplified Spelling Board

Handbook of Simplified SpellingColumbia Spelling Board
The Simplified Spelling Board was founded in the United States in 1906.
The Simplified Spelling Board was an American organization created in 1906 to reform the spelling of the English language, making it simpler and easier to learn, and eliminating many of what were considered to be its inconsistencies.

Regularized Inglish

Wijk's Regularized English
Regularized Inglish is a revised English spelling system devised and advocated by Swedish linguist Axel Wijk, set out in his 1959 book Regularized English: An investigation into the English spelling reform problem with a new, detailed plan for a possible solution. Wijk's spelling system is moderate compared to other 20th century reforms.

Ough (orthography)

Likewise, many graphemes in English have multiple pronunciations and decodings, such as ough in words like thr, th, tht, thor, t, tr, pl, and c.
Because of the unpredictability of the combination, many English spelling reformers have proposed replacing it with more phonetic combinations, some of which have caught on in varying degrees of formal and informal success.


The English spelling reform based on Interspel envisages an International English Spelling Commission to monitor research and authorize testing and implementation of findings.

Mont Follick

In 1949, a Labour MP, Dr Mont Follick, introduced a private member's bill in the House of Commons, which failed at the second reading.
On his death, he bequeathed the substantial sums raised by this venture to found and endow a professor's chair of Comparative Philology "in which spelling reform (not merely the teaching of reading) should form a principal part".

Initial Teaching Alphabet

In 1961, this led to James Pitman's Initial Teaching Alphabet, introduced into many British schools in an attempt to improve child literacy.
The I.T.A. remains of interest in discussions about possible reforms of English spelling.

Shavian alphabet

Shavianconditions of his willEnglish (Shaw alphabet)
Among members of the society, the conditions of his will gave rise to major disagreements, which hindered the development of a single new system.

Dewey Decimal Classification

Dewey Decimal SystemDewey DecimalDewey
In an introduction to that edition Dewey states that "nearly 100 persons hav [spelling of 'have' per English-language spelling reform, which Dewey championed] contributed criticisms and suggestions".

List of reforms of the English language

List of some English spelling reform proposals
Over the years, many people have called for English-language spelling reform.

John Lubbock, 1st Baron Avebury

John LubbockSir John LubbockLubbock
Both men were active advocates of English spelling reform, and members of the Spelling reform Association, precursor to the Simplified Spelling Society.

Melvil Dewey

Melville DeweyDeweyMelvil Dui
Spelling Reform: His theories of spelling reform (to which end he founded the Spelling Reform Association in 1886) found some local success at Lake Placid: there is an "Adirondak Loj" in the area, and dinner menus of the club used his reformed spelling.