I forgot to mention. Any spelling system is regular and predictable.

It only depends on how complex are is rule system.

1. Simplest one: Each sound is represented by a unique symbol. (Would /tʰ/
and /t/ have different symbols? Even they being allophones?);
2. A less simple: Some symbols can represent more than one specific sound
(usually two or three). The context is responsible in the specification of
that symbol pronunciation. (Allophones are represented by the some symbol.
If "t" is at the beginning of a word, then /tʰ/, at the end /t̚/, elsewhere
/t/. Even slavic languages belong to this group - palatized consonants,
unstressed "o", unstressed "e"... Russian "moloko" is pronounced /mɐlɐˈko/);
3. Most common: Some symbols can represent more than one specific sound and
vice-versa. The context is responsible for... (In Portuguese both
unstressed "u" and unstressed "o" are pronounced /u/);
4. Complex, but yet rule-driven: The same as 3, but the context to be
considered is far larger than the one in 3. There are several exceptions.
English belongs here. One can even create a rule for "gh" pronunciation (If
at the end of a word, preceded by V+"u", but the consonant preceding V+"u"
is either "c","l", "r" or "t", then it is pronounced /f/. On the other
hand, if the consonant preceding V+"u" is either "d","n" or "th", it is
5. Most complex: No rule can be created. It happens with semanto-syllabic
scripts, like the ideogrammic Chinese writing.

Anyway, one can always say that a spelling system of a language belongs to
a more complex one (never to a simpler one). One can say the word ball is
pronounced /b̥ɔɫ/ and dog is /d̥ɒg̚/.

So, if you want English to have a spelling reform, then, first, choose how
simple/complex will be its spelling rule system. Do you want /tʰ/,/t̚/ and
/t/ to have distinct symbols?

On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 11:17 AM, Hugo Cesar de Castro Carneiro <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I must agree with all you here. What Mr. Jarrette wrote is complete
> nonsense.
> Furthermore, it is paradoxal. He wants a language that preserves all
> original germanic vocabulary, but with a new spelling system. Surely the
> words in other germanic languages will not look like cognates to this
> language he proposes.
> And about Michael Everson comment on Alex Wijk's "Regularized English", it
> is pretty much interesting, but I think that his approach was too much
> aggressive yet. He uses combination of letters that are impossible or very
> rare in English, like "dh" (especially because he tries to use it as a
> digraph representing /ð/, and not like /d.h/, as in headhunter).
> A friend of mine told me that "th" is enough. One can have a rule for this:
> - Beginning of word: Belongs to a set of basic words (usually pronouns)
> (this, that, those, then, there) --> /ð/. Else /θ/.
> - Between vowels : /ð/
> - Elsewhere: /θ/
> Special case: clothes, would be pronounced /kloʊðz/, simplifying then to
> /kloʊz/. AFAIK /ðz/ > /z/ and /θs/ > /s/ always.
> The only word requiring to have its spelling changed would be "smooth",
> that would need to be transformed into "smoothe", so that it could be
> pronounced /smuːð/.
> But these ideas of spelling reform would only lead to what XKCD showed in
> the strip about standards ( When people appear here
> saying they had a new idea for English spelling reform, that would be the
> best one, the most acceptable one... it will only one more
> English-respelling conlang.
> I am one that came up once with this kind of idea. But I since then stated
> that it were "just a conlang (or con-reform)". I tried to separate every
> possible lexical set in order to create a better form of spelling. I had
> help of And Rosta in order to enhance it. It became something interesting,
> but I think it would be impossible without some diacritics. Conclusion, it
> is still in the early beginnings and I don't know if I will be capable of
> ending it during this lifetime.