A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling

by Mark Twain┬╣ (aka Samuel L. Clemens5)

I18n Guy home page
Also see Europe's Plan For The Improvement Of English Spelling.

For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.
Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

Note 1: The authorship of this piece is in question. Although frequently posted on the internet as authored by Mark Twain, there are some claims that it is authored by M. J. Shields in a letter by him to the Economist.    See http://www.ojohaven.com/fun/spelling.html.

Note 2: Mark Twain is not related to Shania Twain, unless her name is also a pseudonym and her real family name is Clemens. And due to the generational difference, never shall the twain Twains meet.
(The word "twain" is related to the number two. So is the text "Shania". To "mark twain" is to notate twice. "shania twain" is twice-twice. Quadruple for short?)

Note 3: Scott Dulecki passed along this interesting tidbit on the pseudonym Mark Twain:
"...his pseudonym came from boat travel on the Mississippi. Check out http://www.territorial-enterprise.com/mt_name.htm for their version, along with a humorous alternative explanation. And of course, the other meaning of twain that might be mentioned is its use as an acronym in computers, standing for "Technology Without An Interesting Name"."
Here is the description of the boat travel origin Scott referred to:

When the leadsman's line sank to the two--fathom knot, meaning the boat had a safe twelve feet of water beneath it, he called out, "By the mark, twain!"

Note 4: TWAIN.org is a not-for-profit organization devoted to Image Acquisition technology.

Note 5: Mark Twain is a pseudonym for Samuel Langhorne Clemens. Born in Florida, Mo. on November 30, 1835. He died on April 21, 1910.


Top of page
Copyright © 2001-2010 Tex Texin. All rights reserved.