Personal and Other

Our Alphabet Sucks, We Need A New One

This post is meant to be taken in jest!

The English language is a mess, isn’t it? It’s all mixed up, made up of words from all different languages. Sometimes the same letters in the same order don’t make the same sound, to the despair of second-language learners.

The Americans knew it was a mess and tried to fix it, changing some of the letters to simplify things. But they didn’t get very far, so they only muddled it further. Now we have words like ‘fence’ and ‘defense’ in American English. Y’all goofed it up.

If we’re gonna fix this mess, we need to go further. We need to change the alphabet.

Bring them back!

We use the Latin alphabet today, right? The series of shapes designed to represent Latin when written down. English has never had its own alphabet (the runes were almost certainly derived from the Latin alphabet through cultural contact.) This means our alphabet was not designed for our language.

So we had to tweak it.

English and other Germanic languages invented their own letters to represent sounds that appeared in them but not in Latin. One of these is the ‘th’ sound, which appears in words like ‘moth’ and ‘teeth’.

The ‘th’ sound is very rare, appearing in around 4% of world languages. The only major languages that still have it today are English, European Spanish, Greek, and some Arabic dialects. Obviously, the Latin alphabet didn’t have a symbol for this sound, so we had to make one. The ‘þ’, or ‘thorn’.

This letter was used very early on in Old English, but was eventually replaced by ‘th’ in the 1400s. Why use two letters when you can use one? Bring it back!

Confusingly, ‘th’ also represents another sound. The sound which appears in ‘father’ and ‘whether.’ It’s similar to the first sound, but it’s voiced. This had its own letter: ‘ð’, or ‘eth’. We should bring this one back too, so we don’t get these sounds mixed up.

Send them away!

Or ‘send ðem away.’

We have this whole mess with ‘S’, ‘C’ and ‘K.’ The three letters are representing two sounds: ‘s’ like in ‘snake’ and ‘k’ like in ‘lack.’

‘C’ causes the most confusion because it can be both sounds. So even though it’s older than ‘K’ and is a much more respectable letter, it’s gotta go.

‘Q’ is another superfluous letter. In English, it either represents a ‘kw’ sound or a ‘k’ sound if it’s a French loanword. We don’t need it, so it’s gotta go.

‘X’. What can I say? It’s the ‘ks’ sound (very occasionally ‘ts’) which can also be done by other letters. Bye, ‘X.’

‘Z’ and ‘S’ are just voiced and unvoiced versions of the same sound, and in most cases, ‘S’ is already doing ‘Z’s job. Think of the ‘S’ in ‘pleasure’ compared to the ‘S’ in ‘serve.’ It sounds like a ‘Z’, right? And pleazure looks stupid. So the ‘Z’ is gone.

‘J’ is also unnecessary. Take the word ‘judge’ for example. It has two ‘J’ sounds in it! It should be spelled ‘dgudge’ or ‘juj.’ And since ‘juj’ looks ridiculous, the ‘J’ is gonna have to go.

A lot of the time, ‘Y’ and ‘I’ make the same sound. ‘Y’ is uglier, so goodbye ‘Y.’

‘W’ is a silly, later invention that we don’t need. Its name is ‘double u’, because back in the day it was written as two ‘U’s beside each other. Like this: ‘Uuilliam.’ But they forgot there was a perfectly good Anglo-Saxon letter for this sound: the ‘wynn,’ which WordPress doesn’t have in its ‘special characters’ list. Sigh. I’ll add a picture for you.

Wynn - Wikipedia

(Actually, it looks too much like a ‘P.’ Sorry wynn, you don’t make the cut this time.)

Ah. Ðere we go. I þink we’ve fiksed English. It was onli kwik and ðere are klearli some problems, but it’s a good start.

Ðat was a good dai’s work, wasn’t it?

You kan let me now what iou þink of mi korrektions bi emailing me at mi ‘kontact‘ page.

Dgust don’t be too dgudgmental.

2 thoughts on “Our Alphabet Sucks, We Need A New One”

  1. As someone who has apparently spent a lifetime mispronouncing the th sound (de for the, and the one that causes people the greatest confusion or amusement, free for three) I can well understand why so many languages avoid it altogether.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We live in an interesting time where we might actually be seeing the ‘th” disappear: replaced by ‘f’ and ‘v’ in many cases, especially younger people. Maybe you’re a trend-setter?

      Liked by 1 person

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