Page 2


The English-based international spelling system

Why isn't regular English spelling good enough?

As mentioned on the first page, disorganized spelling is costly and debilitating to society. The expense of teaching and using a poor system is greater than it is for a good system. Depending on just how bad, it can also create secondary expenses due to people failing to become literate.

English is THAT bad. Most literate adults feel that it's 'good enough' only because they are unaware of the scale of trouble being created by the high level of disorganization.

I emphasized 'created' because many of the problems do not exist without the disorganization and the rest are being greatly ampified by it.

A typical grammar school student can take 8 semesters just to reach a minimally functional level of literacy. Even good students take more than 3 times longer than natives of languages with good spelling systems. And, for as long as records have been kept, the national average failure rate has not gone below 17% no matter how much money has been thrown at the problem. ( estimates vary, depending on what is being called 'literate'. see Children Of The Code for an eye opening look at the real costs to our society ) A ball park figure for the primary costs of maintaining regular English throughout the world is 500 billion dollars annually. The secondary costs are at least that high. They include, but are not limited to, increased crime and prison populations, mistakes and accidents caused by people who can't read instructions, unrealized income & production potential by intelligent and talented people with dylexia.

Thats a trillion dollars per year minimun now. There's no reason to think the problems will be reduced as a percentage when the entire human race is using English, so it would be somewhere north of 10 trillion dollars.

English is being tolerated as 'good enough' in the countries it's in only because the majority of people grew up with it and never had an alternative to compare it to. They feel no disadvantage relative to their peers, are unaware of the problems it is causing and are unaware of its connection to problems they are aware of. But good enough on a local level is not good enough for the whole world. Tolerance has it's place, but when it benefits nobody, it is just pure waste.

Granted, there are any number of social and technological changes that could occur to aleviate or entirely negate the issue, but thats pure speculation. For every positive possibilty, a negative one could be pozited in which the situation gets even worse. It is foolish to ignore problems and hope they will evaporate based solely on rosy speculations.

Today's Regular English spelling is likely to persist on a local level for decades after the language has become the official language of Earth. It is already often refered to as 'traditional spelling' and traditions die hard.

Why Nooalf? Why not just tidy up the current spelling?

The primary concern that motivates the idea of just 'fixing up' the old spelling instead of replacing it is that a radical change will be immediately rejected by today's literate adults. They are highly resistant to change, so minimizing it seems like the way to go.

The big objection people will have is the expense of changing. If the change is minimized it will cost less and therefor not be resisted as much. 'Something is better than nothing'.'Don't let perfection be the enemy of progress.'

There are 7 major flaws in this thinking:

1. Fixing the root problem is always better than patching up side effects. As you can see, adding 8 letters to the alphabet was not impossible. It seems like a radical proposition, a nonstarter, but it turns out to be no big deal at all. Way better than a bunch of digraphs, rules and exceptions.

2. Asking literate adults to convert is a waste of time. Very few will agree to, so comprimising the system to accomodate them is pointless.

3. English spelling is not a system, it is a collection. Trying to simply regularize the existing mess becomes a guessing game for each word, trying to keep it 'familiar looking'. Thus, one of the main problems, learning to read and write, would remain an onerous chore of memorizing each word.

4. A valid complaint by the already literate is that they will have to relearn spelling for their entire vocabulary in order to be good spellers. A major undertaking since it would be 1 word at a time rote memorization - thousands of times more work than learning Nooalf.

5. Expenses resulting from a conversion to any new system are not reduced by it being closer to the old system. Street signs, place names, documents, devices, etc. that need to be replaced only because there is a new system will cost even more if that system is less efficient than it could be. Also, cost as an objection to any reform fails because things often need to be replaced anyway due to wear, damage, or technological obsolescence, so the complaint is invalid.

6. The typical literate adult has read each of the common words of the lexicon countless thousands of times. Any change at all just looks wrong. The failure of the Chicago Tribune campaign proved that even the mildest set of simplifications will be rejected, so apeasememt does not work.

7. The current population of literate English speakers, including ESL foriegners is somewhere under 2 billion. Even if you count them all as staunch objectors to change, they are still only a tiny fraction of the number that will accumulate through future generations. What seems like a majority now becomes a minority in a few generations and quickly shrinks to insignificance. Every little comprimise that panders to the current generation is pure waste to all future generations, potentially trillions of individuals. And really, most users of English are non-natives and only a fraction of native English speakers are dead set against change, so we only have perhaps a few hundred million gate keepers blocking progress.

The Nooalf English-based international spelling system

These plain text pages are here for people with raw deal smartfone service plans, those who have trouble seeing the colorful text over background pictures of the old pages and don't want to try to read the strictly Nooalf spelling of the new pages. But, trying to explain the system with just text isn't very effective or efficient, so if you want to learn it, you will have to visit one of the chart pages or order a printed chart.

PRoDUKS Offers a variety of charts that teach Nooalf with easy to identify pictures. The new edition of the Super Mini Chart also introduces regular English spelling and oLTaLF. There are also posters featuring The Gate Crasher characters and bargain price quantities of old editions.

CoRT That spells 'chart' in Nooalf. It is the new version of the talking pictures page with a big jpg background, a jpg for each letter/sound box, more jpgs & gifs for all the pages it links to. So, a bad place to go if your measily monthly data stipend is nearly spent. If you have no limit, this is the place to go. Place your cursor over a picture to play the sound clip. Anybody can learn Nooalf with this even if they don't speak English.

Here is a picture of the Nooalf alphabet:

These 34 letters are all that is needed to spell every word in the English lexicon. No rules beyond each letter always makes the same sound.

Very smart people are actually able to write the system reasonably well just by refering to that list of letters. With the picture charts, even ordinary people can do it.

Here is Nooalf ascii, which is what Nooalf looks like if you type it without one of the special fonts:

A a B C D E e F G H i I J j K L M N o O Q P R S s T U u V W x X Y Z

It's still 100% phonetic and will turn into proper Nooalf just by converting it to one of the fonts.


Here is slakrz nqalf:

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

It is just the lower case regular alphabet and is typed as if you were typing Nooalf except skipping the CAPS LOCK and shift button. Its not 100% phonetic since 8 of the letters cover 2 sounds each. It is currently faster to type, but when keyboards with the full Nooalf character set become available, it will be obsolete, as will Nooalf ascii.

mene pepl find slakrz nqalf tq be xu most redubl. its no supriz, rele, sins xu vast mujorite uv xu reding we dq iz in lowr kas. aftr u fyq pajiz uv xis, yq wud be fliing ulong at nirle norml sped.

Now, if you are ready to join the revolution, here is the first page. You will find links to short foriegn language sections, comics, stories, blogs, fonts, an in depth explanation of the system, more on why it's necessary, a debunk of every objection ever raised and more.

back to page 1