Solar Spell Introduction

The goal of Solar Spell is to make reading and writing English as natural as speaking English. A spoken word is a pattern of sounds and in Solar Spell that word is written with the same pattern of sounds represented by letters.

Legacy’s weak, indecisive spelling gives us boat and coat but not noat and voat. The long O sound at the heart of these words is spelled not 2 different ways or 7 different ways, but a whopping 20 different ways!

Solar Spell makes a different choice: Each unique sound is spelled one unique way. The long O sound is represented by the letter ō. Some examples:

LEGACY

go (o)
oh (oh)
owe (owe)
hoe (oe)
sew (ew)
low (ow)
oar (oa)
yolk (ol)
soul (ou)
brooch (oo)
depot (ot)
though (ough)
stone (o_e)
rogue (o_ue)
beau (eau)

SOLAR


ō
ō



ōr
yōk
sōl
brōch
dēpō
thō
stōn
rōg

You may have noticed that oh and owe are now both spelled the same. Has Solar Spell oversimplified here and lost meaning? Not at all. Many English words carry multiple meanings such as season (spring) and season (pepper) or squash the vegetable, the indoor sport and what one might do to a bug. The word run has hundreds of meanings. This is commonplace because context trumps spelling. For example: I bank at the bank near the river bank. This confuses no one and neither will ō nō, ī ō $10.

Silent letters

Legacy Spelling is plagued by the weakest of all letters, the silent letter. Silent letters are obvious in pneumonia and island, but they also appear in many innocent-looking words such as letter, where the second T and the second E are both silent. In Solar Spell this would be spelled letr. Words ending in ER, ED, EL, LE usually have a silent vowel. Like in the word vowel. That E is silent. Writing it as vowl gives it agreement with howl and fowl.

C and Q deprecated

The third letter of the alphabet doesn't have its own sound so it takes on the sounds of other letters. Every C in pacific ocean makes a different sound. Solar Spell elimates C as a standalone letter. cut becomes kut. center becomes sentr. Similarly qu is a duplicate of the letters kw. This makes qu redundant. Quick becomes kwik.

Eliminate apostrophes for ownership and contractions

Apostrophes violate the spirit of consistency that underpins Solar Spell because the symbol has multiple meanings: it indicates both contraction and possession. We don't speak in apostrophes so we shouldn't write in them either. Their complex rules and exceptions serve more to complicate spelling than to improve readability. Once again, context trumps spelling. Even if used incorrectly, no one is confused by "2 orange's for $1" or "Its one o'clock” or “Steves house”. In Solar Spell: 2 ōrinjuz fōr $1. its wun ōklok. stēvz hows.

Examples

jak and jil went up thu hil too fetch u pāl uv wotr. jak fel down and brōk hiz krown and jil kām tumbling aftr.

Every letter has meaning and every letter is consistent. The e in went, fetch and fel makes the exact same sound. But in the Legacy Spelling version of this nursery rhyme the e in each of these words went, the, came and water makes a different sound.


I'd like to buy an island guide to show me the diamond stein but it was too high.
īd līk too bī an īlund gīd too shō mē thu dīmund stīn but it wuz too hī.

Here 8 of Legacy Spelling's 22 variations of the long-I sound are contrasted with Solar Spell's 1. Notice how Solar Spell is both more concise and expressive.


 

loose

This common misspelling highlights a weakness of Legacy Spelling. loose is a mostly well-spelled word with the sounds l-oo-s correctly represented. The word is weaken only by its silent E.

The sounds in lose are nearly identical: l-oo-z. The only difference is that the final /s/ sound has become a /z/ sound. But rather than spell the /z/ sound with a Z, Legacy Spelling inexplicably drops an O. Not only does this not indicated the /z/ sound, but it obfuscates the /oo/ sound. Solar Spell writes these as loos and looz.

 


 

What if we wrote our numbers the same way we spell our words?