Spelling and Spelling reform

updated August 22 2013

Human engineering for the English writing system
to meet the needs and abilities
of readers, writers, learners and the international world

See also Literacy and Writing Systems

The Rules of English spelling on one page!- Making English spelling obey its major rules would remove many of its difficulties.

Spelling reserch 1

Spelling reserch 2. Surplus letters

Parallel Texts to help those with difficulty

International Literacy Day, September 8, See these ozideas pages on literacy, Reading Cribs, education

Petition  –  a trial of help in the literacy crisis- Experiment! Petition to the public, Press and spellcheckers – See if u agree with it!   Tell yr frends. http://www.change.org/petitions/spellcheckers-the-press-the-public-trial-cutting-out-useless-letters-from-words

The principles of Interspel, Spelling on one page - modernizing present spelling, with 3 levels:-
Level 1.Dictionary Key and beginners spelling,
Level 2 with morfemic visual modifications for writing,
Level 3 with optional spellings for Reading without traps, making present spelling also readable.

Writing Systems and how they change, with particular reference to English spelling, available on amazon,

The Book of Spells and Misspells is now out of print, but can be downloaded here as a pdf

Key Papers

  • Seven principles to repair the English spelling system. 2007. Also pdf
  • The Design of Spelling to Match Needs and Abilities. 1986. pdf
    Problems in research in the design of English spelling. 1994. pdf
  • Proposal for an International Commission on English Spelling reform. 2005.pdf


  1. Introduction
  2. Needs and abilities of users and learners
  3. The nature and teaching of English spelling
  4. Improving English spelling, and research
  5. Spelling as entertainment
  6. References
  7. Bringing in improved English spelling
  8. The 16-word spelling test - common words that prove that most people cannot spell.
1. Introduction
Needs and abilities of users and learners
3. The nature and teaching of English spelling

4. Improving English spelling
5. Spelling as entertainment
6. References
7. Bringing in improved English spelling

Spelling for the next 2000 years

No change at all?

Why doesn't everyone enjoy reading books?
is English spelling a social screening test, insted of a user-frendly tool?
does English spelling keep the workers down?
are adult literacy programs so costly, slow and unsuccessful?
do English-speaking countries spend the most on literacy and achieve so litl?

Now imajin the sort of spelling that you would like.

Comunications Tecnology is changing fast. The basic element of written comunication is the oldest part of that tecnology - spelling - but spelling is still tecnology, and it can be made more user-frendly.

Internationally, the defects of English spelling affect the world.

Spelling has been made into a totem and a social screening device. These are not its primary purpose - which is comunication.

Few people read well. Most people cannot spell well. Learning to read in English is notoriously dificult. The iminent obsolesence of print literacy is now often predicted because it is 'more tedious' and needs 'enormous human and economic resources' to try to teach - unsuccessfully.

All other major languages have improved or even revolutionised their writing systems, but their teaching of literacy is still held back by following the lead of Anglo-American reserch and exampls, which are foxed by English spelling problems.

The present time of flux and innovation on the Internet is a millennial opportunity for global experiment.

These pages set out needs and abilities of readers, writers and lerners which must be taken into account and must be based on empirical reserch, not mere argument.Also described are features that might characterise a user-frendly spelling which remains close to our present system - by cleaning up its lackof system.

Faster spelling
.. Fastr spelling
.. ..Fastr spelng

A simpl way to start improving English spelling by cutting the clutter.

FASTR's user-friendly features can be taken up by anyone at any time for personal use. Public experience during transition can clear a way to official development. 'Fastr Spelling' should not be dismissed by arguing from outdated assumptions. The real test is whether it could be useful in a time of English-language literacy's greatest challenge.

Five aims for a Fastr Spelling

  • To meet the needs and abilities of users and lerners at home and abroad,
  • To suit the nature of the English language
  • To improve the efficiency and speed of readers and writers
  • To promote the usefulness of English as an international language
  • To be compatibl with present spelling and our heritage of print
  • To make posibl greatly improved methods of teaching literacy

Five features of a Fastr Spelling

  • Omit superfluous letters in words
  • Use consistent consonant spellings
  • Reduce over 240 spellings for English vowel sounds to 48
  • Facilitate reading for meaning thru sound-symbol relationships modified by twelv grammatical, morfemic and problem-solving principls.
  • Open the way to furthr reforms of vowel spellings and alfanumeric characters

Imajin making English spelling more user-frendly some time in the next hundred years
along with all the other marvels of sìentific invention

The 16-word Spelling Test

If you cannot spell these 16 words correctly, do not worry. Most professors and educators and psychologists and teachers cannot spell them all.

















Why don't you get all these spellings correct?

Because every word has letters in it that are not needed - a waste of your time and energy to remember what the surplus letters are, where they should go, and writing them out.

 More about the 16 word Spelling Test