Frederick Douglass on reading and writing.

Frederick Douglass on reading and writing.

3,881 words

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Mie noo mistrus proovd to be aul she upird when I fvrst met hvr at dhv dor,–a wwmun uv dhv kiendust hart and fienust feelingz. She had nevur had a slaev vndur hvr kuntroel preeveusly to mieself, and priur to hvr marrij she had bin dependunt upon hvr oen industry for a living. She wvz by traed a weevur; and by konstunt aplikaeshun to hvr biznuz, she had bin in a gwd digree prizvrvd frvm dhv blieting and dyhuemuniezing ifekts uv slaevury. I wvz vturly ustonishd at hvr gwdnus. I skersly knoo hou to bihaev tuwordz hvr. She wvz entierly unliek eny vdhur whiet wwmun I had evur seen. I kwd not uproech hvr az I wvz ukvstumd to uproech vdhur wheit laedyz. Mie vrly instrvkshun wvz aul out uv plaes. Dhv krouching surviluty, uezuuly so akseptubul a kwoluty in a slaev, did not ansur when manufestud tuword hvr. Hvr faevur wvz not gaend by it; she seemd to be distvrbd by it. She did not deem it impyudunt or unmanurly for a slaev to lwk hvr in dhv faes. Dhv meenust slaev wvz pwt fwly at eez in hvr prezuns, and nvn left without feeling betur for having seen hvr. Hvr faes wvz maed uv hevunly smielz, and hvr vois uv trankwul muezik.

Bvt, ulas! dhis kiend hart had bvt a short tiem to rimaen svch. Dhv faetul poizun uv irisponsubul pour wvz aulredy in hvr handz, and soon kumensd its infvrnul wvrk. Dhat cheerful ie, vndur dhe infloouns uv slaevury, soon bikaem red with raej; dhat vois, maed aul uv sweet ukord, chaenjd to wvn uv harsh and horud diskord; and dhat anjelik faes gaev plaes to dhat uv a deemun.

Very soon aftur I went to liv with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, she very kiendly kumensd to teech me dhe A, B, C. Aftur I had lvrnd dhis, she usistud me in lvrning to spel wvrdz uv three or faur leturz. Jvst at dhis point uv mie progres, Mr. Auld found out whot wvz going on, and at wvns forbad Mrs. Auld to instrvkt me fvrdhur, teling hvr, umvng vdhur thingz, dhat it wvz unlauful, az wel az unsaef, to teech a slaev to reed. To uez hiz oen wvrdz, fvrdhur, he sed, “If yoo giv a nigur an inch, he wil taek an el (45 inches). A nigur shwd knoe nvthing bvt to oebae hiz mastur—to do az he iz toeld to do. Lvrning wwd spoil dhv best nigur in dhv wvruld. No,” sed he, “if yoo teech dhat nigur (speeking uv mieself) hou to reed, dher wwd be no keeping him. It wwd forevur unfit him to be a slaev. He wwd at wvns bikvm unmanijubul, and uv no value to hiz mastur. Az to himself, it kwd do him no gwd, bvt a graet deel uv harm. It wwd maek him diskuntentud and unhapy.” Dheez wvrdz sank deep into mie hart, stvrd vp sentumunts within dhat lae slvmburing, and kauld into egzistuns an entierly noo traen uv thaut. It wvz a noo and speshun revulaeshun, eksplaening dark and mistireus thingz, with which mie yoothful undurstanding had strvgguld, bvt strvgguld in vaen. I nou undurstwd whot had bin to me a moest purpleksing difikulty—to wit, dhv whiet man’z pour to enslaev dhv blak man. It wvz a grand ucheevmunt, and I priezd it hiely. Frvm dhat moemunt, I undurstwd dhv pathwae frvm slaevury to freedum. It wvz jvst whot I wvntud, and I got it at a tiem when I dhv leest ekspektud it. Whielst I wvz sadund by dhv thaut uv loozing dhe aed uv mie kiend mistrus, I wvz gladund by dhe invaluubul instrvkshun which, by dhv mirust aksudunt, I had gaend frvm mie mastur. Dhoe konshus uv dhv difikulty uv lvrning without a teechur, I set out with hie hoep, and a fiksd pvrpus, at whotevur kost uv trvbul, to lvrn hou to reed. Dhv very disiedud manur with which he spoek, and stroev to impres hiz wief with dhv eevul konsukwunsuz uv giving me instrvkshun, svrvd to kunvins me dhat he wvz deeply sensubul uv dhv trooths he wvz vturing. It gaev me dhv best ushwruns dhat I miet rilie with dhe vtmoest konfuduns on dhv rizvlts which, he sed, wwd floe frvm teeching me to reed. Whot he moest dredud, dhat I moest dizierd. Whot he moest luvd, dhat I moest haetud. Dhat which to him wvz a graet eevul, to be kerfuly shvnd, wvz to me a graet gwd, to be dilujuntly saut; and dhe argyumunt which he so wormly vrjd, ugenst mie lvrning to reed, oenly svrvd to inspier me with a dizier and diturmunaeshun to lvrn. In lvrning to reed, I oe aulmoest az mvch to dhv bitur opuzishun uv mie mastur, az to dhv kiendly aed uv mie mistrus. I aknolij dhv benufit uv boeth.

I had riziedud bvt a short tiem in Baltimore bifoer I ubzvrvd a markd difuruns, in dhv treetmunt uv slaevz, frvm dhat which I had witnusd in dhv kvntry. A sity slaev iz aulmoest a freeman, kumperd with a slaev on dhv plantaeshun. He iz mvch betur fed and kloedhd, and enjoiz privlijuz aultugedhur unknoen to dhv slaev on dhv plantaeshun. Dher iz a vestij uv deesunsy, a sens uv shaem, dhat dvz mvch to kvrb and chek dhoez outbraeks uv utroeshus kroolty so komunly enaktud upon dhv plantaeshun. He iz a despurut slaevhoeldur, hoo wil shok dhv huemanuty uv hiz non-slaevhoelding naeburz with dhv kriez uv hiz lasuraetud slaev. Fue ar wiling to inkvr dhe oedeum utaching to dhv repyutaeshun uv being a krool mastur; and ubuvv aul thingz, dhae wwd not be knoen az not giving a slaev invf to eet. Evry sity slaevhoeldur iz ankshus to hav it knoen uv him, dhat he feedz hiz slaevz wel; and it iz doo to dhem to sae, dhat moest uv dhem do giv dheir slaevz invf to eet. Dher ar, houevur, svm paenful eksepshunz to dhis rool. Durektly opuzut to vs, on Philpot Street, livd Mr. Thomas Hamilton. He oend two slaevz. Dheir naemz wvr Henrietta and Mary. Henrietta wvz ubout twenty-two yirz uv aej, Mary wvz ubout faurteen; and uv aul dhv mangguld and imaeseaetud kreechurz I evur lwkd upon, dheez two wvr dhv moest so. Hiz hart mvst be hardur dhan stoen, dhat kwd lwk upon dheez unmoovd. Dhv hed, nek, and shoeldurz uv Mary wvr lituruly kvt to peesuz. I hav freekwuntly felt hvr hed, and found it nirly kuvvurd with festuring sorz, kauzd by dhv lash uv hvr krool mistrus. I do not knoe dhat hvr mastur evur whipd hvr, bvt I hav bin an ie-witnus to dhv kroolty uv Mrs. Hamilton. I uezd to be in Mr. Hamilton’z hous nirly evry dae. Mrs. Hamilton uezd to sit in a larj cher in dhv midul uv dhv room, with a hevy kouskin aulwaez by hvr sied, and skers an hour pasd dwring dhv dae bvt wvz markd by dhv blvd uv wvn uv dheez slaevz. Dhv gvrulz seldum pasd hvr without hvr saeing, “Moov fastur, yoo blak jip!” at dhv saem tiem giving dhem a bloe with dhv kouskin oevur dhv hed or shoeldurz, ofun drauing dhv blvd. She wwd dhen sae, “Taek dhat, yoo Blak jip!” kuntinuing, “If yoo doent moov fastur, I’l moov yoo!” Addud to dhv krool lashingz to which dheez slaevz wvr subjektud, dhae wvr kept nirly haf-starvd. Dhae seldum knoo whot it wvz to eet a fwl meel. I hav seen Mary kuntending with dhv pigz for dhe oful throen into dhv street. So mvch wvz Mary kikd and kvt to peesuz, dhat she wvz ofunur kauld “pekd” dhan by hvr naem.



I livd in Mastur Hugh’z famuly ubout sevun yirz. Dvring dhis tiem, I sukseedud in lvrning to reed and wriet. In ukomplishing dhis, I wvz kumpeld to rizort to vereus stratujumz. I had no regyulur teechur. Mie mistrus, hoo had kiendly kumensd to instrvkt me, had, in kumpliuns with dhe udvies and durekshun uv hvr hvzbund, not oenly seesd to instrvkt, bvt had set hvr faes ugenst mie being instrvktud by eny wvn els. It iz doo, houevur, to mie mistrus to sae uv hvr, dhat she did not udopt dhis kors uv treetmunt imeedeutly. She at fvrst lakd dhv dipravuty indispensubul to shvting me vp in mentul darknus. It wvz at leest nesusery for hvr to hav svm traening in dhe eksursiez uv irisponsubul pour, to maek hvr eekwul to dhv task uv treeting me az dhoe I wvr a broot.

Mie mistrus wvz, az I hav sed, a kiend and tendur-hartud wwmun; and in dhv simplisuty uv hvr soel she kumensd, when I fvrst went to liv with hvr, to treet me az she supoezd wvn huemun being aut to treet unvdhur. In enturing upon dhv dootyz uv a slaevhoeldur, she did not seem to purseev dhat I sustaend to hvr dhv rilaeshun uv a mir chatul, and dhat for hvr to treet me az a huemun being wvz not oenly rong, bvt daenjurusly so. Slaevury proovd az injwreus to hvr az it did to me. When I went dher, she wvz a pius, worm, and tendur-hartud wwmun. Dher wvz no soroe or svfuring for which she had not a tir. She had bred for dhv hvnggry, kloedhz for dhv naekud, and kvmfurt for evry mornur dhat kaem within hvr reech. Slaevury soon proovd its ubiluty to duvest hvr uv dheez hevunly kwolutyz. Vndur its infloouns, dhv tendur hart bikaem stoen, and dhv lammliek dispuzishun gaev wae to wvn uv tiegur-liek firsnus. Dhv fvrst step in hvr dounwurd kors wvz in hvr seesing to instrvkt me. She nou kumensd to praktus hvr hvzbund’z preesepts. She fienuly bikaem eevun mor viulunt in hvr opuzishun dhan hvr hvzbund himself. She wvz not satusfied with simply doing az wel az he had kumandud; she seemd akshus to do betur. Nvthing seemd to maek hvr mor anggry dhan to see me with a noozpaepur. She seemd to think dhat hir lae dhv daenjur. I hav had hvr rvsh at me with a faes maed aul vp uv fywry, and snach frvm me a noozpaepur, in a manur dhat fwly riveeld hvr aprihenshun. She wvz an apt wwmun; and a litul ekspireuns soon demunstraetud, to hvr satusfakshun, dhat ejukaeshun and slaevury wvr inkumpatubul with eech vdhur.

