[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, J23, 1998-1, pp8-13]
[See Journal, Newsletter, Anthology, Bulletin articles, Personal View and web by Valerie Yule.]

International English Spelling and the Internet

Valerie Yule

Valerie Yule, formerly of Melbourne, Monash and Aberdeen Universities, is a psychologist who writes on social and educational issues, and is executiv officer of the Australian Centr for Social Inovations.

Modified spelling in this articl commences with an introductory miniml cutting of surplus letters, and extends later to moderat deletion and consistent spellings for /f/ and /j/.


The present time of unfetterd public experiment on the Internet is an unprecedentd opportunity for world-wide testing and introduction of a more consistent and simpl English spelling system suitabl for international use. Assumptions about the nature and introduction of spelling reform must be reconsiderd. Strategies now availabl for reform include acclimatising readers of the Web and email to the possibilities and advantages of spelling change, encouraging them as writers to experiment with more convenient spelling forms, and arousing awareness of these possibilities thru new multimedia methods of teaching reading. Once begun and discoverd to be personaly beneficial, spelling reform can become hard to stop, and prepared for official systematisation.

Words on the screen differ from words on the page. The Internet makes different demands upon writers and readers and sets further criteria for spelling reform. 'Bad spelling' on the Net shows problems and trends that spelling reformers can take into account. Features of this 'people's spelling' support propositions that present English spelling could be cleand up and systematised for international use. Criteria and possible features of such an international spelling for English are set out.

1. Literacy on the Internet.

Six great inventions have progressivly extended human communication: language, writing, the alphabet, printing, broadcasting, and now the Internet. The Net opens two-way global communication to the ordinary public, on a scale beyond the press or talkback radio. Cyberspace is a universe of great excitement, change and flexibility. Popular enthusiasm and flowering of ingenuity are rather like that of Shakespeare's England when the invention of printing had come into full flood. Popular spelling on the Net and bulletin-boards in this time of constant change can help to show what spelling principls may prove most useful to fit the needs and abilities of writers and readrs of English throughout the world. This priority for observed rather than assumed needs and abilities has often been overlookd by spelling reformers with 'ideal' spelling systems (Yule, 1986). The business committee at my old school once approved a new school uniform. It was so neat and pretty - it looked ideal. But it took no account of the needs and abilities of the schoolgirls. It did not fit their variety of shapes nor their spurts of growth, and it could not stand the rough-and-tumbl of the playground.

It is often assertd that electronic media will replace books, and that print on pages will become obsolete - for exampl, an Australian writer, Dale Spender, has thrown out most of her library of 2000 books, to spend her time on electronic networking, regarding it as a superior form of communication. The prospect of losing books would be frightful, for print and screen are complementary, not alternativs. However, they make somewhat different demands on literacy.

1.1. Reading on screen.
In the early 1980s, the subjects in my literacy experiments were up to twice as slow in reading text on screen as in print. I and others of my generation still find text on a computer more difficult to read, and cannot read a screen in a singl pass, as I can a page of print. Anything at all complex must be downloaded and then read 'properly' from the printout.

In contrast, a younger generation is mor familiar with screen than books, and their reading skills may be so tuned that books are the more difficult for them. Some student newspapers are now printed in the same small sanserif font as emails, and older staff find them hard to read. Possibly undergraduats do not.

Readrs of email and the Internet have an interest in being fast skimmers who seek to get the gist quickly rather than setl down to carefully digest solid meat, as in reading masterpiece books. Text on email and Internet must be read fast when access time is limitd and costs money. Instant print requires instant decisions and dismissals. One email address may receve a hundred messages a day from several mailing lists. What sort of writing system do these new-styl readrs need? This generation listens to information in sound-bites. What are the features of word-bites for its reading? Would spelling reform help them?

Their most obvius need is for an economicl spelng that they can quikly recognize and process, and quikly keyboard in, without the hold up of a spelcheckr, much less a dictionry. Many of the youngr generation have been taught to 'look and guess' befor they 'look and check' with phonics, if they have any. Few Net-users are going to decode or encode words like appreesheeyate, speech-sound by speech-sound. What writing system and reading strategies can facilitate accurat and fast guessing?

