General thoughts

English pronunciation over centuries has increasingly cut corners becoming easier to speak, but in so doing has distanced itself from original English pronunciation.

Much has been written on the necessity to make English spelling simpler to pronounce. A great amount of information regarding proposed improvements can be obtained from the Simpler Spelling Society.

In the meantime, there are more Continentals than British learning to speak and write English, in which case, it seems reasonable that where continental spelling better reflects the common English pronunciation, it should be applied.

Consistent phonetic spelling simplifies not only the writing of English but also its pronunciation. This is particularly important for foreign people learning to speak English from books.

Most Sayspel proposals are obvious and often coincide with longstanding proposals. The Sayspel presentation however is especially concise and consistent.

Compacting the proposals should prove valuable to those interested in the rationalising of English spelling but do not have the time or desire to wade through pages of rules and explanations.

The contents and presentation of the ‘Sayspel Pronunciation Guide’ though perhaps appearing simple, evolved only after much time and consideration was given to alternative solutions.

An average person will be able to digest these proposals in a few days and be able to read and write passages comfortably within weeks, without referring to the Sayspel Chart.

The spelling reform of words in specific areas of science, medicine, aviation and safety related branches of industry and commerce would be a matter for the relevant authorities.

Deviation in pronunciations through different local dialects inevitably occur and can be accepted.

Our forefathers fortunately abandoned the ch-gh, ‘guttural’ sound, ignored the trend towards masculine and feminine, tables, chairs, knives and forks etc. still fashionable in continental countries, and did not bother much about conjugating verbs. They left us with an easy language to speak but a difficult one to write.