by C. Collodi [Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini] by C. Collodi [Soodunim uv Carlo Lorenzini]
             Translated from the Italian by Carol Della Chiesa Translaetud frvm dhe Italian by Carol Della Chiesa
How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child. Hou it hapund dhat Mastroe Chery, karpuntur, found a pees uv wwd dhat wept and laft liek a chield.
Centuries ago there lived—

“A king!” my little readers will say immediately.

Senchuryz ugoe dher livd—

“A king!: mie litul reedurz wil sae imeedeutly.

No, children, you are mistaken. Once upon a time there was a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm. No, childrun, yoo ar mustaekun. Wvns upon a tiem dher wvz a pees uv wwd. It wvz not an ekspensiv pees uv wwd. Far frvm it. Jvst a komun blok uv fierwwd, wvn uv dhoez thik, solud logz dhat ar pwt on dhv fier in wintur to maek koeld roomz koezy and worm.
I do not know how this really happened, yet the fact remains that one fine day this piece of wood found itself in the shop of an old carpenter. His real name was Mastro Antonio, but everyone called him Mastro Cherry, for the tip of his nose was so round and red and shiny that it looked like a ripe cherry. I do not knoe hou dhis reely hapund, yet dhv fakt rimaenz dhat wvn fien dae dhis pees uv wwd found itself in dhv shop uv an oeld karpuntur. Hiz reel naem wvz Mastroe Antoeneoe, bvt evrywun kauld him Mastroe Chery, for dhv tip uv hiz noez wvz so round and red and shieny dhat it lwkd liek a reip chery.
As soon as he saw that piece of wood, Mastro Cherry was filled with joy. Rubbing his hands together happily, he mumbled half to himself: Az soon az he sau dhat pees uv wwd, Mastroe Chery wvz fild with joi. Rvbing hiz handz tugedhur hapuly, he mvmbuld haf to himself:
“This has come in the nick of time. I shall use it to make the leg of a table.” “Dhis haz kvm in dhv nik uv tiem. I shal uez it to maek dhv leg uv a taebul.”
He grasped the hatchet quickly to peel off the bark and shape the wood. But as he was about to give it the first blow, he stood still with arm uplifted, for he had heard a wee, little voice say in a beseeching tone: “Please be careful! Do not hit me so hard!” He graspd dhv hachut kwikly to peel off dhv bark and shaep dhv wwd. Bvt az he wvz ubout to giv it dhv fvrst bloe, he stwd stil with arm upliftud, for he had hvrd a wee, litul vois sae in a biseeching toen: “Pleez be kerful! Do not hit me so hard!”
What a look of surprise shone on Mastro Cherry’s face! His funny face became still funnier. Whot a lwk uv surpriez shoen on Mastroe Chery’z faes! Hiz fvny faes bikaem stil fvnyur.
      He turned frightened eyes about the room to find out where that wee, little voice had come from and he saw no one! He looked under the bench—no one! He peeped inside the closet—no one! He searched among the shavings—no one! He opened the door to look up and down the street—and still no one! He tvrnd frietund iez ubout dhv room to fiend out wher dhat wee, litul vois had kvm frvm and he sau no wvn! He lwkd vndur dhv bench—no wvn! He peepd insied dhv klozut—no wvn! He svrchd umvng dhv shaevingz—no wvn! He oepund dhv dor to lwk vp and doun dhv street—and stil no wvn!
“Oh, I see!” he then said, laughing and scratching his Wig. “It can easily be seen that I only thought I heard the tiny voice say the words! Well, well—to work once more.” “Oh, I see!” he dhen sed, lafing and skraching hiz Wig. “It kan eezuly be seen dhat I oenly thaut I hvrd dhv tieny vois sae dhv wvrdz! Wel, wel—to wvrk wvns mor.”
He struck a most solemn blow upon the piece of wood. He strvk a moest solum bloe upon dhv pees uv wwd.
“Oh, oh! You hurt!” cried the same far- away little voice. “Oh, oh! Yoo hvrt!” kried dhv saem far- uwae litul vois.
Mastro Cherry grew dumb, his eyes popped out of his head, his mouth opened wide, and his tongue hung down on his chin. Mastroe Chery groo dvm, hiz iez popd out uf hiz hed, hiz mouth oepund wied, and hiz tvng hvng doun on hiz chin.
As soon as he regained the use of his senses, he said, trembling and stuttering from fright: Az soon az he rygaend dhv ues uv hiz sensuz, he sed, trembuling and stvturing frvm friet:
“Where did that voice come from, when there is no one around? Might it be that this piece of wood has learned to weep and cry like a child? I can hardly believe it. Here it is—a piece of common firewood, good only to burn in the stove, the same as any other. Yet—might someone be hidden in it? If so, the worse for him. I’ll fix him!” “Wher did dhat vois kvm frvm, when dher iz no wvn uround? Miet it be dhat dhis pees uv wwd haz lvrnd to weep and krie liek a chield? I kan hardly bileev it. Hir it iz—a pees uv komun fierwwd, gwd oenly to bvrn in dhv stoev, dhv saem az eny vdhur. Yet—miet svmwun be hidun in it? If so, dhv wvrs for him. I’l fiks him!”
With these words, he grabbed the log with both hands and started to knock it about unmercifully. He threw it to the floor, against the walls of the room, and even up to the ceiling. With dheez wvrdz, he grabd dhv log with boeth handz and startud to knok it ubout unmvrsufuly. He throo it to dhv flor, ugenst dhv waulz uv dhv room, and eevun up to dhe seeling.
He listened for the tiny voice to moan and cry. He waited two minutes—nothing; five minutes—nothing; ten minutes—nothing. He lisund for dhv tieny vois to moen and krie. He waetud two minuts—nvthing; fiev minuts—nvthing; ten minuts—nvthing.


