Just spent 20 minutes reading Wikipedia about the spelling reform movement. Apparently, a lot of people out there are advocating spelling reform — basically pointing out bologna doesn’t really spell baloney.

English really is a screwed up language, a fact that I’m learning more and more as my 6-year-old daughter asks me to spell words. (Yes, “new” does sound like “noo,” but we spell it “new.”)

Andrew Carnegie, believe it or not, was a big advocate of the spelling reform movement which made great strides in the second half of the 1800s.

Here are some successes that Noah Webster incorporated into his 19th-centure dictionary:

  • musick became music (musick spelling is no longer in use today)
  • publick became public (publick spelling is no longer in use today)
  • cheque became check
  • colour became color
  • plough became plow
  • favour became favor

But here are some that should have caught (cawt?) on, but didn’t:

  • isle became ile
  • examine became examin
  • feather became fether
  • definite became definit
  • thread became thred
  • thumb became thum

Thank you, Wikipedia!