Saturday, December 12, 2009

Finally ... somebody's making English better

No, it's not language reform. Not even spelling reform. But at least we're getting a nicer alphabet. See here. And yeah, "this ain't your grandfather's alphabet."

I can't wait for the next overhaul.

Thank you, Onion, thank you.

1 comment:

John said...

It looks like it might be a good idea, Mr Verb, but it aint!
The grandson of the inventor of shorthand (Sir Isaac Pitman), James Pitman invented a system called ita, or initial teaching alphabet.
The system worked by assigning a character, rather like the one you see in the photograph, to every one of the forty-four (or so, depending on accent) sounds of the language.
It was a great idea, except for two things: one, the English speaking world was never going to change (pretty much) accepted orthography; two, the system only works for one accent of English. On the latter point, my mother says the 'oo' in 'cook' as in 'moon'. Most people in UK say 'cook' as in 'book', 'could' and 'bush'. As you know, the same kinds of accent differences obtain in the USA.
And, for that reason, James Pitman's system died the death. And it screwed up a whole generation of English kids' spelling because no-one figured out how to make the transition to conventional orthography!