These are links to a form and associated documents for submitting alternative spelling schemes to the IESC Expert Commission.

Download the form, and save it on your computer. Download the notes which explain how to fill the form. You may need to download the additional pages, depending on how you deal with section I in the form. Send the completed form (and any additional pages) to the above address as an email attachment. Full instructions are in the notes.

As the PSS form is quite a long and detailed document, it is inevitable that some revisions will be necessary, resulting in a new edition of the form being released. The edition number appears at the foot of each page in the form. The current releases are:

  • IESC PSS Form: edition 5.
  • IESC PSS Notes: edition 5.
  • IESC PSS Additional: edition 4.

If you are downloading any of these documents afresh, check (by looking at the foot of the page you download) that you have the correct edition. Some browsers save downloaded documents on your computer, to save time if you try to download the same document again. Unfortunately this can result in your browser mistakenly using a saved but out-of-date edition. To avoid this you must clear your browser cache or force the browser to download again. Details will depend on your system.

If you have already invested effort in a previous edition, there is no need for you to update (though you may if you wish). Your proposal will be accepted on whatever edition you have used, though clarification may be requested as a result of the problems which necessitated the revision in the first place.

Any questions concerning the submission process should be sent to the Congress Secretariat:

Download this fillable PDF form, save it on your computer, and fill it in to submit a spelling scheme for the IESC to consider:

You will need these notes to help you fill in the form:

You may need to download additional pages for section I:

Once you have filled in the form, send it in by email. Full instructions are in the notes.

Did You Know:

• Ask your friend what Y-E-S spells. They won't have any difficulty saying yes. Then ask what E-Y-E-S spells. It's easy when it's written down, but surprisingly difficult when it's spoken. See a YouTube video of this.

• Who has not heard i before e, except after c. A University of Warwick statistician put it to the test. He plugged a list of 350,000 English words into a statistical program to see if the math checked out. It didn't.

• When Adam met Eve for the first time, he said Madam, I'm Adam. This is a palindrome — a phrase or sentence in which the letters, words or even lines read the same in either direction. Adam hoped to impress the most beautiful woman in the world, but she more than matched him by replying simply, Eve. Not bad given that writing, and therefore palindromes, and English ones in particular, had not yet been invented! More palindromes, and a wonderful palindromic poem.

• How would you pronounce ghoti? Pronounce it like this:

and you get ... fish! Thanks to Charles Ollier for writing this in 1855 — and for showing that English spelling has been ludicrous for quite some time.

• One of the arguments in favour of keeping English spelling unchanged is to show the etymology of words. For example, the silent s in island shows the link to the Latin insula. But island actually derives from the Old English íglund, not from the Latin at all. More examples at Mental Floss.


Page editor: N Paterson. Contact by email or form.

​Spelling reform is not a new idea!

Benjamin Franklin "The same is to be observed in all the letters, vowels, and consonants, that wherever they are met with, or in whatever company, their sound is always the same. It is also intended that there be no superfluous letters used in spelling, i.e. no letter that is not sounded [...]"  Franklin proposed a spelling scheme with 6 new letters. (Franklin 1806 p359)

Theodore Roosevelt "It is merely an attempt [...] to make our spelling a little less foolish and fantastic." Theodore Roosevelt promoted the Simplified Spelling Board's gradual reform (see Twain below). (Roosevelt 1906, p3)

Mark Twain "It is my belief that an effort at a slow and gradual change is not worth while. [...] It is the sudden changes [...] that have the best chance of winning in our day. Can we expect a sudden change in our spelling? I think not. But I wish I could see it tried. [...] By a sudden and comprehensive rush the present spelling could be entirely changed and the substitute spelling be accepted, all in the space of a couple of years; and preferred in another couple. But it won't happen, and I am as sorry as a dog." (Twain 1997, pp208-212)

Page editor: N Paterson. Contact by email or form.