Thursday, December 30, 2021

Benjamin Franklin’s Phonetic Alphabet

It’s the last Thursday of the year—somehow—and as usual, I’m doing something slightly different. This year I’m sharing the phonetic alphabet Benjamin Franklin came up with (which you should have realized by looking at the title of this post).
Apparently I’m the only one who finds it much easier to read and pronounce. I was able to get the hang of it in a few seconds. It isn’t perfect, since the letters he uses for both “th” sounds and the “sh” sound look like other variations of h, making things kind of confusing to tell apart. I also think it needs the “juh” sound as its own letter, while he uses the combination of Z and the sh letter, because seriously, I’m not spelling my name with a Z. Although that might make it cooler...

Still, I like the elimination of the letter C, which is completely useless when we have K and S. Overall, I think it’s much easier to understand. Unfortunately, no one else agreed, though it did inspire Noah Webster, the guy who shaped American English, to eliminate extraneous letters from several words, and I have a hard enough time figuring out the spelling of words like paleontology without an extra A being in there.
What do you think? What would you change about the alphabet and spelling if you could?


  1. I am content with the English language the way it is. The proper way- with colour, for instance, instead of color as the Yanks insist on. :)

  2. The problem with "c" is "ch." If you get rid of "c," you just have to put something else in to cover that, so... may as well be "c"?

  3. It's cool to have a Z in your name. Just sayin'.


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