About This Blog – 4/29/18
I suggest the reader skip the category–Uncategorized–because the way I am using this blog causes this category to be like a junk pile with everything out of order.
This blog will promote the use of the Mentur Spelling System, though it will have links to some others.
English has one of the hardest to learn spelling systems in the world. As much as 30% of English speaking adults have significant trouble with reading. That is a lot of people. Also, many people in countries where English is not the primary language, wish to learn to speak, read and write, in English. A major discouragement is the spelling system.
While we will need to be able to read and spell in the present spelling system for a very long time, the use of Mentur to help teach traditional spelling (TS), will also show how we can make and use a much more user-friendly spelling system for English.
My name is Paul Stought. I am a retired machinist. I became interested in spelling reform in 1981 when I read an article about Unifon. I became actively involved about 2000 when I got my first computer. I looked up Unifon, and from there I was introduced to many other links to information about spelling reform. I was looking to find a spelling system I liked. It became clear that Unifon didn’t have a chance for general acceptance. There are many proposals for new spelling systems. I didn’t think much of any of them. While I didn’t set out to design spelling systems, I began thinking about the features I thought should be in a new spelling system. I spent thousands of hours tinkering. Much of it was repetitious and I scrapped many hours work just to make small “improvements”. The result is Mentur.
The seeming inconsistencies in the following sample are explained in the rules.
Sample text in Mentur:
I am a ritierd musheenust. I bikaem inturustud in speling riform in 1981 when I redd an artikul ubout Unifon. I bikaem aktivly invaulvd ubout 2000 when I got mie fvrst kumpuetur. I lwkd vp Unifon, and frvm dher I wvz intrudoosd to meny vdhur links to infurmaeshun ubout speling riform. I wvz lwking to fiend a speling sistum I liekd. It bikaem klir dhat Unifon didn’t hav a chans for jenurul akseptuns. Dher ar meny prupoezulz for noo speling sistumz. I didn’t think mvch uv eny uv dhem. Whiel I didn’t set out to dizien speling sistumz, I bigan thinking ubout dhv feechurz I thaut shwd be in a noo speling sistum. I spent thouzundz uv hourz tinkuring. Mvch uv it wvz reputishus and I skrapd meny hourz uv wvrk jvst to maek smaul “improovmunts”. Dhv rizvlt iz Mentur.
I have ‘assembled’ Mentur. I say ‘assembled’ because all the elements have already been in place in one way or another in other spelling systems.
Mentur is easy to read by the already literate, and will be easy to learn by beginning readers.
There is no way to make a user-friendly spelling system without making lots of changes in traditional spelling.
Mentur closely follows the alphabetic principle (spelling indicates pronunciation). This makes words easy to read even when the “spelling accent” is not the same as the reader’s speaking accent. The “spelling accent” is the pronunciation suggested by the spelling. There are some words that do not follow the alphabetic principle, and these will require some memorization. Words like; I, a, he, go, do, to, two, etc. Also, some homophones (words pronounced the same but spelled differently) and some vowel combinations.
Mentur favors an American accent but is influenced some by British English and TS.
Most spellings are relatively trouble-free, but a major complaint will be that the writer will have to learn where the spelling accent differs from his own. Consider the US and UK differences in some words; <privacy, missile, schedule, lieutenant> etc. But we need to keep in mind that the spelling accent is only for word identification. It should not be seen as showing the “correct” pronunciation.
Because of the huge number of words in English, it will be impractical to standardize all words, but the most used should be covered easily, and we can tolerate some variable spellings occasionally. TS has no spelling accent, yet most of us seem to be able to manage.
I hope the reader will try his hand at learning to read and spell Mentur—and tell his friends. So far, I have gotten no encouragement from the spelling reform community regarding Mentur. If I fail to inspire anyone to take up the flag, Mentur will disappear when this blog is no longer available.
Feel free to copy and distribute the contents of this blog. The classic stories used here are in the public domain–in the US–but maybe not elsewhere. So keep that in mind.