Frvm dhis tiem I wvz moest narroely wochd. If I wvz in a sepurut room eny kunsidurubul length uv tiem, I wvz shwr to be suspektud uv having a bwk, and wvz at wvns kauld to giv an ukount uv mieself. Aul dhis, houevur, wvz too laet. Dhv fvrst step had bin taekun. Mistrus, in teeching me dhe alfubet, had givun me dhe inch, and no prikaushun kwd privent me frvm taeking dhe el.

Dhv plan which I udoptud, and dhv wvn by which I wvz moest suksesful, wvz dhat uv maeking frendz uv aul dhv litul whiet boiz hoom I met in dhv street. Az meny uv dheez az I kwd, I kunvurrtud into teechurz. With dheir kiendly aed, ubtaend at difurunt tiemz and difurunt plaesuz, I fienuly sukseedud in lvrning to reed. When I wvz sent uv erundz, I aulwaez twk mie bwk with me, and by going wvn part uv mie erund kwikly, I found tiem to get a lesun bifoer mie ritvrn. I uezd aulsoe to karry bred with me, invf uv which wvz aulwaez in dhv hous, and to which I wvz aulwaez welkum; for I wvz mvch betur off in dhis rigard dhan meny uv dhv por whiet childrun in our naeburhwd. Dhis bred I uezd to bistoe upon dhv hvnggry litul vrchunz, hoo, in ritvrn, wwd giv me dhat mor valuubul bred uv nolij. I am strongly temptud to giv dhv naemz uv two or three uv dhoez litul boiz, az a testumoeneul uv dhv gratutood and ufekshun I ber dhem; bvt prooduns forbidz;–not dhat it wwd injur me, bvt it miet embarrus dhem; for it iz aulmoest an unpardunubul ufens to teech slaevz to reed in dhis Krischun kvntry. It iz invf to sae uv dhv dir litul feloez, dhat dhae livd on Philpon Street, very nir Durgin and Bailey’z ship-yard. I uezd to taulk dhis matur uv slaevury oevur with dhem. I wwd svmtiemz sae to dham, I wishd I kwd be az free az dhae wwd be when dhae got to be men. “Yoo wil be free az soon az yoo ar twenty-wvn, bvt I am a slaev for lief! Hav not I az gwd a riet to be free az yoo hav?” Dheez wvrdz uezd to trvbul dhem; dhae wwd ekspres for me dhv lievlyust simputhy, and kunsoel me with dhv hoep dhat svmthing wwd ukvr by which I miet be free.

I wvz nou ubout twelv yirz oeld, and dhv thaut uv being a slaev for lief bigan to ber hevuly upon mie hart. Jvst ubout dhis tiem, I got hoeld uv a bwk entietuld “Dhv Columbian Oraetur,” Evry opurtoonuty I got, I uezd to reed dhis bwk. Umvng mvch uv vdhur inturusting matur, I found in it a diulog bitween a mastur and hiz slaev. Dhv slaev wvz repruzentud az having rvn uwae frvm hiz mastur three tiemz. Dhv diulog repruzentud dhv konvursaeshun which twk plaes bitween dhem, when dhv slaev wvz rytaekun dhv thvrd tiem. In dhis diulog, dhv hoel argyumunt in bihaf uv slaevury wvz braut forwurd by dhv mastur, aul uv which wvz dispoezd uv by dhv slaev. Dhv slaev wvz maed to sae svm very smart az wel az impresiv thingz in riplie to hiz mastur—thingz which had dhv dizierd dhoe unekspektud ifekt; for dhv konvursaeshun rizvltud in dhv voluntery imansupaeshun uv dhv slaev on dhv part uv dhv mastur.

In dhv saem bwk, I met with wvn uv Sheridan’z miety speechuz on and in bihaf uv Catholic imansupaeshun. Dheez wvr chois dokyumunts to me. I red dhem oevur and oevur ugen with unubaetud inturust. Dhae gaev tvng to inturusting thauts uv mie oen soel, which had freekwuntly flashd throo mie miend, and died uwae for wvnt uv vturuns. Dhv morul which I gaend frvm dhv diulog wvz dhv pour uv trooth oevur dhv konshuns uv eevun a slaevhoeldur. What I got frvm Sheridan wvz a boeld dinunseaeshun uv slaevury, and a pourful vindikaeshun uv huemun riets. Dhv reeding uv dheez dokyumunts enaebuld me to vtur mie thauts, and to meet dhe argyumunts braut forwurd to sustaen slaevury; bvt whiel dhae rileevd me uv wvn difikulty, dhae braut on unvdhur eevun mor paenful dhan dhv wvn uv which I wvz rileevd. Dhv mor I redd, dhv mor I wvz led to abhor and ditest mie enslaevurz. I kwd rigard dhem in no vdhur liet dhan a band uv suksesful roburz, hoo had left dheir hoemz, and gon to Africa, and stoelun vs frvm our hoemz, and in a straenj land ridoosd vs to slaevury. I loedhd dhem az being dhv meenust az wel az dhv moest wikud uv men. Az I redd and kontumplaetud dhv svbjikt, bihoeld! dhat very diskuntentmunt which Mastur Hugh had pridiktud wwd foloe mie lvrning to reed had aulredy kvm, to torment and sting mie soel to unvturubul anggwish. Az I riedhd vndur it, I wwd at tiemz feel dhat lvrning to reed had bin a kvrs radhur dhan a blesing. It had givun me a vue uv mie rechud kundishun, without dhv remudy. It oepund mie iez to dhv horubul pit, bvt to no ladur upon which to get out. In moemunts uv aguny, I envyd mie feloe-slaevz for dheir stoopiduty. I hav ofun wishd mieself a beest. I prifvrd dhv kundishun uv dhv meenust reptiel to mie own. Eny thing, no matur whot, to get rid uv thinking! It wvz dhis evurlasting thinking uv mie kundishun dhat tormentud me. Dher wvz no geting rid uv it. It wvz presd upon me by evry objikt within siet or hiring, anumut or inanumut. Dhv silvur trvmp uv freedum had rouzd mie soel to itvrnul waekfulnus. Freedum nou upird, to disupir no mor forevur. It wvz hvrd in evry sound, and seen in evry thing. It wvz evur prezunt to torment me with a sens uv mie rechud kundishun. I sau nvthing without seeing it, I hvrd nvthing without hiring it, and felt nvthing without feeling it. It lwkd frvm evry star, it smield in evry kaulm, breedhd in evry wind, and moovd in evry storm.

I ofun found mieself rigreting mie oen egzistuns, and wishing mieself ded; and bvt for dhv hoep uv being free, I hav no dout bvt dhat I shwd hav kild mieself, or dvn svmthing for which I shwd hav bin kild. Whiel in dhis staet uv miend, I wvz eegur to hir eny wvn speek uv slaevury. I wvz a redy lisunur. Evry litul whiel, I kwd hir svmthing ubout dhe abulishunusts. It wvz svm tiem bifoer I found whot dhv wvrd ment. It wvz aulwaez uezd in svch kunekshunz az to maek it an inturusting wvrd to me. If a slaev ran uwae and sukseedud in geting klir, or if a slaev kild hiz mastur, set fier to a barn, or did eny thing very rong in dhv miend uv a slaevhoeldur, it wvz spoekun uv az dhv froot uv abulishun. Hiring dhv wvrd in dhis kunekshun very ofun, I set ubout lvrning whot it ment. Dhv dikshunery ufordud me litul or no help. I found it wvz “dhe akt uf ubolishing;” bvt dhen I did not knoe whot wvz to be ubolishd. Hir I wvz purpleksd. I did not der to ask eny wvn ubout its meening, for I wvz satusfied dhat it wvz svmthing dhae wvntud me to knoe very litul ubout. Aftur a paeshunt waeting, I got wvn uv our sity paepurz, kuntaening an ukount uv dhv nvmbur uv putishunz frvm dhv north, praeing for dhe abulishun uv slaevury in dhv Distrikt uv Columbia, and uv dhv slaev traed bitween dhv Staets. Frvm dhis tiem I undurstwd dhv wvrdz abulishun and abulishunust, and aulwaez droo nir when dhat wvrd wvz spoekun, ekspekting to hir svmthing uv importuns to mieself and feloe-slaevz. Dhv liet broek in upon me by digreez. I went wvn dae doun on dhv worf uv Mr. Waters; and seeing two Irishmen unloading a skou uv stoen, I went, unaskd, and helpd dhem. When we had finishd, wvn uv dhem kaem to me and askd me if I wvr a slaev. I toeld him I wvz. He askd, “Ar ye a slaev for lief?” I toeld him dhat I wvz. Dhv gwd Irishman seemd to be deeply ufektud by dhv staetmunt. He sed to dhe vdhur dhat it wvz a pity so fien a litul feloe az mieself shwd be a slaev for lief. He sed it wvz a shaem to hoeld me. Dhae boeth udviezd me to rvn uwae to dhv north; dhat I shwd fiend frendz dher, and dhat I shwd be free. I pritendud not to be inturustud in whot dhae sed, and treetud dhem az if I did not undurstand dhem; for I fird dhae miet be trechurus. Whiet men hav bin knoen to enkvrij slaevz to eskaep, and dhen, to get dhv riword, kach dhem and ritvrn dhem to dheir masturz. I wvz ufraed dhat dheez seemingly gwd men miet uez me so; bvt I nevur-dhv-les rimemburd dheir udvies, and frvm dhat tiem I rizaulvd to rvn uwae. I lwkd forwurd to a tiem at which it wwd be saef for me to eskaep. I wvz too yvng to think uv doing so imeedeutly; bisiedz, I wishd to lvrn hou to wriet, az I miet hav ukaezhun to wriet mie own pas. I kunsoeld mieself with dhv hoep dhat I shwd wvn dae fiend a gwd chans. Meenwhiel, I wwd lvrn to wriet.

