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A SIMPLIFIED ALPHABETby@twain

A SIMPLIFIED ALPHABET

by Mark Twain8mAugust 25th, 2023
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(This article, written during the autumn of 1899, was about the last writing done by Mark Twain on any impersonal subject.) I have had a kindly feeling, a friendly feeling, a cousinly feeling toward Simplified Spelling, from the beginning of the movement three years ago, but nothing more inflamed than that. It seemed to me to merely propose to substitute one inadequacy for another; a sort of patching and plugging poor old dental relics with cement and gold and porcelain paste; what was really wanted was a new set of teeth. That is to say, a new alphabet. The heart of our trouble is with our foolish alphabet. It doesn’t know how to spell, and can’t be taught. In this it is like all other alphabets except one—the phonographic. That is the only competent alphabet in the world. It can spell and correctly pronounce any word in our language. That admirable alphabet, that brilliant alphabet, that inspired alphabet, can be learned in an hour or two. In a week the student can learn to write it with some little facility, and to read it with considerable ease. I know, for I saw it tried in a public school in Nevada forty-five years ago, and was so impressed by the incident that it has remained in my memory ever since. I wish we could adopt it in place of our present written (and printed) character. I mean simply the alphabet; simply the consonants and the vowels—I don’t mean any reductions or abbreviations of them, such as the shorthand writer uses in orde
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Mark Twain

Mark Twain

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American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer.

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Mark Twain@twain
American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer.

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