I’m a writer, an editor, and a voracious reader. The English language has been my passion since before I can remember; moreover, it’s now my bread and butter. I get paid to know the difference between principal and principle, and to know the three distinct meanings (and spellings) of pallet, pallette, and palate.
But lately, as I’ve started teaching my 4-year-old son to read, I’ve begun to feel that the conventions of English spelling represent little more than a cruel guessing game. My child knows that the K sound starts the word kitty. Why shouldn’t it also start the word cake?
The Simplified Spelling Society knows why, and it has a solution: reform English spelling to reflect alphabetic principles of sound, replacing ridiculously spelled words like rough with simplified forms such as ruf.
If everyone could spell, my job would be a lot easier (well, actually, I’d probably be out of a job). But wouldn’t a literacy based on logic be better for everyone?
What do you think?