Dhe iedeu az to hou I miet lvrn to wriet wvz sugjestud to me by being in Durgin and Bailey’z ship-yard, and freekwuntly seeing dhv ship karpunturz, aftur hueing, and geting a pees uv timbur redy for ues, wriet on dhv timbur dhv naem uv dhat part uv dhv ship for which it wvz intendud. When a pees uv timbur wvz intendud for dhv larburd sied, it wwd be markd dhvs—“L.” When a pees wvz for dhv starburd sied, it wwd be markd dhvs—“S.” A pees for dhv larburd sied forwurd, wwd be makd dhvs—“L.F.” When a pees wvz for the starburd sied forwurd, it wwd be markd dhvs—“S. F.” For larburd aft, it wwd be markd dhvs—“L. A.” For starburd aft, it wwd be markd dhvs—“S. A.” I soon lvrnd dhv naemz uv dheez leturz, and for whot dhae wvr intendud when plaesd upon a pees uv timbur in dhv ship-yard. I imeedeutly kumensd kopying dhem, and in a short tiem wvz aebul to maek dhv faur leturz naemd. Aftur dhat, when I met with eny boi hoo I knoo kwd wriet, I wwd tel him I kwd wriet az wel az he. Dhv nekst wvrd wwd be, “I doent bileev yoo. Let me see yoo trie it.” I wwd dhen maek dhv leturz which I had bin so forchunut az to lvrn, and ask him to beet dhat. In dhis wae I got a gwd meny lesunz in wrieting, which it iz kwiet posubul I shwd nevur hav gotun in eny vdhur wae. Dvring dhis tiem, mie kopy-bwk wvz dhv board fens, brik waul, and paevmunt; mie pen and ink wvz a lvmp uv chaulk. With dheez, I lvrnd maenly hou to wriet. I dhen kumensd and kuntinued kopying dhe Italiks in Webster’z Speling Bwk, until I kwd maek dhem aul without lwking on dhv bwk. By dhis tiem, mie litul Mastur Thomas had gon to skool, and lvrd hou to wriet, and had writun oevur a nvmbur uv kopy-bwks. Dheez had been braut hoem, and shoen to svm uv our nir naeburz, and dhen laed usied. Mie mistrus uezd to go to klas meeting at dhv Wilk Street meetinghous evry Mvndae afturnoon, and leev me to taek ker uv dhv hous. When left dhvs, I uezd to spend dhv tiem in wrieting in dhv spaesuz left in Mastur Thomas’z kopy-bwk, kopying whot he had writun. I kuntinued to do dhis until I kwd wriet a hand very simulur to dhat uv Mastur Thomas. Dhvs, aftur a long, teedeus efurt for yirz, I fienuly sukseedud in lvrning hou to wriet.

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Dhis iz for dhv reedur so he kan uez Mentur kwikly to aed him in reeding trudishunul speling—TS. In ordur to uvoid dhv need for pikchurz to ilustraet prununseaeshunz, svm usistuns wil be needud frvm svmwun hoo kan reed dheez instrvkshunz.

Dhv reedur iz usoomd to be aebul to speek Ingglish.

Mentur Prununseaeshun Gied simbulz ar bitween \\ and kan be vndurstwd in kontekst; \ae\ iz dhv prununseaeshun uv dhv voul in <lake> ‘laek’.

A ‘speling aksent’ iz a litul difurunt dhan a speeking aksent. For instuns <usual> iz speld ‘uezuul’ to faevur TS speling. Dhv speling aksent wwd be; \’uez ue ul\ radhur dhan dhv mor komun \’ue zhu wul\ or \’ue zhoo ul\ or \’ue zhul\. No speling sistum dhat haz a speling aksent kan kuvvur aul speeking aksents. Dhv speling aksent wil iventuuly be lvrnd az a ‘wvrking aksent’.

Mentur kloesly foloez dhe alfubetik prinsupul—simbulz indikaet prununseaeshun.

Eksepshunz ar:

Svm siet wvrdz (wvrdz hooz speling iz non-alfubetik); a, ass, I, off, hiss, be, dhv, dhe, he, me, we, ye, she, do, go, no, so, to, oh, ok.

Some of the above are homophones—(wvrdz prunounsd dhv saem bvt speld difuruntly); be/bee, we/wee, no/knoe, so/soe, to/too/two, oh/oe. 

Svm homufoenz ar non-alfubetik. Non-alfubetik voulz ar needud to svplument standurd voulz in ordur to hav mor dhan wvn speling for dhv saem prununseaeshun. Dhv homufoen list wil not be shoen hir. Dhv reedur shwd hav litul trvbul rekugniezing dhv rikwierd prununseaeshun with dhv help uv kontekst. Svm konsununts ar aulsoe speld with mor dhan wvn simbul for homufoenz; no/knoe, riet/wriet, sik/sic. Dheez ar not hard for dhv reedur bikauz dhv prununseaeshun iz knoen. Dhv wrietur wil hav to lvrn which speling goez with which defunishun.

R-kvlurd voulz; ar arr or ur vr wr—bark, marry, fork, letur, inkvr, twr.

Svm voul kombunaeshunz kunflikt with vdhur simbulz;

poetik/toe, reentur/free, koopuraet/moon. Kontekst and voekabyulery wil usist in prununseaeshun.

Kuntrakshunz; he’l, kan’t, shwd’v, ets.

Svm preefiksuz ar regyuluriezd; anti- mae be prunounsd; \an tie-\ or \an ty\ or \an tu\. Dhis shwd be no difikulty for dhv reedur.


Mentur alfubet. 

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p r s t u v w y z—q and x ar mising.


Baesik foenymz—prununseaeshun simbulz. 

a aa ae ah au b c ch d dh e ee f g h i ie j k l m n ng o oe oi oo ou p r s sh t th u ue uh v V w W wh y Y z zh – ch dh sh th wh zh ng – ar arr or ur vr

‘Aa’ iz oenly speld at wvrd end; spaa, maa, baa, ets. Dhis iz for upiruns.

‘Ah’ iz oenly speld at wvrd end; bah \ba\. Dhis iz to uvoid kunfuezhun    with <ma, pa, spa> maa, paa, spaa.

‘Uh’ iz oenly speld at wvrd end; uh, uh-huh, huh-uh. Dhis iz for upiruns.

A fue vdhur simbulz ar uezd in homufoenz and ‘siet wvrdz’; or/oar/oer, to/too/two, aet/eit, no/knoe, riet/wriet. 



‘U’ iz dhv ‘shwaa’ simbul, dhoe it iz aulsoe speld for dhv semi-stresd \v\ and, stresd \v\ svmtiemz, ukording to roolz.

‘Shwaa’ iz dhv sound uv dhe; a in alone/uloen; e in silent/sielunt; i in cabin/kabun; o in ribbon/ribun; u in circus/svrkus; ai in mountain/mountun, ets.



Stress iedentufikaeshun iz aedud by sevurul simbulz; ee, v, vr, u, ur, y, -ing, dvbuld konsununts. Ugree, svmur, inkvr, vullchur, vurrzhun, peny, singing. Dheez wil be rekugniezd az yoo reed. Dhv kumpleet roolz wil go into mor deetael.



a aa ae ah au e ee y i ie o oe oi oo ou u ue v w

TS –—- ash spa cake ball egg even chin bite spot boat coin moon cloud alone fuse letter sun surf book penny

Mentur – ash spaa kaek baul eg eevun chin biet spot boet koin moon kloud uloen fuez letur svn svrf bwk peny


TS –—- chin this ship thin what vision sing

Mentur – chin dhis ship thin whot vizhun sing


R-kvlurd voulz. 

Dhv foloeing ‘r-kvlurd’ voulz ar non-alfubetik in ordur to lwk mor liek TS.

ar   arr   or   or      ur      vr   wr

TS ——- tar marry fork sorry murder bird tour

Mentur –- tar marry fork sory mvrdur bvrd twr


\ar\ riplaesuz \aar\; bark.

\arr\ riplaesuz \ar\; marry.

\or\ riplaesuz \aur\ and \orr\; <fork, sorry> fork, sory.

\ur\ iz unstresd \vr\. In <around> ur iz prunounsd \u r\; uround \u ’round\. Simulur to dhv th in ‘boethous’ \’boet hous\.

\vr\ = \cr\ az dhv sound uv ur in ‘surfer’ svrfur. \bcrd\=\bvrd\ bvrd. In <worry> vr mae be prunounsd az in; \’wvr y\ or \’wv ry\.

\wr\ iz dhv sound uv dhv voul in; <tour, pure>; twr, pywr.


Sulabik konsununts.

Sulabik konsununts ar konsununts dhat hav a voul kwoluty, svch az dhe l in botul. Roolz guvvurn hou dheez ar speld bvt dhv reedur kan reed wvrdz kuntaening sulabik konsununts without lvrning dhv roolz. In dhv Mentur speling aksent, oenly l, n and r, ar uezd; miel, gvrul, bvtun, flier—\’mie l\, \’gvr l\, \’bvt n\, \’flie r\.


Voul kombunaeshunz.

Ae, ee, ie, oe, and ue, wil drop dhv e when dhae ar dhv fvrst elumunt in a voul kombunaeshun—unles dhae ar wvrd end voulz; kaos, reuliez, realuty, diugram, koagyulaet, poetik, uezuul—saeing, freeing, dieing, sloeing, argueing. Svm voul kombunaeshunz formd in dhis manur wil kunflikt with vdhur voul simbulz bvt dhv wvrd iz stil eezy to figyur out with dhe aed uv kontekst and dhv reedur’z voekabyulary. Reentur/tree, poetik/toe, <pouting poet> pouting pout. Dher ar mor voul kombunaeshun roolz bvt dhv reedur shwd be aebul to get by with dheez.



b c ch d dh f g h j k l m n p r s sh t th v w wh y z zh ng

C iz oenly speld in ch and homufoenz and naemz not ryspeld in Mentur. Sik/sic, Kanudu/Canada.

Q and x mae be speld in wvrdz dhat ar not ryspeld in Mentur. Kwaekur/Quaker, Teksus/Texas.

Dhv fvrst simbul biloe iz dhv feechurd konsununt eksept for zh and ng.

TS —— bed chin dash this fat gift hat jet kiss list man nap sing pan rat sand ship tack thin vest wind what yell zoo vision

Mentur– bed chin dash dhis fat gift hat jet kis list man nap sing pan rat sand ship tak thin vest wind whot yel zoo vizhun



Dhv wrietur wil hav to disied whedhur to ryspel naemz or leev dhem with dhe oeld speling. Dhe oeld speling shwd be italusiezd; William.

‘William Jones’ miet ubjekt to ‘Wilyum Joenz’. ‘Yellowstone’ kwd ker les ubout ‘Yeloestoen’, bvt svm peepul miet—espeshuly if dhae ar trieing to fiend it on a standurd map.

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This is just a sample text to illustrate parallel text used for teaching reading of traditional spelling. If you want to read the whole text, control+click The Water Cure to view it on OneDrive.

1,002 words per column.

From Gullible’s Travels, Etc.


Sorry about the columns being out of step. I tried. WordPress doesn’t copy Word as in the original.




When it comes to makin’ matches I hand it to the women.

When it comes to breakin’ ’em leave it to the handsomer sex.

The thirteenth o’ June didn’t light on a Friday, but old Tuesday come through in the pinch with just as good results.

Dear little Sister-in-law Bess blew in on the afternoon train from Wabash.

She says she was makin’ us a surprise visit.

The surprise affected me a good deal like the one that was pulled on Napoleon at Waterloo, Ia.

How long are you goin’ to light up our home?” I ast her at the supper table.

“I haven’t made up my mind,” says she.

That’s all you’ve missed, then,” I says.

Don’t mind him!” says my Missus.

“He’s just a tease.

You look grand and we’re both tickled to death to have you here.

You may stay with us all summer.”

No question about that,” I says.

“Not only may, but li’ble to.”

If I do,” says Bess, “it’ll be on my sister’s account, not yourn.”

But I’m the baby that settles your sister’s account,” I says; “and it was some account after you left us last winter.

With your visit and our cute little trip to Palm Beach, I’m not what you’d call cramped for pocket space.”

I guess I can pay my board,” says Bess.

I guess you won’t!” says the Wife.

The second guess is always better,” says I.

As for you entertainin’ me, I don’t expect nothin’ like that,” says Bess.

