Spelling for the New Millennium

This article will attempt to propose some new spelling and writing standards that will help people communicate better and more efficiently. Communication in our high tech era absolutely demands new adaptations because of computers and computer logic systems. Whether one is entering an address, writing a resume, or putting an ID number on a form, the letters and numbers we use require a new emphasis on exacting standards to satisfy the goal of communication. I will deal here only with English, as it probably is the most universally understood language for high tech interaction. Whats more, these new standards will assure that English gains an absolute primacy as the lingua franca of the modern world.

I will first address a common problem: the oh versus the Zero. If you are inputting a management code on your computer, these terms are not interchangeable. Why keep the confusion? I suggest that we eliminate the letter and keep the number. W0uld we really l00se information c0ntent if there is n0 O in zer0? N0. Especially n0t in c0mparis0n to the disasters created by c0nfusing O and zero. 0K, y0u are c0rect t0 n0te that there is an immediate pr0blem c0ncerning upper and l0wer case letters. Well, in this event we can quickly deal with an0ther wastefull redundancy. Peri0ds and spaces already den0te the ends and beginnings 0f sentences. Lets see what happens if we just elliminate case. Y0U WILL SEE THAT THIS S0LUTION ALS0 ADDRESSES AN0THER PR0BLEM 0F WRITTEN AND C0MPUTER GENERATED C0MMUNICATI0N. WE HAVE G0TTEN RID 0F THE L VERSUS 0NE AMBIGUITY. WE CAN TAKE THE NEXT L0GICAL STEP AND GET RID OF THE ONE VERSUS I C0NFUS1ON BY EL1M1NAT1NG THE LETTER I.

TH0SE ARE N0T REALLY SPELL1NG PR0BLEMS TH0UGH. 1 C0NTEND THAT 0UR UNDERSTAND1NG 0F WHAT WE READ AND WHAT WE HEAR HAS N0 C0NNECT10N T0 ACTUAL SPELL1NG. 1 W1LL USE MYSELF AS A TYP1CAL EXAMPLE 0F THE PERS0N WH0 CAN READ, TALK, AND WR1TE W1TH ACCEPATBLE C0RRECTNESS AND L0G1C, BUT 1 CANN0T SPELL. D1NNER OR D1NER? 1 W1LL NEVER KN0W. 1 ADM1T THERE MAY BE SPELL1NG RULES THAT APPLY T0 D0UBLE C0NS0NANTS. BUT THE FACT 1S, THAT AS Y0U READ 0R WR1TE 0R L1STEN, TH0SE RULES GET APPL1ED AFTER THE FACT T0 A1D 1N C0RRECTNESS 0F APPL1CAT10N, NEVER T0 A1D 1N UNDERSTAND1NG. 1 SUGGEST WE JUST ELL1M1NATE ALL REPEATED C0NS0NANTS THAT ARE N0T ACTUALY PR0N0UNCED AS SEPARATE S0UNDS. PAPER AND 1NK ARE T00 PRESC10US OF C0M0D1T1ES T0 SQUANDER 1N AN EL1T1ST GAME OF PEPER AND SALT. ENGL1SH CAN BEC0ME A STR0NGER LANGUAGE N0T BY PLAC1NG STUMBL1NG BL0CKS T0 C0NFUSE THE N0V1CE, BUT BY 0PEN1NG THE D00RS T0 A GRANDER DES1GN OF ACCESAB1L1TY. SPEL1NG MEANS SUCCES AND 1MPR0VED SPEL1NG F0R THE NEW M1LEN1UM W1L 0FER SUCCES T0 ALL.

THE READER W1L N0T1CE THAT 1 HAVE N0T EL1M1NATED D0UBLE V0WELS. THESE FEW 0VERWORKED LETERS, THE V0WELS, HAVE T0 D0 D0UBLE DUTY 1N FRAM1NG 0UR PR0NUNC1AT10NS, AND S0 1 AM HES1TANT T0 MES W1TH V0WELS T00 QU1CKLY.

QU1CKLY BR1NGS ME, TH0UGH, T0 AN0THER S1LY ART1F1CE 1N 0UR ANACHR0N1ST1C LANGUAGE CUST0MS. 1F Q 1S 1NVAR1ABLY F0L0WED BY U THEN WHAT D0 WE GA1N BY KEEP1NG THE U?

WHAT, THE READER W1L ASK, IS GA1NED BY EL1M1NAT1NG THE U?