1.2. Writing on screen.
Writing that is prepared off-line for electronic comunication is commonly electronicly spel-checkd so that only homophones are spelld 'incorrectly'. But on-line composition for email and interactiv comunication on the Net is usualy unrevised. An informal check suggests that the overall rate of errors is still about the same as in everyday handwriting, well undr 1% of words written, partly because it is still more elite than popular in its active contributors. But as more of the population get caught in the Web, the number of 'bad spellrs' grows. They find that here they are freed from everyday anxiety about their disability. Readrs on chat sites, for exampl, put up with each others' mistakes - it is useless to be affronted or let misspellings disrupt reading flow as when reading printd pages. This perforce loosening of attachment to a singl standard of 100% accuracy will have consequences. Some teachrs lose their grip on TO (Traditionl Orthography) thru too much reading of students' ill-spelt work - what hope now for the rest of us?

2. Spelling on the Internet.

The electronic communications systems now developd into the Internet and electronic mail were designd by English-speakrs who did not have in mind languages other than English. Consequently Europeans communicating via email may have to leave their accents and umlauts and cedillas behind, so that their writn language is transmitd plain and unadornd. French and German correspondents tell me that this lack of diacritics has not worried them - they understand their writn language regardless. If this competence is general, then it may hav implications for Continental spelling reforms, apart from the special needs of lernrs to be able to pronounce new vocabulary. It also has implications for English spelling reform on the Web, and for how much and what phonemic information is essential even for poor readers.

'Bad spelling' in electronic communication indicates the real needs and abilities of the people more surely than 'bad spelling' on paper. Writers on paper are more aware of permanence and the nearness of critics. They can usualy write in less haste and can criticize their first efforts. When unsure they are liabl to try to spell as dredfuly as traditionl spelng, and make 'imitativ mistakes' and insert more doubld consonants, to make sure. My granddaughter aged six wrote 'I like to serf' and then, for fear of being wrong, she amended it to 'I like to surghe'. On the Internet, howevr, sendrs ar usualy comunicating with equals who are distant, not at their elbow. They realize that their writing is ephemeral, they do not hav time to deliberate, and they expect that they will not be blamed for slips and errors.

There are continual claims that ability to spell has declined since pupils no longer spend up to a third of primary schooling on spelling. In Britain, the public indignation of the literat is aroused that Oxford undergraduats in English Literature in 1995 should make errors such as abolishion, angery, capatilist, collosal, disollutioned and excpressed. In Australia critics complain about shop notices such as apalstry 'upholstery', termata's 'tomatoes', optical practioner and weaklys. But at the same time that English spelling generaly is assumed, with some evidence, to be declining as an acomplishment even for the educated, people are finding that they can have freedom in spelling on the Internet. So how do they spell?

Six common features that might be called 'Principls of Bad Spelling on the Internet' are illustrated in the following message on an electronic bulletin board:-
This is a LEGAL NOTICE: You are not permited to post messages contaning quoted text from eather privet messages sent to you (as a reply or otherwise) and Published text. without consent from all aplicable parties. If this does not potain to you then ignor it but if it does take notice.
2.1. Usually fonetic.
This is seen in eather, ignor, resonably, bieng. Writers on the Internet tend to resort to reasoning and relating print to speech when rote memory for spelling fails them. They try to resort to the original alphabetic principl, but it is often poorly applied because most people are ignorant of any basic alphabetic system that underlies English spelling.

2.2. Dropd letrs.
'Bad spellings' are usually streamlined rathr than elaborated since Internet messages tend to be typd in a hurry. Message sendrs might typ apresiat or apreshat but they do not write apreesheeyate. The most common Internet 'bad spellings' omit surplus letrs, as in aplicable, ignor, heirachies and privet for 'private'. Even letrs that are part of the structure of a word can slip off, as in premere, demonstated, headin, leaving barer bones.