If you was lookin’ for a quiet time,” I says, “you made a big mistake by leavin’ Wabash.”

And I’m not lookin’ for no quiet time, neither,” Bess says right back at me.

Well,” says I, “about the cheapest noisy time I can recommend is to go over and set under the elevated.”

Maybe Bess has somethin’ up in her sleeve,” the Missus says, smilin’.

“You ain’t the only man in Chicago.”

I’m the only one she knows,” says I, “outside o’ that millionaire scenario writer that had us all in misery last winter.

And I wouldn’t say he was over-ardent after he’d knew her a week.”

Then the Wife winked at me to close up and I didn’t get the dope till we was alone together.

They correspond,” she told me.

Absolutely,” says I.

“I mean they been writin’ letters to each other,” says the Missus.

Who’s been buyin’ Bishop’s stamps?” I ast her.

“I guess a man can buy his own stamps when he gets ten thousand a year,” says she.

“Anyway, the reason Bess is here is to see him.”

Is it illegal for him to go to Wabash and see her?” I says.

He’s too busy to go to Wabash,” the Wife says.

I don’t see how a man could be too busy for that,” says I.

She phoned him this noon,” says the Missus.

“He couldn’t come over here to-night, but to-morrow he’s goin’ to take her to the ball game.”

Where all the rest o’ the busy guys hangs out,” I says.

“Aren’t the White Sox havin’ enough bad luck without him?”

That reminded me that I’d came home before the final extras was out; so I put on my hat and went over to Tim’s to look at the score-board.

It took me till one A. M. to memorize the batteries and everything.

The Wife was still awake yet when I got home and I had enough courage to resume hostilities.

If what you told me about Bishop and Bess is true,” I says, “I guess I’ll pack up and go fishin’ for the rest o’ the summer.”

And leave me to starve, I suppose!” says she.

Bishop’ll take care of the both o’ you,” I says.

“If he don’t I’ll send you home a couple o’ carp.”

If you go and leave me it’s the last time!” she says.

“And it shows you don’t care nothin’ about me.”

“I care about you, all right,” I says; “but not enough to be drove crazy in my own house.”

They’s nothin’ for you to go crazy about,” she says.

“If Bess and Mr. Bishop wants to tie up leave ’em alone and forget about ’em.”

I’d like nothin’ better,” I says; “but you know they’ll give us no chance to forget about ’em.”

Why not?” she ast me.

Because they’d starve to death without us,” I says.

Starve to death!” she says.

“On ten thousand a year!”

Now here!” I says.

“Who told you he got that trifle?”

He did,” says the Wife.

And how do you know he wasn’t overestimatin’?” I ast her.

You mean how do I know he wasn’t lyin’?” she says.

Yes,” says I.

Because he’s a gentleman,” she says.

And he told you that, too?” I ast.

No,” she says.

“I could tell that by lookin’ at him.”

All right, Clara Voyant!” I says.

“And maybe you can tell by lookin’ at me how much money he borrowed off’n me and never give back.”

When? How much?” she says.

One at a time, please,” says I.

“The amount o’ the cash transaction was a twenty-dollar gold certificate.

And the time he shook me down was the evenin’ he took us to hear Ada, and was supposed to be payin’ for it.”

I can’t believe it,” says the Missus.

All right,” I says.

“When he brings Bessie home from the ball game to-morrow I’ll put it up to him right in front o’ you.”

No! You mustn’t do that!” she says.

“I won’t have him insulted.”

You would have him insulted if I knowed how to go about it,” I says.

You stayed over to Tim’s too long,” says the Wife.

Yes,” says I, “and I made arrangements to stay over there every time Bishop comes here.”

Suit yourself,” she says, and pretended like she was asleep.

Well, the next mornin’ I got to thinkin’ over what I’d said and wonderin’ if I’d went too strong.

But I couldn’t see where.


When it kvmz to maekin’ machuz I hand it to dhv wimun.

When it kvmz to braekin’ ‘vm leev it to dhv hansumur seks.

Dhv thurteenth u’ Joon didn’t liet on a Friedae, bvt oeld Toozdae kvm throo in dhv pinch with jvst az gwd rizvlts.

Dir litul Sistur-in-lau Bes bloo in on dhe aftrunoon traen frvm Wobash.

She sez she wvz maekin’ vs a surpriez vizut.

Dhv surpriez ufektud me a gwd deel liek dhv wvn dhat wvz pwld on Nupoeleun at Woturloo, Ia.

Hou long ar yoo goin’ to liet vp our hoem?” I ast hvr at dhv svpur taebul.

“I havn’t maed vp mie miend,” sez she.

Dhat’s aul yoo’v misd, dhen,” I sez.

Doent miend him!” sez mie Misuz.

“He’z jvst a teez.

Yoo lwk grand and we’r boeth tikuld to deth to hav yoo hir.

Yoo mae stae with vs aul svmur.”

No kweschun ubout dhat,” I sez.

“Not oenly mae, bvt lie’bul to.”

If I do,” sez Bes, “it’l be on mie sistur’z ukount, not yorn.”

Bvt I’m dhv baeby dhat setulz yor sistur’z ukount,” I sez; “and it wvz svm ukount aftur yoo left vs last wintur.

With yor vizut and our kuet litul trip to Paulm Beech, I’m not whot yoo’d kaul krampd for pokut spaes.”

I ges I kan pae mie board,” sez Bes.

I ges yoo woent!” sez dhv Wief.

Dhv sekund ges iz aulwaez betur,” sez I.

Az for yoo enturtaenin’ me, I doent ekspekt nvthin’ liek dhat,” sez Bes.

If yoo wvz lwkin’ for a kwiut tiem,” I sez, “yoo maed a big mustaek by leevin’ Wobash.”

And I’m not lwkin’ for no kwiut tiem, needhur,” Bes sez riet bak at me.

Wel,” sez I, “ubout dhv cheepust noizy tiem I kan rekumend iz to go oevur and set vndur dhe eluvaetud.”

Maeby Bes haz svmthin’ vp in hvr sleev,” dhv Misuz sez, smielin’.

“Yoo aent dhe oenly man in Shikogoe.”

I’m dhe oenly wvn she knoez,” sez I, “outsied u’ dhat milyuner sunereoe wrietur dhat had vs aul in mizury last wintur.

And I wwdn’t sae he wvz oevur-ardunt aftur he’d knoo hvr a week.”

Dhen dhv Wief winkd at me to kloez vp and I didn’t get dhv doep til we wvz uloen tugedhur.

Dhae koruspond,” she toeld me.

Absulootly,” sez I.

I meen dhae bin wrietin’ leturz to eech vdhur,”sez dhv Misuz.

Hoo’z bin buyin’ Bishup’s stamps?” I ast hvr.

I ges a man kan buy hiz oen stamps when he gets ten thouzund a yir,” sez she.

“Enywae, dhv reezun Bes iz hir iz to see him.”

Iz it ileegul for him to go to Wobash and see hvr?” I sez.

He’z too bizy to go to Wobash,” dhv Wief sez.

I doent see hou a man kwd be too bizy for dhat,” sez I.

She foend him dhis noon,” sez dhv Misuz.

“He kwdn’t kvm oevur hir tu-niet, bvt tu-moroe he’z goin’ to taek hvr to dhv baul gaem.”

Wher aul dhv rest u’ dhv bizy giez hangz out,” I sez.

“Arn’t dhv Whiet Soks havin’ invf bad lvk without him?”

Dhat rimiendud me dhat I’d kaem hoem bifoer dhv fienul ekstruz wvz out; so I pwt on mie hat and went oevur to Tim’z to lwk at dhv skor-board.

It twk me til wvn A. M. to memuriez dhv baturyz and evrything.

Dhv Wief wvz stil uwaek yet when I got hoem and I had invf kvrij to rizoom hostilutyz.

If whot yoo toeld me ubout Bishup and Bes iz troo,” I sez, “I ges I’l pak vp and go fishin’ for dhv rest u’ dhv svmur.

“And leev me to starv, I supoez!” sez she.

Bishup’l taek ker uv dhv boeth u’ yoo,” I sez.

“If he doent I’l send yoo hoem a kvpul u’ karp.

If yoo go and leev me it’s dhv last tiem!” she sez.

“And it shoez yoo doent ker nvthin’ ubout me.”

I ker ubout yoo, aul riet,” I sez; “bvt not invf to be droev kraezy in mie oen hous.”

Dhae’z nvthin’ for yoo to go kraezy ubout,” she sez.

“If Bes and Mr. Bishup wvnts to tie vp leev ‘vm uloen and forget ubout ‘vm.”

I’d liek nvthin’ betur,” I sez; “bvt yoo knoe dhae’l giv vs no chans to forget ubout ‘vm.”

Whie not?” she ast me.

Bikauz dhae’d starv to deth without vs,” I sez.

Starv to deth!”she sez.

“On ten thouzund a yir!”

Nou hir!” I sez.

“Hoo toeld yoo he got dhat trieful?”

He did,” sez dhv Wief.

And hou do yoo knoe he wvzn’t oevurestumaetin’?” I ast hvr.

Yoo meen hou do I knoe he wvzn’t liein’?” she sez.

Yes,’ sez I.

Bikauz he’z a jentulmun,” she sez.

And he toeld yoo dhat, too?” I ast.

No,” she sez.

“I kwd tel dhat by lwkin’ at him.”

Aul riet, Kleru Voiunt!” I sez.

“And maebe yoo kan tel by lwkin’ at me hou mvch mvny he boroed off’n me and nevur giv bak.”

When? Hou mvch?” she sez.

Wvn at a tiem, pleez,” sez I.

“Dhe umount u’ dhv kash transakshun wvz a twenty-dolur goeld surtifikut.

And dhv tiem he shwk me doun wvz dhv eevnin’ he twk vs to hir Odu, and wvz supoezd to be paein’ for it.”

I kan’t bileev it,” sez dhv Misuz.

Aul riet,” I sez.

“When he bringz Besy hoem frvm dhv baul gaem tu-moroe I’l pwt it vp to him riet in frvnt u’ yoo.”

No! Yoo mvsn’t do dhat!” she sez.

I woent hav him insultud.”

Yoo wwd hav him insultud if I knoed hou to go ubout it,” I sez.

Yoo staed oevur to Tim’z too long,” sez dhv Wief.

‘Yes,” sez I, “and I maed uraenjmunts to stae oevur dher evry tiem Bishup kvmz hir.

“Soot yorself,” she sez, and pritendud liek she wvz usleep.

Well, dhv nekst mornin’ I got to thinkin’ oevur whot I’d sed and wvndurin’ if I’d went too strong.

Bvt I kwdn’t see wher.


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This story is spelled with a full sentence in traditional spelling, followed by that same sentence spelled in Mentur.

Dhis story iz speld with a fwl sentuns in trudishunul speling, foloed by dhat saem sentuns speld in Mentur.

Compare this method to the side-by-side column method;

This story is spelled with a full sentence in traditional spelling, followed by that same sentence spelled in Mentur. Dhis story iz speld with a fwl sentuns in trudishunul speling, foloed by dhat saem sentuns speld in Mentur.

This is only a sample of the complete story as it is so long, and is only being used to teach reading of traditional text, with the aid of text spelled with the Mentur Spelling System. The complete story can be found on the Internet, spelled in traditional spelling.

