language variant subtag en-cutspell

Joze Fabcic joze.fabcic at
Fri Jun 23 08:08:51 CEST 2006

Let me describe my interest in English orthography. I would like to have
a spelling system for English that is different from the current one.
There were many attempts to change the spelling. One of the most serious
ones was i/t/a in years about 1961 in England when children were taught
in the primary schools. This teaching was stopped because it was not
possible to communicate with the outside world in i/t/a.

My immediate aim is to create system which enables alternative English
to be used exclusively. The system has functions similar to any other
language typically used for software localizations. The system also
takes care of communicating with people using English written in another

I'm software engineer, so I can prepare some technological artifacts:

- A standalone bidirectional converter between traditional orthography
and a simplified one.

- General-purpose text editor complete with spell-checking. I'm thinking
about package. The amount of work is low, about 7000
phrases to change to simplified orthography and recompile the program.
Or another program can be selected to localization.

- create http proxy server that changes orthography of static html files
on the fly with some minimal accuracy of e.g. 99% or 99.9%. The greater
the accuracy, the more work is necessary. This is an open-end task.

Later, I can imagine the system to be expanded. The next tasks require
much more work and agreement from other parties. But the technical
aspects are quite simple:

- General-purpose operating system shell using simplified orthography.
- E-mail client capable of converting between traditional and simplified
orthography (back and forth) on the fly. The user only sees an option in
the menus that changes the spelling.

- An option on the remote control for a TV set that converts all
non-graphic texts to a simplified orthography

- T9 shortcuts for the cell phones using simplified orthography. SMS
conversion between orthographies.

- Simplified English orthography used for localization of typical
software package

- and so on

I'm mostly interested to act in the computing field. The selection of
the best simplified orthography is not my immediate task. I've seen many
such orthographies:

- cut spelling, as mentioned in my earlier post
- initial teaching alphabet (i/t/a)
- unifon, 
- truespell, spanglish
- and many others

Actually, from the programming point of view, there is not much
difference between the proposed orthographies. It is only necessary to
have a dictionary with enough words, rules for conversion. Additionally,
when the orthography extends alphabet from 2*26 letters to more letters,
font with necessary characters allocated in the agreed Unicode range. Oh
yes, any many, many other details ;-)

My preferred orthography pair would be as follows. There is us-ascii
format orthography with fewer irregularities. A truespell or ascii
variant of i/t/a comes to my mind. And there is an extended-ascii format
orthography that uses more that 26 characters. It is possible to exactly
convert between these two formats. But these are dreams only.

Some of the responses referred to other simplified orthographies. If
*you* know an orthography with an available dictionary and rules, let me
know about it.

The first orthography, cut spelling, has a dictionary available and uses
only 26*2 letters, so it takes less time to implement than some others
orthographies. After a software is available, it could be used for other
orthographies, too.

So, why do I need a registration of a language subtag? The second
artifact already involves language designation. I want to have a
language variant listed at <>.
If the group doesn't want to cooperate, I can choose
another, simpler, program to start with. Without a language
specification, a potential for confusion is larger.

And finally, a revised registration form follows. As I understood, the
following form should be used:

1. Name of requester: Joze Fabcic
2. E-mail address of requester: joze.fabcic at
3. Record Requested:

   Type: variant
   Subtag: cutspell
   Description: Cut spelling orthography of English Language
   Prefix: en

4. Intended meaning of the subtag:
   Subtag designates this specific orthography when
   storing and transferring English texts.

5. Reference to published description
   of the language (book or article):
  to the simplification of written English by
  omission of redundant letters.
  ISBN 0 9506391 5 X. Second revised and expanded edition, 1996
  Published 1996 by the Simplified Spelling Society from
  Birmingham B14 7AJ, England.
  Also available on-line at 

6. Any other relevant information:

Cheers, Joze

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