2.3. Dubld letrs oftn dropd in email.
This is seen in aplicable and permited. Adding doubld letrs is rarer, except for old favorits like dissapoint, occassion and begginer.

2.4. Problems in spelng vowels.
When poor spelrs attempt to spel vowel sounds by analogy with othr spelling patrns for the same sounds, they usualy choose the more comn or simpler patrns - as in deriving eather from eat and ignor from for. Shwa vowels set the greatest problems, as in privet and potain for 'pertain', when writers do not know eithr the forml pronunciation or the root of a word. Privet contains an inapropriat extension of the 'silent e' principl used to indicate a preceding long vowel as in libel.

2.5. Slurring.
This arises in informl speech. Ignorance of the forml pronunciation used in public speaking means that many poor spelrs hav only their own personl dialect forms of words to go on, as with subbarin 'submarine' and crobbirate 'corroborate'. With present English spelling, local pronunciation is usualy handed on by word of mouth, like Russian Gossip. Runaway development of English dialects is encouraged when speakrs cannot rely on 'spelling pronunciation'. The end results of slur are illustrated in the notorius guide to Australian English, Let stalk Strine (1965; = 'Let's talk Australian'). Much slurring is norml elision in articulation, as in industrilised and tecnicly and the acceptd sh/ch pronunciations in picture, special, question. More distant straying from formal pronunciation may be worth resisting by two strategies: by teaching the classicl and internationly recognised roots of words - so retaining for exampl economy rather than icanamy - and by a consistent standardised spelng system, to operate as a guide to speech, a check, and a benchmark.

2.6. Slips.
These are an extra hazard for readrs - as in cna't, rouble (cf, 'trouble') tje, ti ( for 'to') and fansatic. Slips in writing correlate significantly with bad spelng in genral, so improvement of poor spelrs' chances of systematic spelling would reduce their risk of making slips that they fail to pick up themselvs.

2.7. Unintelligibl spellings.
Forms like ovid and cimea are hazards encounterd when learnrs try 'spelng as u speak' without knowing any principls for spelling.

3. WWW spelng reform opportunities.

There are now many web-sites for everyone who is interestd in spelling and its improvement. Now knowledge about the nature of English spelling can spred, which hardly anyone ever lernt in school or teachrs' college, and which has been next to imposibl to get publishd for the general public. This ignorance has been one of the greatest barriers to realising that reform is possibl as wel as necessary. Newcomers might find it hard to sort out the most helpful sites, but the Simplified Spelling Society site is a good lead. They will find a wide range of ideas, lively discussions, and no singl solution offerd, but at this stage that may be no bad thing.

Useful reforms of spelling can start to spread the way fashions spread and American culture spreads. In electronic mail, dropng surplus letrs is likely to be taken up first, as th simplest and least disruptiv chanje, and as corespondents meet such changes again and again. Individual aficionados can add a standard messaj of explanation after their everyday correspondence in the way that many mailing lists carry a standard note at the botm for their particular campain. If easier spelling can catch on with youth and the disadvantajd thru rap, koori, and othr internet sites and interactions, as it already has in the world of brand-names and advertising, then no amount of indignant pedantry in newspaper letr-pages may be able to countr the infection. What print was for the victory of vernacular tongues for literacy, the Internet could be for the victory of an improved writing system.

This form of temporary destabilisation of TO will hav its downside, in that most individuals who take up spelling changes that appeal to them will not also take on a dictionary to ensure that they are applying changes with any degree of apropriatness. To work towards a final stable and oficial system requires establishment of an internationl academy at the organizationl level, and continuing efforts to educate the current generation in the principls of an alphabetic writing system. This underlines the importance of several difrent versions of a 'Help Yourself to Read' video, alredy badly needed for wider literacy, to be major tools to help everyone to understand i) that English spelling is silly, ii) that there is an underlying alphabetic system to it all, and iii) that it is possibl to use cleand-up spelling based on TO now.