1 PR0P0SE THAT BY STREAMLIN1NG THE SPEL1NG PR0CES WE CAN GA1N A L0T. CARPEL TUNEL SYNDR0ME HAS BEC0ME A MULT1M1L10N D0LAR EXPENSE 1N 0UR KEYB0ARD 0R1ENTED W0RKPLACE. EF0RTS ARE 1N PR0GRES T0 REDES1GN KEYB0ARDS AND 0THER 1NPUT1NG DEV1CES T0 MAKE L1FE EAS1ER F0R THE M0DERN W0RKER. 1F WE CAN EL1M1NATE WASTEFUL PR0CESES SUCH AS REDUNDANT SPEL1NG PRACT1CES AND PERHAPS EVEN EL1M1NATE S0ME LETERS FR0M THE ALPHABET, THERE ARE HUGE BEN1F1TS 0F HEALTH AND EXPENSE THAT C0ULD BE REAL1ZED, N0T T0 MENT10N M0RE ACURATE C0MUN1CAT10N.

THE W0RD CARPEL LEADS T0 AN0THER STREAML1NING SUGEST10N. PERHAPS WE CAN EL1M1NATE THE LETER K FR0M THE ALPHABET. WE ALREADY HAVE THE LETER C THAT DEN0TES THE SAME S0UNDS AS THE LETER K. WHY N0T GET R1D 0F THAT WASTEFUL LETER. W0ULD ANY REAL N0WLEGE BE L0ST? WHY ST1C T0 S0ME HAB1T 0F A BYG0NE ERA BY KEEP1NG A LETER THAT HAS N0 REAL PURP0SE?

AT THIS P0INT WE M1GHT C0NS1DER WHAT 1 CAL THE SCRABLE RULE 0F EVALUAT10N. THE LETERS 1N THE GAME SCRABLE HAVE BEEN AS1GNED VALUES AC0RD1NG T0 THE1R USE PATERNS. ANY LETER THAT HAS A VERY H1GH VALUE 1N SCRABLE SH0ULD BE AUT0MAT1CALY REV1EWED TO DEC1DE 1F 1T 1S REALY A NECESARY LETER. 1 HAVE ADRESED Q. THE LETER Y CAN EAS1LY BE REPLACED 1N AL USAGE BY THE LETERS I AND E. STREAML1N1NG THE CEEB0ARD 1N THIS WAE W1L Q1KLEE LEAD TO UNEXPECTED REWARDS. THE CEE HERE 1S T0 UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE L00C1NG FOR S0UNDS THAT ARE PR0DUCED 1N A VAR1ETEE 0F WAES AND THERBY APL11NG L0G1CAL REDUCT1ONS 1N 0RDER T0 PR0DUCE A M0RE ACCESABLE SPEL1NG THAT HAS A GRANDER S1MPL1C1TEE.

J S1GN1F1ES A S0UND THAT IS EAS1LEE MADE W1TH 0THER LETERS AND THUS J BEC0MES UNNECESSARY. JAC (which used to be Jack) BECOMES GEAC. HERE WE HAVE TO REC0GN1ZE THAT G BEC0MES A J S0UND WHEN F0L0WED B1 E. UNF0RTUNATELEE THERE MAY BE T1MES WHEN EXTRA LETERS ARE USED, BUT WE ST1L HAVE S1MPL1F1ED THE CEEB0ARD AND SH0RTENED THE PATERN 0F F1NGER M0VEMENTS.

1 AM N0T G01NG T0 GUARENTEE 1T W1L W0RC, BUT F0R THE SACE 0F ARGUMENT, LETS TR1 EL1M1NAT1NG THE LETER X. AFTER AL, 1F U HAVE HAD 0CAS1ON T0 GET TH1S LETER 1N SCRABLE, U WERE PR0BABLEE L1CE ME AND C0ULD 0NLY TH1NC 0F THE TW0 LETER W0RD FOR A W00D CH0PING T00L: ACS. ECCEPT1ONS MAE BE F0UND BUT THE 0PT1ON 1S W0RTH ECSPLOR1NG.

F0R THE T1ME BE1NG, 1 W1LL ACCEPT THE N0T10N THAT Z HAS A UN1QE EN0UGH S0UND THAT WE W1LL KEEP 1T 1N THE ALPHABET. 1F WE STREAML1NE THE LANGUAGE BY CHANG1NG THE S0UNDS, THEN WE W0ULD BE CREAT1NG A NEW LANGUAGE, WH1CH W0ULD BE AN EF1C1ENCEE 0F AN0THER 0RDER.

