With the English language, I always have an issue that relates to the spelling of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of words in its vast vocabulary.

The letters in these words have no function, are entirely soundless, and almost dead. But they occupy the space by squeezing in with other functioning letters.

Take, for example, the word ‘through.’ Is there a need for letters o, g and h? Americans are wise; they write it ‘thru.’ Another one is’ knowledge.’ If we delete or ignore k, w, and d, the word still will sound the same.

Why, in the first place useless and senseless letters were introduced in many English words?

The reason, early printers, who were paid by the letter, sometimes added extra letters to boost their earnings.

Since English is a cosmopolitan language, it is time to clean up words from useless letters. It will result in their ease of spell and better pronunciation.

Minor changes have already happened in North America. For example, from colour to ‘color.’ The word ‘behaviour’ spelled ‘behavior’ behaves the same way.

Interestingly, the big revolution in spelling change is happening thru tech communication. Text messaging or SMS breaks all the spelling protocols or niceties to spell words as they sound, very short and crisp, still understandable and meaningful.

If the SMS trend spills over to regular writing, then one day, Tsawwassen, a suburb of Vancouver, would be spelled ‘Tvasan,’ a saving of four letters; clear and confusion-free.

Anyway, I love English despite my grumbling over spelling.

-Promod Puri

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