[Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society, J29, 2001 p38]
[On this page: Words of wisdom!]

USA English Is Respelled in Truespel.

by Tom Zurinskas.

Thomas E. Zurinskas, creator of truespel, is a human-factors psychologist and quality assurance specialist for the FAA in the USA. He has 2 grown boys and lives with Bonnie, his wife of 32 years, near Atlantic City, NJ. He has been a member of the SSS email forum since 1997 and presented truespel to the world there.

Truespel has been on the SSS email forum since 1997. After 2 years of development, the truespel dictionary is done. It is now up to 60,000 words and mature. Its format is a truly consistent phonetic spelling based on English, in General American accent. The design minimizes conflicts with traditional orthography. See truespel.com. Truespel establishes a reasonable set of 40 phonemes as a standard for respelling, not only English, but all languages. The intent is not to replace traditional orthography but to develop a new pronunciation/translation guide that (1) uses qwerty letters and (2) is based on English, the world's most important language.

The good folks at foreignword.com have made an English--to---truespel converter. [See links.]

Merely type or paste text into the converter and hit the convert button to respell it in truespelUSA. This means that anyone can now spell in truespel and any text file can be converted. This will help learners and teachers alike.

The implications are big.

Truespel can now be used as another ita phonetic spelling guide for learners. It is better than the ita because after initial learning it does not go away, as the ita does. It is retained as a dictionary pronunciation guide. It can be used as such because it shows primary stress in a word, whereas ita does not. Thus, truespel can replace and combine the ita and IPA. It is better than the IPA because no special symbols are used and the schwa is spelled out.

Another special benefit of truespel is that because it uses qwerty letters, it can be analyzed by spreadsheet text-functions. I have "searched" on the 40 phonemes and counted them to find the frequency of use both in the dictionary and millions of words of newspaper text. This provided an interesting comparison. I have counted the number of ways each sound is spelled. I've found answers to questions we perhaps never thought of asking, such as which vowel is spelled only one way in English, or which is more popular, the voiced or unvoiced TH.

The Foundation.

To respell all language needs a lot of work. A Truespel Foundation has been formed and will seek charitable status for donations. A volunteer is needed to develop a truespelUK version. UK/AUS/NZ readers will not agree with some truespelUSA spellings, but these are accent questions. The spellings of the truespel dictionary were taken from listening to the American Heritage talking dictionary, Softkey Inc., as the pronunciation reference. I hope the SSS will follow this lead, adopt this phonetic set and carry this work onward. One, united, qwerty, English-based pronunciation guide is what the world needs for all language.

Truespel Book One: Analysis of the sounds (Phonemes) of USA English. 1st Books Library.



Words of wisdom!

p18. Brain, n. An apparatus with which we think what we think. That which distinguishes the man who is content to be something from the man who wishes to do something. The man of great wealth, or one who is being pitchforked into high station, has commonly such a headful of brain that his neighbours cannot keep their hats on. In our civilisation, and under our republican form of government, brain is so highly honored the duties rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.
The Devil's Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce.

p25. Back when more New Yorkers spoke like Humphrey Bogart, this admonition was permanently displayed on school blackboards throughout the region:
There is no "joy" in Jersey.

p28. RUOK?
According to the New York Times of July 16, 2001, the latest edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary includes an appendix of text messaging abbreviations. (As in "RUOK?" "Are you okay?") The Times quotes Judy Pierce, a publishing manager at Oxford University Press: "we have been monitoring the phenomenal growth of text messaging with great attention: its influence is now such that we felt it was time to treat it as an integral part of English."

Back to the top.