4. The final outcome.

Until a writing system is devised that is a revolutionary breakthru that will cross languages, like Chinese but without its disadvantages, attempts at a completely new English spelling system can only muddy the waters. What is feasibl now is to clean up, update and systematise the system that already exists. But it is desirabl in offering the first steps, to have some idea of where the full reform may go, as some move faster than others towards this goal.

5. Criteria for improved spelling on WWW.

Seven criteria are required to improve the present system of English spelng for popular use:

5.1. User-frendly.
The writing system must meet the needs and abilities of all categories of user and lernr. This must be establishd by empiricl research, and for this, the Internet and bulletin boards can be major forums and experimentl sites. The costs are nil, the returns are imediat, and development can be fast. The most useful improvements wil catch on because they are eficient and practicabl. Aplication of reserch on human abilities and needs is an essential foundation - reserch into children's natural spelling, how beginrs lern to read and rite, adult reading efficiency and spelling preferences, trends in spelling changes, and relationships of English with other alphabetic spelling systems. (Yule, 1991).

5.2. Moving towards standardisation.
This goal is desirabl, because if all spelling becomes idiosyncratic, reading is slowed down and becomes more error-prone. The English language would become less rathr than mor useful for internationl comunication. Nevertheless, we can expect most individuals to pick up change piece by piece, and erraticly at that.

5.3. Compatibl with print heritaj.
In the long term, a final reformd English spelling will become dominant and only scholars will need to read anything that has not been reprinted. But in the medium-term, TO (traditionl orthografy) should remain decipherabl by readrs even when it is no longr used by writers. And in the short-term, no reform can come in with imediate popular accepatance unless it is backward compatibl. In its first stage, to be acceptabl, a reform must be immediatly easily readabl by everyone already literat in TO.

5.4. Compatibl with othr languages.
An increasing proportion of the vocabulary of all modern languages - in technology, commerce, science, culture and life-style - is held in common and comes from the same sources, particularly through English and including the representation of classicl derivations and suffixes. Insofar as this sharing improves worldwide communication, resistance by linguistic chauvinists is deservedly futile - there are betr ways to develop local pride. Any English spelling reform should not conceal interlingual resemblances in this vocabulary.

5.5. Economy.
Reformd spelngs must be economicl in costs, materials and in time required to lern and to use. The first steps particularly must be understood in minuts, not months, and the later steps should have an intuitiv quality so that they can be pickd up by readers and used by writers with minimum guidance and without special courses.

5.6. Anyone can start any time.
Anyone can start to apply any of the principls at any time - in personl corespondence, e-mail, commercial advertising and bulletin boards. The principls should therfor be such that writers in a hurry can take them up one at a time, and they should also be constantly availabl, set out clearly, for those rarer spirits who will be intrested in understanding the whole system first, and who can be leadrs of 'spelling fashion'.

6. Problem points.

Some issues in improving English spelling for internationl use cannot be solvd by lojic or argument until there has been some popular experience of posibilities. Some problems are set by the nature of the English language itself and the limitations of 26 letrs of the roman alfabet to represent it, and other difficulties result from long-standing contradictions within TO. So far cognitiv psycologists have not been keen to move into th necessary reserch, nor have grants been availabl to encourage them. A time of flux allowing public experiment in changes from TO spellings on the WWW and in responses to subtitling on television coud be the most inexpensiv ways to find out popular needs and preferences prior to systematising and establishng the fittest surviving principls.

6.1. The practicabl or the ideal?
Do reformrs start with what is immediately feasibl, or hold out for what is theoreticly ideal but may never be possibl? The position taken here is that if the ideal ever becomes immediatly practicabl, well and good - but the situation now calls for what may be possibl now, that might lead into that ideal.

6.2. Where to start.
What will the market out there be most likely to welcome first? Observation suggests that two points can be taken up without fuss.

Surplus letrs in words can be eliminated, that serv no purpose to represent either meaning or pronunciation. This pleases writers who like to save effort and solv spelling problems. Readrs tend to dislike disturbance of what is familiar, but omission of letrs disturbs less than changing them, and readrs may not even notice deletions, especialy towards the end of words. Up to this point the spelling in this articl has been this minimal cutting. Cutng can then be taken furthr, as it becomes a mor familiar principl. Spelng for unclear shwa vowels can be furthr clarified, thru omission of spelng for vowels omitd in modrn speech, as in difrent, and by replacement with sylabic consonants as in ansr, comn, and spelng.