BUT, STREAML1NE WE MUST, AND A VERY G00D C0NTENDER F0R STREAML1N1NG IS THE PH S0UND WH1CH CAN EAS1LEE BEC0ME F. N0, TH1S D0ES N0T MAKE THE ALFABET SH0RTER, BUT WE ARE A1M1NG AT SPEL1NG EF1C1ENCEE HERE, T00. 1 AM SURE N0 0NE 1S G01NG T0 M1SS PH. PH HAS ALWAES STRUC ME AS A RATHER PRETENT10US ART1FICE. A S1M1LAR 1MPR0VEMENT CAN BE MADE BY REPLAC1NG 0UGH WITH UF OR 0H. TH1NC AB0UT 1T, THESE ARCHA1C SPEL1NGS HAVE BEEN HANDED D0WN FROM AN ERA WHEN PE0PLE WERE C0MF0RTABLE WITH THE TH0HT OF HAV1NG T0 LEARN THE THREE RS. ENUF 1S ENUF. 1F U CANT L1VE W1TH0UT 0UGH, TUF.

SPEAC1NG OF M1S1NG TH1NGS, 1 AM SEE1NG N0W THAT THERE 1S A PR0BLEM W1TH C HAV1NG T00 MANEE S0UNDS. PERHAPS 1 WAS T00 Q1C T0 GET R1D 0F K. PERHAPS A BETER S0LUT1ON 1S T0 S1MPLEE EL1M1NATE THE AMB1GU1TEE OF FUNCT10NS BETWEEN C AND K, AND LET K HAVE AL THE HARD K S0UNDS AND RESERVE C T0 USE F0R AL TH0SE S0FTER PURP0SES. WE KAN TR1 K1K1NG THAT S1MPLER SPEL1NG S1STEM AR0UND FOR A WH1LE AND SEE H0W 1T W0RKS. 1 AM B0UND AND DETERM1NED T0 NAR0W D0WN THE KEEBOARD TH0H AND N0W 1 SEE THAT Q 1S THE LETER T0 EL1M1NATE. K KAN D0 THE Q S0UNDS VEREE WEL. SH0RTEN1NG THE KEEB0ARD 1S KR1T1KAL T0 SUCCESFULEE GA1N1NG THE LEVEL OF EF1CIENCEE 1 AM AFTER. THE KEEB0ARD KAN N0W BE REARANGED S0 THAT THE NUMBERS ARE MUCH M0RE EAS1LEE REACHED. 1MAG1NE H0W C0MPACT THE NEKST GENERAT10N 0F LAPT0PS W1LL BE WHEN THE KEEB0ARD GETS SMALER AND L00KS L1KE TH1S:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

C W E R T B U N V P

A S D F G H M K L Z

(SIKS LETERS HAVE BEEN EL1M1NATED: I, J, O, Q, X, Y.) THE KEEB0ARD N0W HAS R00M F0R MANY NEW AND M0RE USEFUL S1MB0LS AND HAS A SMALER AND M0RE ERG0NM1KLEE FR1ENDLEE DES1GN.

PERHAPS A KU1K D1GRES10N SH0ULD BE ADED HERE T0 REM1ND THE READER 0F CERTA1N ULT1MATE PURP0SES. ES (PR0N0UNCE E, S VEREE FAST T0 GET THE PRE-M1LEN1UM YES), TH1S S1STEM 1S G01NG T0 PLAA (TW0 AS DEN0TE A L0NG A S0UND AS TW0 ES DEN0TE A L0NG E S0UND) HAV0K WITH SPEL CHEKING PR0GRAMS. TH0SE PR0GRAMS W1LL HAVE T0 BE REWR1TEN. AND HERE 1 SAA ADAMANTLEE, SPEL CHEK 1S A T00L MEANT T0 SERVE US, WE ARE N0T SUP0SED T0 BE SERVANT T0 THE SPEL CHEK 0R EVEN T0 SPEL1NG AS A S1STEM. TH1S ASERT10N 1S THE WH0LE P01NT OF TH1S L0NG 0VERDUE REV1SI0N 1 AM PR0P0S1NG. 0NCE WE HAVE MADE THE CHANGE, EVEREE 0NE W1LL L00K BAK AND W0NDER, WH11 (TW0 1S MAKE A L0NG 1 S0UND) D1D 1T TAKE S0 L0NG T0 SEE SUCH A S1MPLE 1MPR0VEMENT?

