In 1846 Dr. Andrew Comstock, proprietor of one of the oldest commercial language schools in America, called Dr. Comstock’s Vocal Gymnasium and Polyglot Institute, published his Treatise on Phonology. In 2008 I came across it on google books and, reading its simultaneously bitchy and braggadocios full title– A Treatise on Phonology: Comprising a Prefect Alphabet for the English Language; a Specimen Exhibition of the Absurdities of Our Present System of Orthography, I laughed. Reason enough to whip-up a quick post, so far as I’m concerned.



“I don’t believe there has ever been a constructed script, in the history of the world, which has supplanted a “naturally” evolved predecessor by dint of logic and force of will.”

I know of one.  The current Turkish alphabet was created in 1928 to replace the blend of Arabic and Persian writing systems that were then in use.  Atatürk’s personal charisma, and a 20% literacy rate, seem to have given the new script a fighting chance.

Aside: it’s the sanest Latin orthography with which I have experience.

posted on 01.05 at 03:36 PMJack Rusher


while it might not make a proper substitute for the english language, it is absolutely undeniable that he created a perfect system for making cartoons look like they’re talking.  kind of worth something.

posted on 01.06 at 12:21 AM.


I figure I write phonetically anyhow. This man, Comstock certainly did not foresee the creation of the divine “spell check” function.

posted on 01.12 at 01:07 AM.

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