The problem I've always encountered with producing phonetic English is that, unless one drives for a dialect superiority (that is: everyone must write with one particular accent) one results in text which may be largely incomprehensible between dialect groups separated by only short distances. I'm writing my English and phonetically realising it ass sumthingg lak this, whereas someone 30 miles away will be realising sumtin laç this and (excuse my dodgy accent) a Texan might realise it airs samthin lairk thees. 

AFAIK the human mind is attuned to permitting variance in pronunciation, but large variances in spelling severely reduces comprehension time: try reading the homework of school kids who can't differentiate /f/ and /θ/!

The benefit of a universal spelling system, despite it's numerous irregularities, permits communication across dialect barriers, not necessarily just geographic ones. It transcends the differences in speech. A universal phonetic alphabet would mean the death of individual dialects - we would all have to speak like members of the Conservative Party or LA millionaires :D

I'm sure the same will be true of other languages, why should a Venetian have to think in a Roman accent?

More to the point, won't there be major differences between individuals as well?

Wot 'm se'n iss tha iff 'm wrai'n lak thiss, nu ma'u wa alfupe yu yooss i's still tussen mek inupussunul komyooniceshun eni isee'u. 

Fuh sek uff arkyumen mai trai sen'in ol mi fyuchu messachis list ful inn fune'ic IPA...

Wi ol mai haf uh ko a tha? Huss wi mi?

On 20 Jul 2011, at 00:02, Larry Sulky <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Would Shwah spelling differentiate between "merry" and "marry", which are
> perfect rhymes in my native English dialect but are distinct in the native
> English dialect of Brooklynites?