Paragraphs will begin with bold print.

From Gullible’s Travels Etc, by Ring Lardner



We was playin’ rummy over to Hatch’s, and Hatch must of fell in a bed of four-leaf clovers on his way home the night before, because he plays rummy like he does everything else; but this night I refer to you couldn’t beat him, and besides him havin’ all the luck my Missus played like she’d been bought off, so when we come to settle up we was plain seven and a half out.

We wvz plaein’ rvmy oevur to Hach’z, and Hach mvst uv fel in a bed uv faur-leef kloevurz on hiz wae hoem dhv niet bifoer, bikauz he plaez rvmy liek he dvz evrything els; bvt dhis niet I rifvr to yoo kwdn’t beet him, and bisiedz him havin’ aul dhv lvk mie Misuz plaed liek she’d bin baut off, so when we kvm to setul vp we wvz plaen sevun and a haf out.

You know who paid it. So Hatch says:

Yoo knoe hoo paed it. So Hach sez:

“They must be some game you can play.”

“Dhae mvst be svm gaem yoo kan plae.”

No,” I says, “not and beat you. I can run two blocks w’ile you’re stoopin’ over to start, but if we was runnin’ a foot race between each other, and suppose I was leadin’ by eighty yards, a flivver’d prob’ly come up and hit you in the back and bump you over the finishin’ line ahead o’ me.”

No,” I sez, “not and beet yoo. I kan rvn two bloks w’iel yoo’r stoopin’ oevur to start, bvt if we wvz rvnin’ a fwt raes bitween eech vdhur, and supoez I wvz leedin’ by eity yardz, a flivur’d prob’ly kvm vp and hit yoo in dhv bak and bvmp yoo oevur dhv finishin’ lien uhed u’ me.”

So Mrs. Hatch thinks I’m sore on account o’ the seven-fifty, so she says:

So Mrs. Hach thinks I’m sor on ukount u’ dhv sevun-fifty, so she sez:

“It don’t seem fair for us to have all the luck.”

“It doent seem fer for vs to hav aul dhv lvk.”

Sure it’s fair!” I says. “If you didn’t have the luck, what would you have?”

Shwr it’s fer!” I sez. “If yoo didn’t hav dhv lvk, whot wwd yoo hav?”

I know,” she says; “but I don’t never feel right winnin’ money at cards.”

I knoe,” she sez; “bvt I doent nevur feel riet winin’ mvny at kardz.”

I don’t blame you,” I says.

I doent blaem yoo,” I sez.

I know,” she says; “but it seems like we should ought to give it back or else stand treat, either one.”

I knoe,” she sez; “bvt it seemz liek we shwd aut to giv it bak or els stand treety, eedhur wvn.”

Jim’s too old to change all his habits,” I says.

Jim’z too oeld to chaenj aul hiz habuts,” I sez.

Oh, well,” says Mrs. Hatch, “I guess if I told him to loosen up he’d loosen up.

Oh, wel.” sez Mrs. Hach, “I ges if I toeld him to loosun vp he’d loosun vp.

I ain’t lived with him all these years for nothin’.”

I aent livd with him aul dheez yirz for nvthin’.”

You’d be a sucker if you did,” I says.

Yoo’d be a svkur if yoo did,” I sez.

So they all laughed, and when they’d quieted down Mrs. Hatch says:

So dhae aul lafd, and when dhae’d kwiutud doun Mrs. Hach sez:

“I don’t suppose you’d feel like takin’ the money back?”

“I doent supoez yoo’d feel liek taekin’ dhv mvny bak?”

Not without a gun,” I says. “Jim’s pretty husky.”

Not without a gvn,” I sez. “Jim’z prity hvsky.”

So that give them another good laugh; but finally she says:

So dhat giv dhem unvdhur gwd laf; bvt fienuly she sez:

“What do you say, Jim, to us takin’ the money they lose to us and gettin’ four tickets to some show?”

“Whot do yoo sae, Jim, to vs taekin’ dhv mvny dhae looz to vs and getin’ faur tikuts to svm shoe?”

Jim managed to stay conscious, but he couldn’t answer nothin’; so my Missus says:

Jim manijd to stae konshus, bvt he kwdn’t ansur nvthin’; so mie Misuz sez:

“That’d be grand of you to do it, but don’t think you got to.”

“Dhat’d be grand uv yoo to do it, bvt doent think yoo got to.”

Well, of course, Mrs. Hatch knowed all the w’ile she didn’t have to, but from what my Missus says she could tell that if they really give us the invitation we wouldn’t start no fight.

Wel, uv kors, Mrs. Hach knoed aul dhv w’iel she didn’t hav to, bvt frvm whot mie Misuz sez she kwd tel dhat if dhae reely giv vs dhe invutaeshun we wwdn’t start no fiet.

So they talked it over between themself w’ile I and Hatch went out in the kitchen and split a pint o’ beer, and Hatch done the pourin’ and his best friend couldn’t say he give himself the worst of it.

So dhae taulkd it oevur bitween dhemself w’iel I and Hach went out in dhv kichun and split a pient u’ bir, and Hach dvn dhv porin’ and hiz best frend kwdn’t sae he giv himself dhv wvrst uv it.

So when we come back my Missus and Mrs. Hatch had it all framed that the Hatches was goin’ to take us to a show, and the next thing was what show would it be.

So when we kvm bak mie Misuz and Mrs. Hach had it aul fraemd dhat the Hachuz wvz goin’ to taek vs to a shoe, and dhv nekst thing wvz whot shoe wwd it be.

So Hatch found the afternoon paper, that somebody’d left on the street-car, and read us off a list o’ the shows that was in town.

So Hach found dhe afturnoon paepur, dhat svmbody’d left on dhv street-kar, and red vs off a list u’ dhv shoez dhat wvz in toun.

I spoke for the Columbia, but the Missus give me the sign to stay out; so they argued back and forth and finally Mrs. Hatch says:

I spoek for dhv Kulvmbeu, bvt dhv Misuz giv me dhv sien to stae out; so dhae argued bak and forth and fienuly Mrs. Hach sez:

“Let’s see that paper a minute.”

“Let’s see dhat paepur a minut.”

What for?” says Hatch. “I didn’t hold nothin’ out on you.”

Whot for?” sez Hach. “I didn’t hoeld nvthin’ out on yoo.”


But he give her the paper and she run through the list herself, and then she says:

Bvt he giv hvr dhv paepur and she rvn throo dhv list hvrself, and dhen she sez:

“You did, too, hold out on us. You didn’t say nothin’ about the Auditorium.”

“Yoo did, too, hoeld out on vs. Yoo didn’t sae nvthin’ ubout dhe Audutoreum.”

What could I say about it?” says Hatch. “I never was inside.”

Whot kwd I sae ubout it?” sez Hach. “I nevur wvz insied.”

It’s time you was then,” says Mrs. Hatch.

It’s tiem yoo wvz dhen,” sez Mrs. Hach.

What’s playin’ there?” I says.

Whot’s plaein’ dher?” I sez.

Grand op’ra,” says Mrs. Hatch.

“Grand op’ru,” sez Mrs. Hach.

Oh!” says my Missus. “Wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

Oh!” sez mie Misuz. “Wwdn’t dhat be wvndurful?”

What do you say?” says Mrs. Hatch to me.

“Whot do yoo sae?” sez Mrs. Hach to me.

I think it’d be grand for you girls,” I says.

“I think it’d be grand for yoo gvrulz,” I sez.

“I and Jim could leave you there and go down on Madison and see Charley Chaplin, and then come back after you.”

“I and Jim kwd leev yoo dher and go doun on Madusun and see Charly Chaplun, and dhen kvm bak aftur yoo.”

Nothin’ doin’!” says Mrs. Hatch. “We’ll pick a show that everybody wants to see.”

Nvthin’ doin’!” sez Mrs Hach. “We’l pik a shoe dhat evrybody wvnts to see.”

Well, if I hadn’t of looked at my Missus then we’d of been O. K.

Wel, if I hadn’t uv lwkd at mie Misuz dhan we’d uv bin O. K.

But my eyes happened to light on where she was settin’ and she was chewin’ her lips so’s she wouldn’t cry.

Bvt mie ie’z hapund to liet on wher she wvz setin’ and she wvz chooin’ hvr lips so’z she wwdn’t krie.

That finished me.

Dhat finishd me.

“I was just kiddin’,” I says to Mrs. Hatch.

“I wvz jvst kidin’,” I sez to Mrs. Hach.

“They ain’t nothin’ I’d like better than grand op’ra.”

“Dhae aent nvthin’ I’d liek betur dhan grand op’ru.”


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By The Brothers Grimm

Once in summer-time the bear and the wolf were walking in the forest, and the bear heard a bird singing so beautifully that he said: ‘Brother wolf, what bird is it that sings so well?’ ‘That is the King of birds,’ said the wolf, ‘before whom we must bow down.’ In reality the bird was the willow-wren. ‘IF that’s the case,’ said the bear, ‘I should very much like to see his royal palace; come, take me thither.’ ‘That is not done quite as you seem to think,’ said the wolf; ‘you must wait until the Queen comes,’ Soon afterwards, the Queen arrived with some food in her beak, and the lord King came too, and they began to feed their young ones. The bear would have liked to go at once, but the wolf held him back by the sleeve, and said: ‘No, you must wait until the lord and lady Queen have gone away again.’ So they took stock of the hole where the nest lay, and trotted away. The bear, however, could not rest until he had seen the royal palace, and when a short time had passed, went to it again. The King and Queen had just flown out, so he peeped in and saw five or six young ones lying there. ‘Is that the royal palace?’ cried the bear; ‘it is a wretched palace, and you are not King’s children, you are disreputable children!’ When the young wrens heard that, they were frightfully angry, and screamed: ‘No, that we are not! Our parents are honest people! Bear, you will have to pay for that!’

The bear and the wolf grew uneasy, and turned back and went into their holes. The young willow-wrens, however, continued to cry and scream, and when their parents again brought food they said: ‘We will not so much as touch one fly’s leg, no, not if we were dying of hunger, until you have settled whether we are respectable children or not; the bear has been here and has insulted us!’ Then the old King said: ‘Be easy, he shall be punished,’ and he at once flew with the Queen to the bear’s cave, and called in: ‘Old Growler, why have you insulted my children? You shall suffer for it—we will punish you by a bloody war.’ Thus war was announced to the Bear, and all four-footed animals were summoned to take part in it, oxen, asses, cows, deer, and every other animal the earth contained. And the willow-wren summoned everything which flew in the air, not only birds, large and small, but midges, and hornets, bees and flies had to come.