“Oh, I see,” he said, trying bravely to laugh and ruffling up his wig with his hand. “It can easily be seen I only imagined I heard the tiny voice! Well, well—to work once more!” “Oh, I see,” he sed, trieing braevly to laf and rvfuling vp hiz wig with hiz hand. “It kan eezuly be seen I oenly imajund I hvrd dhv tieny vois! Wel, wel—to wvrk wvns mor!”
The poor fellow was scared half to death, so he tried to sing a gay song in order to gain courage. Dhv por feloe wvz skerd haf to deth, so he tried to sing a gae song in ordur to gaen kvrij.
He set aside the hatchet and picked up the plane to make the wood smooth and even, but as he drew it to and fro, he heard the same tiny voice. This time it giggled as it spoke: He set usied dhv hachut and pikd vp dhv plaen to maek dhv wwd smoodh and eevun, bvt az he droo it to and froe, he hvrd dhv saem tieny vois. Dhis tiem it giguld az it spoek:
“Stop it! Oh, stop it! Ha, ha, ha! You tickle my stomach.” “Stop it! Oh, stop it! Haa, haa, haa! Yoo tikul mie stvmik.”
This time poor Mastro Cherry fell as if shot. When he opened his eyes, he found himself sitting on the floor. Dhis tiem por Mastroe Chery fel az if shot. When he oepund hiz iez, he found himself siting on dhv flor.
His face had changed; fright had turned even the tip of his nose from red to deepest purple. Hiz faes had chaenjd; friet had tvrnd eevun dhv tip uv hiz noez frvm red to deepust pvrpul.
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The Mentur Double-Reader

Mentur Double Reader Contents.

Mentur Double-Reader Contents.

This category will be devoted to posts in double-reader format, with one column spelled in traditional spelling (TS), and the other in Mentur. Hopefully this format will be used to teach TS with the aid of Mentur.

This page is intended to be a contents of this category that can be edited.

The Mentur Double Reader Intro.

Double Reader For Teaching










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13 – Response To Spelling Society Questions. 

13 – Response To Spelling Society Questions. 

Mentur is not exactly new. It has much in common with New Spelling.

Mentur has taken ideas mostly already found in TS and in other spelling system proposals, though some of the ideas are rather unconventional—considered radical by some—yet no more radical than other ideas that seem to find little resistance among spelling reformers.

It is intended that Mentur be independent of TS.

Hopefully, Mentur will find usefulness mostly outside the classroom. But Mentur may be used as a learning aid in teaching TS. Mentur can enable a considerable amount of self-help for new TS readers if Mentur is used instead of TS in teaching materials. A TS : Mentur reader could be used much like bilingual publications—books, magazines, newspapers or web pages. Instead of teaching a new language, they would be teaching English reading and spelling.

All Mentur rules are shown here.

Stress and schwa. Vowels; v, ee, y and u, go a long way towards identifying primary stress. A preliminary check indicates about 90% of Mentur words have identifiable primary stress. Schwa is consistently spelled u, though semi-stressed \v\ is also spelled u. Doubled consonants are used to mark u as stressed when otherwise vv would occur. Ubuvv, vullchur, vurrzhun.

Mentur will have its own spelling accent that will be influenced by UK and US pronunciations, and TS. It is expected various regions will demand to put their mark on the accent in some cases.

This should be resisted in order to preserve standardization. The Mentur spelling accent should be viewed as if it was the speaking accent of a single imaginary individual. The resulting “pronunciations” will not necessarily conform to any speaking accent in use; <usual> \’uez ue ul\ uezuul.

Except for a few ambiguous vowel combinations and “sight words” and homophones,  Mentur can be read just by sounding out the sound-signs, if the reader has learned the rules; especially relative to, v, w and y.

In the classic story “Rip Van Winkle”, Mentur is about 97% the size of TS.  In some texts, Mentur may be slightly longer than TS.