THE MENTI0N 0F SPEL CHEK REM1NDS ME 0F AN0THER B1G FASE 0F TH1S SPEL1NG M0D1F1CAT10N PLAN. H0W MANEE T1MES HAS SPEL CHEK FA1LED U BECAUSE U 1NADVERTANTLEE SPELED THE WR0NG W0RD K0REKTLEE. U WR0TE 0UR WHEN U MEANT T0 WR1TE H0UR. M11 PR0P0SAL W1L FIKS THAT. BEG1N1NG HENCF0RTH, AL W0RDS THAT HAVE EKSAKTLEE THE SAME S0UND W1L BE REDUCED T0 THE S1MPLEST AND LEAST K0NFUS1NG SPEL1NG. THEYRE, THERE, AND THE1R BEC0ME THERE. REMEMBER, 1N SP0KEN D1AL0G, U R NEVER KONFUSED B1 W0RDS THAT S0UND AL1KE. THE K0NTEKST MAKES THE MESAGE KLEAR. URE READ1NG SENSE CAN AD THE SAME KLAR1TEE 0NCE U GET USED T0 THE CHANGE. AND URE SPEL1NG W1L NEVER A1R.

1 TH1NK WE R READEE N0W FOR THE NEKST SPEL1NG 1MPR0VEMENT RULE: THE DICTI0NAREE PR0NUNCIATI0N RULE: WHEN THE DICTI0NAREE K0NSISTANTLEE F1NDS A S1MPLER WAA T0 1ND1CATE PR0NUNC1AT10N THAN THE AKTUAL SPEL1NG, WE SHUD MAKE THAT THE SPEL1NG. 1F U CHEK URE D1KT10NAREE, U W1L C THAT WE R 0N THE R1TE TRAK B11 HAV1NG EL1M1NATED Q AND X. ( 2 BAD 1 D1D N0T PUL 0UT THE D1CT10NAREE S00NER, 1 W00D HAVE SAVED M11 EARL1ER M1STAKE W1TH C AND Q. )

WE R GETING KLOSE N0W T0 THE NEW M1LEN1UM SPEL1NG. A FEW M0RE TWEEKS AND WEL B THERE. S1NCE THE NEW KEEB0RD PLAN HAS PLACED THE NUMBERS MORE APR0PR1ATLEE AT 0UR F1NGERT1PS, WE KAN STREEML1NE TH1NGS EVEN M0RE B11 US1NG THE NUMBERS AS THERE 0BVEEUS SAME S0UND1NG W0RDS. T0 BEKUMS 2. F0R BEKUMS 4. ATE BEKUMS 8. AFTER AWL, ADVERT1S1NG JARG0N AND L1SENSE PL8 W1T HAVE B1N GET1NG US REDEE 4 TH1S CHANGE 4 A L0NG T1ME. LETS G0 4 1T. GEUST D0 1T!

0! ES, AN0THER SAV1NG HAS GEUST 0KURD 2 ME. WHAT AB0UT W0RDS

END1NG 1N 1NG? LETS CHANGE THAT 2 GEUST NG. AHA! N0W WE R

STARTNG 2 G1VE SUM REST 2 TH0SE 0VER W0RKED V0WELS. W0RDS ENDNG

1N ER KAN BE SH0RTENED T0 S1MPLEE END 1N R, AND S1M1LARLEE THE

K0M0N ED W1L REED GEUST AS WEL ENDNG 1N D. N0 L0NGR W1L THE

M0DERN W0RLD BE SUBGEKTD T0 THE T1R1NEE 0F AN ANC1ENT KNGS

ENGL1SH.

WHAT A 1DERFUL SPELNG S1STEM TH1S 1S BEKUMNG! AND N0W 1 W1L SEND THIS GRAND SKEEM 0FF 1N2 THE GR8R REALM 0F P0PULR REV1S10N AND LARGR 1MPRUVMENT, THE WWW. 1 GEUST N0 THAT 1F 1 MEERLEE LAUNCH TH1S

PR0P0SL 0N 2 THE 1NTERNET, WE W1L S00N AWL HAVE A GRAND NEW AND

1MPRUVD S1STEM 0F SPELNG. YEAH! 00PS, 1 MEAN ... G00D!