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4 noble (yet silly) attempts to make the English language less of a train wreck

The English language was invented by a gathering of hairy men with poorly healed ax wounds on their heads and then refined by a group of men in poor wigs who drank half a liter of mercury every morning to treat their syphilis. It was written entirely by accident, until the late 16th century when the first attempts at standardized spelling were made, largely out of defiance. Since then, English has become the second most widely spoken language in the world, but some of the most recognizable names in history have been inexplicably dissatisfied with the language’s rigorous development process and have proposed reforming English spelling.

You were obviously wrong. The world is a cruel place ruled by forces beyond our control, and there is no better way to teach children this than to force them to spell “colonel”

; or “enough”. Does the word “embarrassing” need these double letters? No! Are we gonna change it? Also no! Make a note of it and move on with your life, Timmy, because this bullshit will be about 70 years from now. But let’s take at least a moment to recognize these brave heroes who tried to find a better way … and failed terribly.


Ben Franklin tried to get rid of the letter “C”

Ben Franklin was probably the coolest founding father, and spent roughly half of his time to humiliate one’s enemies and the other half plowed through Europe. But every jock has a boring side, and Franklin was a passionate spelling advocate. In particular, Franklin wanted to introduce one more phonetic alphabetwhere letters correspond directly to spoken sounds.

In modern English, letters can be pronounced very differently depending on the context. For example, in the “Pacific Ocean,” the first C is pronounced like you are molesting a snake, the second C should sound like you are choking on an aspirin, and the third C is pronounced like a slowly deflated air mattress at 3am AT THE. As is well known, the word “fish” can be spelled as “ghoti” (“Gh” as in “ufficient “,” o “as in” women “and” ti “as in” Aktion “), while” potato chips “are spelled just as easily could be “Ghoughpteighbteau Tchoghs“Franklin correctly thought this was bullshit and ended up developing his own alphabet to avoid the problem.

Franklin suggested dropping it unnecessary letters like C.which could be replaced with K or S depending on the sirkumstanses. He also wanted to drop J, Q, W, X, and Y, which made it completely impossible to spell Jamiroquai. To replace the lost letters, Franklin proposed six new ones to represent sounds like “-ng” in “running” and “jumping” or “sh” in “action”. Of course, it took him a while to actually tell someone about his amazing alphabet, as none of the new letters could actually be rendered on a printing press until Franklin cast special type blocks. But he eventually went public with the alphabet, which met with a complete lack of interest from everyone. Because it was awful.

Library of America
Well, Gramps is back on the Ghoughpteighbteau vodka.

The new alphabet was incomplete, inconsistent, and virtually incomprehensible to English speakers, making learning a nightmare. But Franklin persisted, and his friends were soon staring in horror at cheerful letters ask them to “Kansider chis alphabet and give me instances of Syts Inlis Uyrds and Saundz, as I think, can perfectlyi bi exsprest byi es.” National treasure would have been a very long movie if Nick Cage had to decipher this shit. One of Franklin’s friends wrote back politely that the alphabet could be “bi uv syrvis”, but Franklin himself clearly couldn’t understand how to write with it, using the new spellings inconsistently from one sentence to the next. He eventually dropped the whole thing and the idea faded … or did it ?!

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