31st August 2013
Mark Twain's (1835-1910) words still relevant today for people who want to change established things hastily.
One of my favorite posts to the Unicode mailing list came during a heated debate about “simplifying” certain character sets. I believe it was Joe Becker who re-posted Mark Twain’s humorous proposal for simplifying English spelling:
In year 1, that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s;” and likewise, “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which “c” ould be retained would be the “ch” formation, which will be dealth with later. Year 2 might reform the “w” spelling so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant wile year 3 might well abolish “y,” replasing it with “i;” and iear 4 might fiks the “g/j” anomali wonse and for all.
Jeneraly, then the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants; and iears 6-12 or so modifaiiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist kononants. Bai iear 15, it wud be fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez “c,” “y,” and “x” — bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez — tu replais “ch,” “sh,” and “th,” rispektivli.
Finali, xen, ater sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling iniuse xrewawt xe Ingliy-Spiking werld.