What would be the advantage of having an alphabet such as George Bernard Shaw desired?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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George Bernard Shaw is well-known for his contributions to English and Pygmalion is one of his most well-known contributions. Shaw's own mother was known to have left her husband behind and the sixteen year-old Shaw when followed her voice coach to London to further her training and hoped-for career on the stage.  

The English language is complex and irregular as one letter can elicit various sounds. Shaw was very conscious of this and felt that a more suitable alphabet, wholly distinct from the traditional ABC, was needed to avoid the constant confusion caused by too many choices. Even spelling rules contain inconsistencies and there is a need to have a broad understanding of all the possibilities when considering how to pronounce something in English. Shaw wanted to avoid this believing that the rules could be simplified if a better, more uniform system could be devised. He drew comparisons to words like "laugh" where the "gh" is an "f" sound. This is inconsistent with the letter f itself (should we spell "fly" as ghly?") and also contradicts the "ph" in phantom, pharaoh and Philip.

By devising a completely separate phonetic- type "language," these and many other irregularities could be avoided. This would make English pronunciation easier to understand, according to Shaw and regularize its usage.    


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