When the time came for the war to begin, the willow-wren sent out spies to discover who was the enemy’s commander-in-chief. The gnat, who was the most crafty, flew into the forest where the enemy was assembled, and hid herself beneath a leaf of the tree where the password was to be announced. There stood the bear, and he called the fox before him and said: ‘Fox, you are the most cunning of all animals, you shall be general and lead us.’ ‘Good,’ said the fox, ‘but what signal shall we agree upon?’ No one knew that, so the fox said: ‘I have a fine long bushy tail, which almost looks like a plume of red feathers. When I lift my tail up quite high, all is going well, and you must charge; but if I let it hang down, run away as fast as you can.’ When the gnat had heard that, she flew away again, and revealed everything, down to the minutest detail, to the willow-wren. When day broke, and the battle was to begin, all the four-footed animals came running up with such a noise that the earth trembled. The willow-wren, with his army, also came flying through the air with such a humming, and whirring, and swarming that every one was uneasy and afraid, and on both sides they advanced against each other. But the willow-wren sent down the hornet, with orders to settle beneath the fox’s tail, and sting with all his might. When the fox felt the first string, he started so that he lifted one leg, from pain, but he bore it, and still kept his tail high in the air; at the second sting, he was forced to put it down for a moment; at the third, he could hold out no longer, screamed, and put his tail between his legs. When the animals saw that, they thought all was lost, and began to flee, each into his hole, and the birds had won the battle.

Then the King and Queen flew home to their children and cried: ‘Children, rejoice, eat and drink to your heart’s content, we have won the battle!’ But the young wrens said: ‘We will not eat yet, the bear must come to the nest, and beg for pardon and say that we are honourable children, before we will do that.’ Then the willow-wren flew to the bear’s hole and cried: ‘Growler, you are to come to the nest to my children, and beg their pardon, or else every rib of your body shall be broken.’ So the bear crept thither in the greatest fear, and begged their pardon. And now at last the young wrens were satisfied, and sat down together and ate and drank, and made merry till quite late into the night.



By Dhv Brvdhurz Grim

Wvns in a svmur-tiem dhv ber and dhv wwlf wvr waulking in dhv forust, and dhv ber hvrd a bvrd singing so buetufuly dhat he sed: ‘Brvdhur wwlf, whot bvrd iz it dhat singz so wel?’ ‘Dhat iz dhv King uv bvrdz’ sed dhv wwlf, ‘bifoer hoom we mvst bou doun.’ In realuty dhv bvrd wvz dhv wiloe-ren. ‘IF dhvt’s dhv kaes,’ sed dhv ber, ‘I shwd very mvch liek to see hiz roil palus; kvm, taek me thidhur.’ ‘Dhat iz not dvn kwiet az yoo seem to think,’ sed dhv wwlf; ‘yoo mvst waet until dhv Kween kvmz.’ Soon afturwvrdz, dhv Kween urievd with svm food in hvr beek, and dhv lord King kaem too, and dhae bigan to feed dheir yvng wvnz. Dhv ber wwd hav liekd to go at wvns, bvt dhv wwlf held him bak by dhv sleev, and sed: ‘No, yoo mvst waet until dhv lord and laedy Kween hav gon uwae ugen.’ So dhae twk stok uv dhv hoel wher dhv nest lae, and trotud uwae. Dhv ber, houevur, kwd not rest until he had seen dhv roil palus, and when a short tiem had pasd, went to it ugen. Dhv King and Kween had jvst floen out, so he peepd in and sau fiev or siks yvng wvnz lieing dher. ‘Iz dhat dhv roil palus?’ kried dhv ber; ‘it iz a rechud palus, and yoo ar not King’z childrun, yoo ar disrepyutubul childrun!’ When dhv yvng renz hvrd dhat, dhae wvr frietfuly anggry and skreemd: ‘No, dhat we ar not! Our perunts ar onust peepul! Ber, yoo wil hav to pae for dhat!’

Dhv ber and dhv wwlf groo uneezy, and tvrnd bak and went into dheir hoelz. Dhv yvng wiloe-renz, houevur, kuntinued to krie and skreem, and when dheir perunts ugen braut food dhae sed: ‘We wil not so mvch az tvch wvn flie’z leg, no, not if we wvr dieing uv hvngur, until yoo hav setuld whedhur we ar rispektubul childrun or not; dhv ber haz bin hir and haz insvltud vs!’ Dhen dhe oeld King sed: ‘Be eezy, he shal be pvnishd,’ and he at wvns floo with dhv Kween to dhv ber’z kaev, and kauld in: ‘Oeld Groulur, whie hav yoo insvltud mie childrun? Yoo shal svfur for it—we wil pvnish yoo by a blvdy wor.’ Dhvs wor wvz unounsd to dhv Ber, and aul faur-fwtud anumulz wvr svmund to taek part in it, oksun, assuz, kouz, dir, and evry vdhur anumul dhe vrth kuntaend. And dhv wiloe-ren svmund evrything which floo in dhe er, not oenly bvrdz, larj and smaul, bvt mijuz, and hornuts, beez and fliez had to kvm.

When dhv tiem kaem for dhv wor to bigin, dhv wiloe-ren sent out spiez to diskuvvur hoo wvz dhe enumy’z kumandur-in-cheef. Dhv nat, hoo wvz dhv moest krafty, floo into dhv forust wher dhe enumy wvz usembuld, and hid hvrself bineeth a leef uv dhv tree wher dhv paswurd wvz to be unounsd. Dher stwd dhv ber, and he kauld dhv foks bifoer him and sed: ‘Foks, yoo ar dhv moest kvning uv aul anumulz, yoo shal be jenurul and leed vs.’ ‘Gwd,’ sed dhv foks, ‘bvt whot signul shal we ugree upon?’ No wvn knoo dhat, so dhv foks sed: ‘I hav a fien long bwshy tael, which aulmoest lwks liek a ploom uv red fedhurz. When I lift mie tael vp kwiet hie, aul iz going wel, and yoo mvst charj; bvt if I let it hang doun, rvn uwae az fast az yoo kan.’ When dhv nat had hvrd dhat, she floo uwae ugen, and riveeld evrything, doun to dhv mienootust deetael, to dhv wiloe-ren. When dae broek, and dhv batul wvz to bigin, aul dhv faur-fwtud anumulz kaem rvning vp with svch a noiz dhat dhe vrth trembuld. Dhv wiloe-ren, with hiz army, aulsoe kaem flieing throo dhe er with svch a hvming, and whvring, and sworming dhat evry wvn wvz uneezy and ufraed, and on boeth siedz dhae udvansd ugenst eech vdhur. Bvt dhv wiloe-ren sent doun dhv hornut, with ordurz to setul bineeth dhv foks’z tael, and sting with aul hiz miet. When dhv foks felt dhv fvrst sting, he startud so dhat he liftud wvn leg, frvm paen, bvt he bor it, and stil kept hiz tael hie in dhe er; at dhv sekund sting, he wvz forsd to pwt it doun for a moemunt; at dhv thvrd, he kwd hoeld out no longur, skreemd, and pwt hiz tael bitween hiz legz. When dhe anumulz sau dhat, dhae thaut aul wvz lost, and bigan to flee, eech into hiz hoel, and dhv bvrdz had wvn dhv batul.

Dhen dhv King and Kween floo hoem to dheir childrun and kried: ‘Childrun, rijois, eet and drink to yor hart’s kuntent, we hav wvn dhv batul!’ Bvt dhv yvng renz sed: ‘We wil not eet yet, dhv ber mvst kvm to dhv nest, and beg for pardun and sae dhat we ar onurubul childrun, bifoer we wil do dhat.’ Dhen dhv wiloe-ren floo to dhv ber’z hoel and kried: ‘Groulur, yoo ar to kvm to dhv nest to mie childrun, and beg dheir pardun, or els evry rib uv your body shal be broekun.’ So dhv ber krept thidhur in dhv graetust fir, and begd dheir pardun. And nou at last dhv yvng renz wvr satusfied, and sat doun tugedhur and aet and drank, and maed mery til kwiet laet into dhv niet.


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In dhv foloeing story, dhv reedur iz ekspektud to reed Mentur without help. Prezunt reedurz kan do dhis with jvst a litul aukwurdnus. Noo reedurz wil need to get a litul help in lvrning dhv Mentur roolz. I ekspekt jvst lvrning dhv prununseaeshun uv dhv simbulz wil be invf to enaebul dhv reedur to figyur out dhv rest. At fvrst, he miet be lvrning boeth speling sistumz at dhv saem tiem. Az he bikvmz floount with Mentur, it wil be eezyur to uez Mentur az a gied to trudishunul speling.


Traditional Spelling Mentur


By The Brothers Grimm

A shepherd had a faithful dog, called Sultan, who was grown very old, and had lost all his teeth. And one day when the shepherd and his wife were standing together before the house the shepherd said, ‘I will shoot old Sultan tomorrow morning, for he is of no use now.’ But his wife said, ‘Pray let the poor faithful creature live; he has served us well a great many years, and we ought to give him a livelihood for the rest of his days.’ ‘But what can we do with him?’ said the shepherd, ‘he has not a tooth in his head, and the thieves don’t care for him at all; to be sure he has served us, but then he did it to earn his livelihood; tomorrow shall be his last day, depend upon it.’

Poor Sultan, who was lying close by them, heard all that the shepherd and his wife said to one another, and was very much frightened to think tomorrow would be his last day; so in the evening he went to his good friend the wolf, who lived in the wood, and told him all his sorrows, and how his master meant to kill him in the morning. ‘Make yourself easy,’ said the wolf, ‘I will give you some good advice. Your master, you know, goes out every morning very early with his wife into the field; and they take their little child with them, and lay it down behind the hedge in the shade while they are at work. Now do you lie down close by the child, and pretend to be watching it, and I will come out of the wood and run away with it; you must run after me as fast as you can, and I will let it drop; then you may carry it back, and they will think you have saved their child, and will be so thankful to you that they will take care of you as long as you live.’ The dog liked this plan very well; and accordingly so it was managed. The wolf ran with the child a little way; the shepherd and his wife screamed out; but Sultan soon overtook him, and carried the poor little thing back to his master and mistress. Then the shepherd patted him on the head, and said, ‘Old Sultan has saved our child from the wolf, and therefore he shall live and be well taken care of, and have plenty to eat. Wife, go home, and give him a good dinner, and let him have my old cushion to sleep on as long as he lives.’ So from this time forward Sultan had all that he could wish for.

Soon afterwards the wolf came and wished him joy, and said, ‘Now, my good fellow, you must tell no tales, but turn your head the other way when I want to taste one of the old shepherd’s fine fat sheep.’ ‘No,’ said the Sultan; ‘I will be true to my master.’ However, the wolf thought he was in joke, and came one night to get a dainty morsel. But Sultan had told his master what the wolf meant to do; so he laid wait for him behind the barn door, and when the wolf was busy looking out for a good fat sheep, he had a stout cudgel laid about his back, that combed his locks for him finely.

Then the wolf was very angry, and called Sultan ‘an old rogue,’ and swore he would have his revenge. So the next morning the wolf sent the boar to challenge Sultan to come into the wood to fight the matter. Now Sultan had nobody he could ask to be his second but the shepherd’s old three-legged cat; so he took her with him, and as the poor thing limped along with some trouble, she stuck up her tail straight in the air.