Consonant spelngs can be made mor consistent, with /f/ and /j/ consistently speld with f and j, as in fotograf and enjin.

6.3. Options in spelng.
Since for the present Internet and internationl spelng must retain th roman alfabet, th most dificult issue in th redesign of English spelng is th representation of th nineteen or so vowel fonemes with five Latin vowel letrs. One-to-one sound-symbol corespondence may be desirabl in th long term but is not imediatly practicabl. Insted, in th short-term, a TO-compatibl spelng system cud reduce TO's unpredictabl colection of over 200 spelng patrns for vowels to a maximum of 3-4 predictabl spelng patrns for each vowel foneme. This wud alow for positionl spelngs, lernr's extra aids, and options of eithr digrafs or one-key singl charactrs using diacritics. This wud greatly reduce th problems of ESL and nativ lernrs to a manajabl task, and alow improved methods of teachng.

6.4. English and continentl vowels.
An important question is whethr adoption of continentl European vowel spelngs wud promote or hindr English as the world's internationl languaj. My present thinking is that it wud hindr. Firstly because th English languaj itself difrs too much in its basic vowel fonemes, secondly, for its pairing of 'long' and 'short' vowels, and thirdly, that in cross-lingual comparisns of similr vocabulry, th two vowel systems ar oftn paralel, as in th words for education, camera, felicity, politics, competition. Finaly, by far th most significant English vowel fonemes ar th 'short' vowels a e i o u, as in bat bet bit dot but, which hav a frequency that is far greatr than that of th respectiv Continentl fonemes.

As long as foneme/grafeme difrences between languajes ar consistent, they can be lernt in half an hour, as English-speakrs find when they lern say German or Italian.

6.5. Representation of long vowels.
A major problem to be setld in improving English spelling, as distinct from replacing it with something new, is how to represent English 'long' vowels - th sounds used for th alfabet letr names a e i o u. These ar a mixd bag of speech sounds linguisticly, but in th English languaj they oftn pair off with th 'short' vowels, as in nation/nationl, opose/oposition, final/finish. Many reform proposals involv novel digrafs for these fonemes. Pijin exampls and J H Martin's Initial Lernrs' Spelng (1981, 1986) sujest that th singl caractrs for short vowels might also be used for medial and initial long vowels, posibly with an unobtrusiv diacritic.

6.6. Words sounded or speld th same.
The English languaj contains a high proportion of homofones, most of them speld th same, as homografs, but many others ar distinguishd in TO as heterografs. A few very comn homofones may continue to need spelng distinction to avoid confusion when readng text - chiefly too, two, to and for, four, fore. But context automaticly clarifies th meaning of most othr homofones and prevents confusion when they ar speld alike, e.g. can, wil, sound, letr, major.

Howevr spelng reforms wud clarify th pronunciation of many words which in TO have th same spelngs but ar pronouncd difrently, eg, wind, bow, desert, minute, elaborate, estimate.

6.7. Spelngs of importd words.
Respel as much as posibl, recognising that maveriks wil remain, especialy words from very difrent writing systems, such as French. We need mor study of how such vocabulry is respeld in other modrn languajes that also import new words.

6.8. Representing irregular stress.
This is oftn a problem for yung and overseas lernrs of English. Some current stratejies might be systematised, eg, dubl letrs, as in umbrella, and vowel spelngs such as in deturjnt and disturb rather than deterjnt and disterb. Cutng schwa spelngs oftn clarifies stress, as in mistri/misterius, defr/defur for 'deafer/defer', dezrt/dezurt.

