Proposed International English Spelling Congress

The Society announced last year that it was promoting an international conference to produce an alternative to traditional English spelling. We now set out our proposals in greater detail.

Why a Congress?

English is the most irregular of all alphabetically based spelling systems. The cost of this is becoming ever clearer. People have campaigned unsuccessfully for change for over 100 years. Obstacles have included:

  • no official English body equivalent to the French Academie Francaise;
  • lack of co-operation on spelling matters among the governments of English speaking countries;
  • failure of those in favour of reform to agree on a feasible alternative to traditional spelling.

Many proposals have been put forward - they range from making very few changes to making many. But most have been written by reform enthusiasts, and there has been little attempt to involve the public in the wider English Speaking World. The proposed Congress will try to remedy this failure.

Our plan – in general

The Congress will involve both experts and the wider public in the search for an acceptable alternative spelling system.

Delegates may apply from all over the English Speaking World.

There will be two physical meetings on the day of the Congress, but most delegates will participate via video / audio link.

The Congress will appoint a Commission of experts charged with drawing up a short list of alternative spelling schemes. These will be presented to a reconvened Congress, probably a year later, who will approve one of them as an acceptable alternative to traditional spelling.

We are now in the process of seeking the necessary funding for the Congress.

Our plan – in detail

For detailed questions and answers, see The IESC - Detailed Plans.

Page editor: S Linstead. Contact by email or form.
Press Release - Wednesday 20th April, 2016

Delegates & sponsors sought on #NationalEnglishLanguageDay to help update rules of English spelling

The IESC – Detailed Plans

Questions and Answers