The wolf and the wild boar were first on the ground; and when they espied their enemies coming, and saw the cat’s long tail standing straight in the air, they thought she was carrying a sword for Sultan to fight with; and every time she limped, they thought she was picking up a stone to throw at them; so they said they should not like this way of fighting, and the boar lay down behind a bush, and the wolf jumped up into a tree. Sultan and the cat soon came up, and looked about and wondered that no one was there. The boar, however, had not quite hidden himself, for his ears stuck out of the bush; and when he shook one of them a little, the cat, seeing something move, and thinking it was a mouse, sprang upon it, and bit and scratched it, so that the boar jumped up and grunted, and ran away, roaring out, ‘Look up in the tree, there sits the one who is to blame.’ So they looked up, and espied the wolf sitting amongst the branches; and they called him a cowardly rascal, and would not suffer him to come down till he was heartily ashamed of himself, and had promised to be good friends again with old Sultan.



By Dhv Brvdhurz Grim

A shepurd had a faethful dog, kauld Svltun, hoo wvz groen very oeld, and had lost aul hiz teeth. And wvn dae when dhv shepurd and hiz wief wvr standing tugedhur bifoer dhv hous dhv shepurd sed, ‘I wil shoot oeld Svltun tumoroe morning, for he iz uv no ues nou.’ Bvt hiz wief sed, ‘Prae let dhv por faethful kreechur liv; he haz svrvd vs wel a graet meny yirz, and we aut to giv him a lievlyhwd for dhv rest uv hiz daez.’ ‘Bvt whot kan we do with him?’ sed dhv shepurd, ‘he haz not a tooth in hiz hed, and dhv theevz doent ker for him at aul; to be shwr he haz svrvd vs, bvt dhen he did it to vrn hiz lievlyhwd; tumoroe shal be hiz last dae, depend upon it.’

Por Svltun, hoo wvz lieing kloes by dhem, hvrd aul dhat dhv shepurd and hiz wief sed to wvn unvdhur, and wvz very mvch frietund to think tumoroe wwd be hiz last dae; so in dhv eevning he went to hiz gwd frend dhv wwlf, hoo livd in dhv wwd, and toeld him aul hiz soroez, and hou hiz mastur ment to kil him in dhv morning. ‘Maek yorself eezy,’ sed dhv wwlf, ‘I wil giv yoo svm gwd udvies. Yor mastur, yoo knoe, goez out evry morning very vrly with hiz wief into dhv feeld; and dhae taek dheir litul chield with dhem, and lae it doun bihiend dhv hej in dhv shaed whiel dhae ar at wvrk. Nou do yoo lie doun kloes by dhv chield, and pritend to be woching it, and I wil kvm out uv dhv wwd and rvn uwae with it; yoo mvst rvn aftur me az fast az yoo kan, and I wil let it drop; dhen yoo mae karry it bak, and dhae wil think yoo hav saevd dheir chield, and wil be so thankful to yoo dhat dhae wil taek ker uv yoo az long az yoo liv.’ Dhv dog liekd dhis plan very wel’ and ukordingly so it wvz manijd. Dhv wwlf ran with dhv chield a litul wae; dhv shepurd and hiz wief skreemd out; bvt Svltun soon oevurtwk him, and karryd dhv por litul thing bak to hiz mastur and mistrus. Dhen dhv shepurd patud him on dhv hed, and sed, ‘Oeld Svltun haz saevd our chield frvm dhv wwlf, and dherfoer he shal liv and be wel taekun ker uv, and hav plenty to eet. Wief, go hoem, and giv him a gwd dinur, and let him hav mie oeld kwshun to sleep on az long az he livz.’ So frvm dhis tiem foerwurd Svltun had aul dhat he kwd wish for.

Soon afturwurdz dhv wwlf kaem and wishd him joi, and sed, ‘Nou, mie gwd feloe, yoo mvst tel no taelz, bvt tvrn yor hed dhe vdhur wae when I wvnt to taest wvn uv dhe oeld shepurd’z fien fat sheep.’ ‘No,’ sed dhv Svltun; ‘I wil be troo to mie mastur.’ Houevur, dhv wwlf thaut he wvz in joek, and kaem wvn niet to get a daenty morsul. Bvt Svltun had toeld hiz mastur whot dhv wwlf ment to do; so he laed waet for him bihiend dhv barn dor, and when dhv wwlf wvz bizy lwking out for a gwd fat sheep, he had a stout kvjul laed ubout hiz bak, dhat koemd hiz loks for him fienly.

Dhen dhv wwlf wvz very anggry, and kauld Svltun ‘an oeld roeg.’ and swor he wwd hav hiz rivenj. So dhv nekst morning dhv wwlf sent dhv boar to chalunj Svltun to kvm into dhv wwd to fiet dhv matur. Nou Svltun had nobody he kwd ask to be hiz sekund bvt dhv shepurd’z oeld three-legud kat’ so he twk hvr with him, and az dhv por thing limpd ulong with svm trvbul, she stvk vp hvr tael straet in dhe er.

Dhv wwlf and dhv wield boar wvr fvrst on dhv ground; and when dhae espied dheir enumyz kvming, and sau dhv kat’s long tal standing straet in dhe er, dhae thaut she wvz karrying a sord for Svltun to fiet with; and evry tiem she limpd, dhae thaut she wvz piking vp a stoen to throe at dhem; so dhae sed dhae shwd not liek dhis wae uv fieting, and dhv boar lae doun bihiend a bwsh, and dhv wwlf jvmpd vp into a tree. Svltun and dhv kat soon kaem vp, and lwkd ubout and wvndurd dhat no wvn wvz dher. Dhv boar, houevur, had not kwiet hidun himself, for hiz irz stvk out uv dhv bwsh; and when he shwk wvn uv dhem a litul, dhv kat, seeing svmthing moov, and thinking it wvz a mous, sprang upon it, and bit and skrachd it, so dhat dhv boar jvmpd vp and grvntud, and ran uwae, roring out, ‘Lwk vp in dhv tree, dher sits dhv wvn hoo iz to blaem.’ So dhae lwkd vp, and espied dhv wwlf siting umvngst dhv branchuz; and dhae kauld him a kourdly raskul, and wwd not svfur him to kvm doun til he wvz hartuly ushaemd uv himself, and had promusd to be gwd frendz ugen with oeld Svltun.


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The following double reader is just one example of how this method can be used to teach traditional spelling. There are observations following this story that may or may not be helpful. If the Mentur rules are learned, no further comment should be needed.

Dhv foloeing dvbul reedur iz jvst wvn egzampul uv hou dhis methud kan be uezd to teech trudishunul speling. Dher ar obzurvaeshunz foloeing dhis story dhat mae or mae not be helpful. If dhv Mentur roolz ar lvrnd, no fvrdhur koment shwd be needud.

511 words/column


By The Brothers Grimm

In a village dwelt a poor old woman, who had gathered together a dish of beans and wanted to cook them. So she made a fire on her hearth, and that it might burn the quicker, she lighted it with a handful of straw. When she was emptying the beans into the pan, one dropped without her observing it, and lay on the ground beside a straw, and soon afterwards a burning coal from the fire leapt down to the two. Then the straw began and said: ‘Dear friends, from whence do you come here?’ The coal replied: ‘I fortunately sprang out of the fire, and if I had not escaped by sheer force, my death would have been certain,—I should have been burnt to ashes.’ The bean said: ‘I too have escaped with a whole skin, but if the old woman had got me into the pan, I should have been made into broth without any mercy, like my comrades.’ ‘And would a better fate have fallen to my lot?’ said the straw. ‘The old woman has destroyed all my brethren in fire and smoke; she seized sixty of them at once, and took their lives. I luckily slipped through her fingers.’

‘But what are we to do now?’ said the coal.

‘I think,’ answered the bean, ‘that as we have so fortunately escaped death, we should keep together like good companions, and lest a new mischance should overtake us here, we should go away together, and repair to a foreign country.’

The proposition pleased the two others, and they set out on their way together. Soon, however, they came to a little brook, and as there was no bridge or foot-plank, they did not know how they were to get over it. The straw hit on a good idea, and said: ‘I will lay myself straight across, and then you can walk over on me as on a bridge.’ The straw therefore stretched itself from one bank to the other, and the coal, who was of an impetuous disposition, tripped quite boldly on to the newly-built bridge. But when she had reached the middle, and heard the water rushing beneath her, she was after all, afraid, and stood still, and ventured no farther. The straw, however, began to burn, broke in two pieces, and fell into the stream. The coal slipped after her, hissed when she got into the water, and breathed her last. The bean, who had prudently stayed behind on the shore, could not but laugh at the event, was unable to stop, and laughed so heartily that she burst. It would have been all over with her, likewise, if, by good fortune, a tailor who was travelling in search of work, had not sat down to rest by the brook. As he had a compassionate heart he pulled out his needle and thread, and sewed her together. The bean thanked him most prettily, but as the tailor used black thread, all beans since then have a black seam.


By Dhv Brvdhurz Grim

In a vilij dwelt a por oeld wwmun, hoo had gadhurd tugedhur a dish uv beenz and wvntud to kwk dhem. So she maed a fier on hvr harth, and dhat it miet bvrn dhv kwikur, she lietud it with a handful uv strau. When she wvz emptying dhv beenz into dhv pan, wvn dropd without hvr ubzvrving it, and lae on dhv ground bisied a strau, and soon afturwurdz a bvrning koel frvm dhv fier lept doun to dhv two. Dhen dhv strau bigan and sed: ‘Dir frendz, frvm whens do yoo kvm hir?’ Dhv koel riplied: ‘I forchunutly sprang out uv dhv fier, and if I had not eskaepd by shir fors, mie deth wwd hav bin svrtun,–I shwd hav bin bvrnt to ashuz.’ Dhv been sed: ‘I too hav eskaepd with a hoel skin, bvt if dhe oeld wwmun had got me into dhv pan, I shwd hav bin maed into broth without eny mvrsy, liek mie komradz.’ ‘And wwd a betur faet hav faulun to mie lot?’ sed dhv strau. ‘Dhe oeld wwmun haz distroid aul mie bredhrun in fier and smoek; she seezd siksty uv dhem at wvns, and twk dheir lievz. I lvkuly slipd throo hvr finggurz.’

‘Bvt whot ar we to do nou?’ sed dhv koel.

‘I think,’ ansurd dhv been, ‘dhat az we hav so forchunutly eskaepd deth, we shwd keep tugedhur liek gwd kumpanyunz, and lest a noo mischans shwd oevurtaek vs hir, we shwd go uwae tugedhur, and riper to a forun kvntry.’

Dhv propuzishun pleezd dhv two vdhurz, and dhae set out on dheir wae tugedhur. Soon, houevur, dhae kaem to a litul brook, and az dher wvz no brij or fwt-plank, dhae did not knoe hou dhae wvr to get oevur it. Dhv strau hit on a gwd iedeu, and sed; ‘I wil lae mieself straet ukros, and dhen yoo kan waulk oevur on me az on a brij.’ Dhv strau dherfoer strechd itself frvm wvn bank to dhe vdhur, and dhv koel, hoo wvz uv an impetuus dispuzishun, tripd kwiet boeldly on to dhv nooly-bilt brij. Bvt when she had reechd dhv midul, and hvrd dhv wotur rvshung bineeth hvr, she wvz aftur aul, ufraed, and stwd stil, and venchurd no fardhur. Dhv strau, houevur, bigan to bvrn, broek in two peesuz, and fel into dhv streem. Dhv koel slipd aftur hvr, hisd when she got into dhv wotur, and breedhd hvr last. Dhv been, hoo had prooduntly staed bihiend on dhv shor, kwd not bvt laf at dhe ivent, wvz unaebul to stop, and lafd so hartuly dhat she bvrst. It wwd hav bin aul oevur with hvr, liekwiez, if, by gwd forchun, a taelur hoo wvz travuling in svrch uv wvrk, had not sat doun to rest by dhv brwk. Az he had a kumpashunut hart he pwld out hiz needul and thred, and soed hvr tugedhur. Dhv been thankd him moest prituly, bvt az dhv taelur uezd blak thred, aul beenz sins dhen hav a blak seem.