6.9. Representng gramr.
To what extent does 'visibl gramr' enhance speedy reading for meaning, as some cognitiv psycologists claim? For exampl, is there valu in a stable final s for plural endings and verbs, and final d for participls, rathr than forcing riters to make aural distinctions between th terminl fonemes in cats/dogz and skipt/robd? Here, again, look also at what lernrs find hardr to lern and what they find easy.

6.10. The 'sibilant syndrome'.
As Govind Deodhekar (1995) and othrs hav pointd out, TO has multipl spelngs for final non-plural /s/. If final s is used for plurals and verbs, then what systematic spelng can be used in words like dress, glance, dense, impasse, coalesce, and cactus?

6.11. Fonemes without grafemes.
Three English fonemes hav no designated grafeme: schwa, /zh/ and one or othr of the u-vowels as in but, put, truth, etc.

The 'obscure vowel' is representd in TO by many difrent spelng patterns, but it comes in four degrees of obscurity, which cud be clarified by th spelng, eg, in th first sylabl of perturb th vowel is miniml tho stil observabl, and in th second sylabl it is stressd but stil obscure. Th unstressd shwa can be clarified in public speakng, as in republic, but it can be so overlookd that it can be completely omitd, as in difrent, or representd by a sylabic consonant, as in caml, chikn, dolr.

Th English foneme /zh/ is a product of articulation, and cud be representd by zh or by anothr digraf (zi) which wud be closer to TO, as in vizion, treziur.

The vowel in but/put/truth is an issue in itself, and any solution sets some problems.

7. Implementation.

An oficial internationl English spelng has most hope of successful establishment folowing a transitionl softning up that cud be startd up thru th electronic media.

Unpublishd experiments indicate (altho they require replication) that it is esier to adapt to readng a chanjed spelng if th chanjes ar all at once, rathr than to keep re-adjustng to new stajes. Howevr, most peple may not even try to read an email mesaj that is in ful frontl reform without prior 'softning up', and on th Internet and e-mail, where there is mor ongoing riting and interaction than is posibl via printd pajes, it may be a mor efectiv policy to gradualy aclimatize web-surfrs and emailrs to chanjes by two giding principls.

Th first steps in any needed chanje ar oftn th most dificult. Once chanje is found to be profitabl, it accelerates as th more conventionl membrs of th public start conformng to th new spirit. Th process is complex but has similaritis to chanje in othr fashions for apearances, rathr than to how th conceptualy mor simpl step of deciml money was imposed. Pragmatism as wel as riters' human imperfections wil mean that tempory inconsistencis ar unavoidabl during transition. At first there might be as many proposals put up as there ar spelng reformrs, but popular aprovl and usaj are mor likely to sort them out than th jujments of those who hav th least intrest in reforms - that is, educated professionls.

In 1971 th present authr publishd a Poket Gide for bad spelrs - a small card that cud be carried in th poket, for poor spelrs and othrs to use as a consistent 'sensibl spelng'. A redily updatabl simpl poket gide to prinsipls of spelng, carried on th Internet, cud become th preferrd dictionry for th Web, to facilitate fast and eficient Intrnet spelng by anyone.

When readrs can choose whethr or not to read something in print on screen or paje, and so must be atractd to read it, riters shud take no risks, and ofr their texts in spelng that begins with TO and only gradualy moves into letr deletion and chanje. Readrs who take notice may then decide to move on their own initiativ to make chanjes in their own spelng and even seek furthr information about th bases of chanje.

But if readrs desire to read th content of a mesaj, thru necessity or intrest, then reformd spelngs can be accelerated, because motivation to read th content wil be directing th readrs' atention beyond th medium of th spellng to th mesaje it conveys. Lerning is then incidentl, aclimatising and desensitising.

Riters shud therfor gear their use of spelng chanjes acordng to th category of readr they ar currently adressing.

It seems to me that reformd spelng must begin in th adult world or it wil not get going at all. Simultaneus campains can be undertaken for setng up an oficial internasionl body to monitr and evaluate during th period of chanje and oficialy implement th end result, with th suport of governments and acreditation by dictionaris, so that it is then 'apointd to be lernt in scools'. Experiments can also be encurajd in scools, such as lernrs' initial spelng and dictionri kes. Teachrs, children and th public must be taut th nature of th English spelng system, so that they can perceve for themselvs that improvement is posibl.

