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Tracy Chesney

Contributing Columnist

Instead of the ABCs, it soon might be the ABDs.

Reducing the alphabet by omitting the letters, c, q and x is causing controversy among some in the northern parts of the country. A recently formed coalition, "Spel It Lik It Sounds," (the correct spelling), is a group of individuals who are fed up with the way things are spelled in the English language.

Local resident Cella Bill, who is a retired speech instructor and a cousin to a member of the coalition, is pushing legislation to change the dialect of the most popular language in the world. And she’s also planning to start a local chapter.

"The group is not only trying to reduce the number of letters in the alphabet, but we’re also trying to get rid of certain letter combinations, words that sound the same, and silent letters," Bill said. "After spending 30 years working in the speech profession, I understand how individuals can struggle with our language."

If any changes were to take place, some fear it would effect the global economy because anything with the printed language would have to be changed. Such changes would include reprinting dictionaries, books, computer software, and even the alphabet soup would have to be remarketed.

In their recently published book, "If it Sounds Tu Good to b Tru, Then It Isn’t," the group listed examples of how they would rid the language of unnecessary entities.

The letter "f" would replace the combination "ph;" silent letters such as the "k" before night, the "b" in comb and the "h" in honest would be removed. Bored members of the group are proposing to take out the letter "c," and use the letter "s" or "k" in it its place; and totally removing the letters "q" and "x." This would make words such as fox - foks; quit - kwit; and care — kar.

Locally, that means signs across Ferris would have to be changed to "Feres," Ellis County would become "L-is Counte," and so forth.

The group is also proposing limiting adverbs and adjectives and to take homophones — words that sound the same but have different meanings — either out of the English language completely or simply respelling the words. Such words would include waist and waste; for, fore and four; to, two and too; and effect and affect."

"The bases for our organization is to try to simplify the language," said Dr. Kon Sonant, head of the Fone E. Institute of the Technically Advanced Spelling Corporation. "By limiting unnecessary letters, adverbs and adjectives, and taking out words that sound the same, we’re saving time and space. Additional letters clutter up space and waste paper, and the litter will eventually cause problems with the environment and society in general."

Dr. Kon Sonant said that once the society gets used to the new spellings of words, society, in a hole, would benefit. "It will be easy to do once you learn to read in between the lines," he said.

Dr. Lang Wedge, with the Society of The Saures, said the English language has been around too long and it would be two difficult to retrain society in phonics and reading and writing. "Spelling words like it sounds actually sounds too good to be true," he said.

Just how long it would take for the language transformation to hit the local area is unclear. "Migration from the north to the south normally takes place during the winter, so the transformation won’t take place in the southern states for quite some time," he said. "After all, this is the first of April, and if you’ve believed any of this in the first place, then you’ve just been fooled, because today is April Fools Day.


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