Below are some TS words from the first paragraph of the story with some of my comments.

Biloe ar svm TS wvrdz frvm dhv fvrst parrugraf uv dhv story with svm uv mie koments.

The following words are homophones in Mentur. Some of which are non-alphabetic. (They don’t conform to the standard pronunciation symbols.)

be – bee

by – buy, bie <by, buy, bye>

dheir – dher <their, there>

do – doo <do, dew>

I – ie <I, eye, aye>

inn –   in <inn, in>

knoe – no <know, no>

no –   knoe <no, know>

knoo – noo <knew, new>

so – soe <so, sew>

to –   <to, too, two>

two –   <to, too, two>

we – wee

The following—in the first column—are “sight words”. Sight words require memorization as they also don’t conform to the standard pronunciation symbols.

dhv – Normally vowel-v at word end is uh; uh, uh-huh, huh-uh.

go – \goe\

he –   \hee\

me – \mee\

she – \shee\

\or\ is spelled; or, oar, oer, aur – <fork, soar, fore, four> fork, soar, foer, four. ‘Or’ is the default spelling. The others are spelled in homophones and words containing homophones; bord/board, for/faur, etc.

dherfoer – oer is spelled when the meaning is as in; <foreground, before, foreword, fore>. Foerground, bifoer, foerwurd, foer.

into –   normally ‘intoo’ but ‘to’ is a homophone and is left unchanged when it is part of a compound word.

soed – <so, sew, sowed> so, soe, soed

ubzvrving – a word where both vowel-v and consonant-v are spelled.

wwd – a word where both vowel-w and consonant-w are spelled; \Wwd\.

yoo = ue. The y spelling will only be used where TS spells this sound with y; you, youth, you’re, etc.

Dhv foloeing wvrdz ar homufoenz in Mentur. Svm uv which ar non-alfubetik. (Dhae doent kunform to dhv standurd prununseaeshun simbulz.)

be – bee

by – buy, bie <by, buy, bye>

dheir – dher <their, there>

do – doo <do, dew>

I – ie <I, eye, aye>

inn –   in <inn, in>

knoe – no <know, no>

no –   knoe <know, no>

knoo – noo <knew, new>

so – soe <so, sew>

to –   <to, too, two>

too – <to, too, two>

we – wee

Dhv foloeing—in dhv fvrst kolum—ar “siet wvrdz”. Siet wvrdz rikwier memuruzaeshun az dhae aulsoe doent kunform to dhv standurd prununseaeshun simbulz.

dhv – Normuly voul-v at wvrd end iz uh; uh, uh-huh, huh-uh.

go – \goe\

he –   \hee\

me – \mee\

she –   \shee\

\or\ iz speld; or, oar, oer, aur – <fork, soar, fore, four> fork, soar, foer, four. ‘Or’ iz dhv difault speling. Dhe vdhurz ar speld in homufoenz and wvrdz kuntaening homufoenz; bord/board, for/faur, ets.

dherfoer – oer iz speld when dhv meening iz az in; <foreground, before, foreword, fore>. Foerground, bifoer, foerwurd, foer.

into – normuly ‘intoo’ bvt ‘to’ iz a homufoen and iz left unchaenjd when it iz part uv a kompound wvrd.

soed – <so, sew, sowed> so, soe, soed

ubzvrving – a wvrd wher boeth voul-v and konsununt-v ar speld.

wwd – a wvrd wher boeth voul-w and konsununt-w ar speld; \Wwd\.

yoo = ue. Dhv y speling wil oenly be uezd wher TS spelz dhis sound with y; you, youth, you’re, ets.

Mentur Pronunciation Guide Symbols are used here.

Mentur Prununseaeshun Gied Simbulz ar uezd hir.

any, many \’en y\, \’men y\ – Dhv moest lojikul prununseaeshun uv ‘a’ iz az dhe ‘a’ in; <bag, dash, fast, gas, hat> ets; bag, dash, fast, gas, hat.

beans – Kumper dhv ‘ea’ hir with <bread, great, sead, hearth, dear, earth> bred, graet, seed, harth, dir, vrth. Hou kan we difend TS with agruvaeshunz liek dhis?

burn – \cr\ – <bird, herd> bvrn, bvrd, hvrd. In TS, ‘er’ iz freekwuntly speld for dhis sound—especially at word end; <baker, rider, writer, farmer>.

A “majik-e” voul uezuz dhv ‘e’ to mark a voul az long—jenuruly—az in; <lake, bike>.

come – ‘-ome’ sugjests \oem\ az in <dome> bikauz it iz a “majik-e’ voul form which jenuruly iedentufiez a ‘long’ voul—bvt not aulwaez; <lake, care, bare, dare, camel> laek, ker, ber, der, kamul. Dhe ‘ome’ speling seemz very ilojikul. Dher ar vdhur wvrdz with dhv ‘o_e’ speling dhat ar not prunounsd \oe\ – <some, done, one, none, gone> svm, dvn, wvn, nvn, gon.

Dher ar vdhur “majik” voul formz:

Dhv y in <say, day, key, baby, pony.

Dhe –ing in; hiking, baking.

Dhv –us (shwaa-u+s) in; <focus, Ibis, Otis, Amos, Remus>, (-us and -is have schwa for a vowel). Dhe –le in; <bible, able, noble>.

Dhv –re in; <ogre, acre>.

Dher mae be a kvpul mor.

Shwaa iz dhe unstresd voul soundz in; alone/uloen, silent/sielunt, ribbon/ribun, circus/svrkus, famous/faemus, button/bvtun, medal/medul, mountain/mountun, ets. Shwaa iz modufied a litul by dhv nirby simbulz.

Konsununts ar svmtiemz dvbuld to prutekt a voul from dhv majik infloouns; <bake/baking, ladder, rubber, mettle, bonny/bony, nibble/bible> baek/baeking, ladur, rvbur, metul, bony/boeny, nibul/biebul. Bvt two difurunt konsununts wil do dhv saem thing; backer, badger. Dheez roolz ar not kunsistunt. <Amber, chamber, acre>.

fallen – In dhis wvrd dhv dvbuld konsununt marks dhv preeveus voul az short and stresd, bvt dhe ‘a’ soundz nvthing liek dhe ‘a’ in ‘mad’. Faulun \’faul un\. In dhis wvrd, ‘e’ iz prunounsd az shwaa \u\ radhur dhan \e\ az in <pet>; pet. In TS, shwaa iz speld with sevurul voul simbulz.

coal – In TS, c iz prunounsd \k\ and \s\, and sometimes \ts\; <cat, city, once> kat, sity, wvn(t)s.

kamul. Dhv speling uv ‘c’ jenuruly foloez roolz, bvt not aulwaez. <Face, vase, whence –

> faes, vaes, whens. Jvst unvdhur kaes uv unneedud komplikaeshun.

cook – Kwk. \w\ – dhis voul sound iz speld az in; <put, could, book> with no klir winur. Pwt, kwd, bwk. ‘Oo’ iz moest ofun \oo\ az in <boon, boom, moon, room, stoop, goose> boon, boom, moon, room, stoop, goos.

village – ‘age’ lwks liek a majik-e voul form dhat marks a long voul. Not dhis tiem; vilij. <Garage> guroj. In dhv UK it’s garrozh or garrij.

fortunately – Ugen—‘ate’ sugjests a majik-e voul form, bvt dhv prununseaeshun iz \ut\.

comrades – Komradz. ‘-ade’ lwks liek a majik-e voul form prunounsd \aed\, bvt in dhis wvrd it iz \ad\ as in ‘mad’. Hoo’d’v gesd?

have – Ugen, an uparrunt majik-e voul form dhat dvzn’t mark a long voul. Hav. In TS, a ‘ve’ ending kan be priseedud by eedhur a ‘long’ or ‘short’ voul. <Have, dive>.

here – Unvdhur misleeding majik-e voul form. <hear, deer, there, where>; hir, dir, dher, wher.

one – Unvdhur misleeding majik-e voul form. Hav yoo evur seen svch a misleeding speling. <One, once> wvn, wvns.

friend – ‘ie’ wher dhe i iz obveusly an introodur. Kumper with ‘bend’. Iz it eny wvndur Ingglish speekurz hav trvbul lvrning to reed? Frend. <Friend> iz obveusly dhe od speling umvng \end\ wvrdz.

the – Dhis TS wvrd iz prunounsd two waez, and ‘th’ kan be prunounsd two waez. Hir ‘e’ iz nevur prunounsd az dhv ‘e’ in ‘pet’, but it fits with dhv siet wvrdz with an ‘e’ ending; he, me. ‘Th’ kriez out for klarrufikaeshun; <this, thin> dhis, thin.

quicker – ‘Q’ iz ridvndunt sins k aulredy svrvz dhis pvrpus. Dhis maeks speling in TS mor difikult az to when to spel k and when to spel q.

said – <Say, said, says?> Maeks a sort uv sens, bvt dhat’s not hou we speek. Sae, sed, sez, not \sae, saed, saez\.

gathered – -ed iz a komun ending meening—in dhv past. In Mentur, dhv speling riflekts prununseaeshun; gadhurd, <raced> raesd, <added> addud (dhv dvbuld konsununt riflekts a homufoen; ad/add/addud.)

seized – Seezd. ‘Ei’ iz an unkomun speling for dhis sound, and it iz aulsoe speld for two vdhur soundz; <rein, their>. Ugen, we have –ed with its sielunt ‘e’.

whole – I doent think enywun prunounsuz dhis wvrd with dhv \wh\ sound; hoel.

woman – I disugree on dhv prununseaeshun givun in dikshuneryz. Dhae sae it iz \Wwmun\, bvt I think it iz \Waumun\, with dhe ‘au’ prunounsd az dhe ‘o’ in <or> and <oil>. \or\ = \aur\ az far az dikshuneryz ar kunsvrnd. Mentur spelz dhis wvrd ukording to dhv dikshuneryz; wwmun. I think I have heard \Wwmun\ prunounsd, bvt not in mie nek uv dhv wwdz.

Dhv wvrd <saw> sau, iz aulsoe markd with dhv saem simbul az in <fork, and caught> fork, kaut, bvt dhae doent kwiet sound dhv saem [at leest in mie aksent]. Dhat’s ok dhoe ukording to dhv roolz sins dhae ar kloes invf.

In Mentur, ar, arr, or, and vr, ar non-alfubetik and wwd vdhurwiez be speld az; or, ar, aur, and cr—<farm, marry, or, burn> form, mary, aur, bcrn—farm marry, or, bvrn.


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