In a different short story  (3,354 words) Mentur respells 69% of total text.

The marketplace will determine what, current or old, writings will be respelled into Mentur.

Mentur is proposed to be an alternate spelling system, used at the same time as TS. In time, the public may decide to use Mentur more and more. This will mean more text will be written in Mentur until TS becomes obsolete.

Mentur regularly spells words as pronounced—in the spelling accent. There will be a list of “sight words” and some selected homophones; I, a, be, no, to/too/two, for/faur, in/inn, an/Ann, etc. Some vowel combinations are “compressed”; kaos instead of kaeos. This causes some conflict between some vowel combinations and other vowels; <poet, pout> pout, <cooperate> koopuraet.

Mentur uses the standard letters of our present alphabet, but it does assign new values to some letters; <book> bwk, <summer> svmur, <this> dhis, <measure> mezhur (zh is actually used in a few TS words). When considering that vowel-v, vowel-w, dh and zh, may be too radical, it should be noted that New Spelling—previously strongly supported by the Simplified Spelling Society—spelled digraphs in place of TS single letters, as in; <lake> laek, <baby> baeby, <music> muezic; and sometimes uu has been spelled for the vowel in <put>, or the vowel in <moon>. Other times the ambiguous oo has been kept as in; <good food>. Also, vowel-v can be found in old spellings of TS, and w is used as both vowel and consonant in Welsh. Y is used as both vowel and consonant in present text, though in a manner that is very inconsistent. Dh and zh are consistent with; ch, sh, th and wh.

Mentur is fairly new; Mar, 2008. I have been writing in it to see how well it works, and in my opinion it works very well.


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12 – Proper Names.

12 – Proper Names.

It is difficult to determine whether to leave proper names alone or to respell them to pronunciation. The writer will have to consider his readers and choose one or the other. If using the Mentur spelling, but the correct pronunciation is not known, italicize the name with the original spelling. Gadhafi.

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11 – Contractions.

11 – Contractions.

As in TS – arn’t, dhae’d, dhaed’v, dhae’l, dhae’r, dhae’v, dhat’s, didn’t, dvzn’t, hadn’t, hazn’t, he’d, he’l, he’z, hoo’z, it’l, it’s, izn’t, Jak’d, kan’t, kwdn’t, Peetur’l, she’d, she’l, she’z, shwdn’t, shwdn’t’v, stoodunts’v, we’d, we’l, we’r, we’v, wher’d, wher’l, wher’v, whot’d, whot’l, whot’m, whot’r, whot’s, wvrn’t, wwdn’t, yoo’d, yoo’l, yoo’r, yoo’v.

Possessive pronouns are spelled without the apostrophe as in TS; its, hvrz, dheirz.

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10 – Compound Words And Inflections.

10 – Compound Words And Inflections.

A compound word is where two words are joined, as in; can-not, cannot. Mentur will spell these words as they are pronounced. Can-not \ka ‘not\ kanot, <vineyard> vine-yard \’vin Yurd\, vinyurd.

An inflection modifies the meaning of a word. It may be at beginning or end. The word will regularly be spelled as pronounced in a dictionary. <Literate/illiterate> liturut/iliturut, <unnatural> unnachurul, <really> reely. (See 5.3 -Syllabic Consonants.)

In TS—according to linguists and dictionaries—the <–ed> inflection at word end is pronounced \t\ following unvoiced consonants; f k p s x ch sh th. <Laughed, cooked, clapped, passed, mixed, matched, mashed, toothed.> Mentur will spell d, to keep a connection to the TS inflection <–ed>. Lafd kwkd klapd pasd miksd machd mashd toothd. [Besides I am not convinced that \d\ has no claim on the pronunciation of this inflection. \t\ and \d\ in this position sound much alike.] Words like; <past, guest, kept, slept> will keep the t spelling, so we will have a few less   homophones in Mentur because of this; pasd/past, gesd/gest. See 5.2 –Vowel Combinations and 5.3 –Syllabic Consonants regarding word end vowels followed by an inflection. Seeing, ugreeubul, diniel, reely, plaer, flier, loer, fuer, noor. 

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9.2 – Selected Prefixes.

9.2 – Selected Prefixes.

The <anti-> prefix will be spelled anti-Anti- will represent; \anti-\, \anty-\, \antu-\ or \antie-\. Antifryz, antibiotic, anti-Umerikun; <antechamber> antichaembur.

 The <semi-> prefix will be spelled semi-, and will represent; \semi-\, \semy-\ or \semie-\; semiretierd. The <semi> vehicle will be \semie\ semie.

The <trans-> prefix will be spelled trans-; for \trants-\ or \trantz-\. Transishun, transport.

 Pre- (pre-1400).

There may be a few more prefixes we should add to this list.

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