In Ce Klasrum
This story humoruously addresses something every English student has considered. (1946 by Dolton Edwards)
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we are still bearing some of the scars of our brief skirmish with
II-B English, it is natural that we should be enchanted by Mr. George
Bernard Shaw's current campign for a simplified alphabet.
Obviously, as Mr. Shaw points out, English spelling is in much need of a general overhauling and streamlining. However, any changes requiring a large expenditure of mental effort in the near future would cause us to view with some apprehension the possiblity of some day receiving a morning paper printed in - to us - Greek.
Our own plan would achieve the same end as the legislation proposed by Mr. Shaw, but in a less shocking manner, as it consists merely of an acceleration of the normal processes by which the language is continually modernized.
As a catalytic agent, we would suggest that a National Easy Language Week be proclaimed, which the President would inaugurate, outlining some short-cut to concentrate on during the week, and be adopted during the ensuing year. All school children would be given a holiday, the lost time being the equivalent of that gained by the spelling short cut.
In 1946, for example, we would urge the elimination of the soft "c," for which we would substitute "s." Sertainly, such an improvement would be selebrated in all sivic-minded sircles as being suffisiently worth the trouble, and students in all sities in the land would be reseptive toward change and eliminating the nesessity of learning the differense between the two letters.
In 1947, sinse only the hard "c" would be left, it would be possible to substitute "k" for it, both letters be pronounsed identikally. Imagine how greatly only two years of this prosess would klarify the konfusion in the minds of students. Already we would have eliminated an entire letter from the alphabet. Typewriters and linotypes kould be built with one less letter and all the manpower and materials previously devoted to making "c's" kould now be turned toward raising the national standard of living.
In the fase of so many notable improvements, it is easy to foresee that by 1948, "National Easy Langauge Week" would be a pronounsed sukses. All skhool khildren would be looking forward with konsiderable exsitement to the holiday, and in a blaze of national publisity it would be announsed that the double konsonant "ph" no longer existed, and that it would henseforth be written "f" in all words. This would make sukh words as "fonograf" twenty percent shorter in print.
By 1949, publik interest in a fonetik alfabet kan be expekted to have inkreased to the point where a more radikal step forward kan be taken without fear of undue kritisism. We would therefore urge the elimination, at that time of all unesesary double leters, whikh, although quite harmles, have always ben a nuisanse in the language and a desided deterent to akurate speling. Try it yourself in the next leter you write, and se if both writing and reading are not fasilitated.
With so mukh progres already made, it might be posible in 1950 to delve further into the posibilities of fonetik speling. After due konsideration of the reseption aforded the previous steps, it should be expedient by this time to spel al dfthongs foneticaly. Most students do not realize that the long "i" and "y," as in "time" and "by," are aktualy the difthong "ai," as it is writen in "aisle," and that the long "a" in "fate," is in reality the difthong "ei" as in "rein." Although perhaps not imediately aparent, the saving in taime and efort wil be tremendous when we leiter eliminate the sailent "e," as meide posible bai this last khange.
For, as wel known, the horible mes of "es" apearing in writen language is kaused prinsipaly bai the present nesesity of indikeiting whether a vowel is long or short. Therefore, in 1951 we kould simply elimineit al sailent "e's," and kontinu to read and wrait merily along as though we wer in an atomik ag of edukeition.
In 1951 we would urge a greit step forward. sins bai this taim it would have ben four years sins anywun had used the leter "c," we would sugest the the "National Easy Language Wek" for 1951 be devoted to substitution of "c" for "th." To be sur it would be som taim befor peopl would bekom akustomed to reading ceir newspapers and buks withs sukh sentenses in cem as "Ceodor caught he had cre cousand cistls crust crough ce cik of his cumb."
In ce seim maner, bai meiking eakh leter hav its own sound and cat sound only, we kould shorten ce langauge stil mor. In 1952 we would elimineit ce "y"; cen in 1953 we kould us ce letter to indikeit the "sh" sound, cerbai klarifaiing words laik yugar and yur, as wel as redusing bai wun mor leter al words laik "yut," "yore," and so forc. Cink, cem, of al ce benifits to be geind bai ce distinktion whikh wil be meid between words laik:
ocean: now writen oyean
machine: now writen mayin
racial: now writen reiyial
divers weis of wraiting wun sound would no longer exist, and whenever
wun kaim akros a "y" sound he would know exakli what to wrait.
Kontinuing cis proses, year after year, we would eventuali have a reali sensibl writen languag. By 1975, wi ventur to sei, cer wud bi no mor uv ces teribli trublsum difikultis, wic no tu noises riten wic ce seim leter. Even Mr. Yaw, wi beliv, wud be hapi in ce noleg cat his drims fainali keim tru.
(Copying this article was made difficult by trying to avoid automatically correcting the original text and the fact that I was laughing as I transcribed it. I apologize to Mr. Edwards for any inaccuracies that occurred in the copying process.)
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