Transition can be brijd with a period in which dictionris accept alternativ spelngs for mor words than th sevral thousand sets they alredi admit. Som lexicografrs, as at th Australian Macquarie Dictionary Research Centre, ar exploring directions for mor consistent spelngs, and new editions of dictionris cud use reformd spelngs as kes to pronunciation.

English spelng reform has missd th boat for reform sevral times when chanje might hav been feasibl, eg, aftr World War II, when many othr cuntris wer able to introduce major or minor reforms during an enthusiastic climat of post-war reconstruction, and later, prior to spelng chekrs and translators, improved English spelng might hav been comercialy useful for computers. Now reform has anothr oportunity, as popular usaj on th Net and email can be a means of introduction and testing of reformd spelngs. Then a final authorised sceme can be assured of successful operation, and hav th advantaj of positiv public atitudes, which is esential for any oficial sceme to succeed.


'Afferbeck Lauder' (1965) LetStalk Strine: a lexicon of modern Strine usage, compiled by th Professor of Strine Studies, University of Sinny, Sydney: Ure Smith.

Deodhekar, Govind (1995) The LOJIKON system of Simplified English Spelng by th lojikal use of konsonants. Mumbai, India: Laxmibai Deodhekar Charitable Trust, and th London: Simplified Spelling Society.

Martin, John Henry (1981) 'The evolution and use of a phonemically consistent alphabet' in Spelling Progress Bulletin. 21/4, pp7-10.

Martin, John Henry & Friedberg, Ardy (1986) Writing to Read: a parents' guide to th new early learning program for young children, New York: Warner Books.

Rondthaler, Edward & Lias, Edward J (1986) Dictionary of American Spelng, Scholars' Edition, New York: th American Language Academy.

Upward, Christopher (1996) Cut Spelling: a handbook to the simplification of written English by omission of redundant letters, Birmingham: Simplified Spelling Society, 2nd edition.

Yule, Valerie (1980) 'A transitional spelling reform for adults and learners' in Spelling Progress Bulletin, 20/3, pp7-10.

- (1982) 'An international reform of English spelng and its advantages' in Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, Tenerife, 4, pp9-22.

- (1982) 'Spelling as Technology' in New Scientist. 96/1335, pp656-657. (Rewritten by a hostile technical editor, with altered graphs, and retitled as 'Shorter words make faster reading' - which is not necessarily true.)

- (1986) 'The design of spelng to meet needs and abilities' in Harvard Educational Review, 56/3, pp278-297.

- (1990) 'Indonenglish' in English Today, 26/7, p42.

- (1991) Orthography and Reading: Spelling and Society, unpublished doctoral thesis, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia.

- (1994) 'Problems that face research in th design of English spelling' in Visible Language, 28/1, pp26-47.

- (1995) 'The politics of international English spelng ' in The Politics of Literacy in Australia and the Asian-Pacific Region, ed. David Myers & Nicholas Walker, NT Australia: N.T. University Press.

- (1996) 'Take-home video for adult literacy' in International Review of Education, UNESCO, 32/1-3, pp187-203.

- (1998) A Pragmatic International English Spelng, submitted for publication in the Personal View series, Simplified Spelng Society.

- previus related articls in th Journal of the Simplified Spelng Society.


An exampl of systematising TO to provide an internasionl spelng for English. Note th atempts to resolv th issues that hav been discussd.

A sistm for internasionl comùnicàsion (Yule 1998) bàsd on th prinsipls discussd can be compatabl glòbali with clasicl and English lònwurds in othr languajes and with Romanss and Tùtonik relativs, as wel as with TO itself. It is imediatly readabl by readrs of TO, and can be lernd in ten steps, not by ròt-memorìzng unpredictabl spelngs as with TO. At furst inconsistensi in rìtrs' aplicàsion must be expectd, but tempori instabiliti is resolvd by its ofisial intrnasionl establishment.

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