Thank You, Sociophonetics—The Third Autonomous Bilborough Linguistics Circle SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 4 Contents Good Enough for Folk Etymology—Part III—A. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius

Against Discarding Symbols from Anglicist Writing

Thik W. Trals, PhD
Institution of Linguistics and (Multi)Lingual Symbolism
Division of Criticism and Indignation

Many scholars of orthography (and of writing broadly) claim that Anglo-Saxon ABCs contain too many symbols. Our list of writing symbols, it is said, is too abundant. This “surplus”, you may maintain, afflicts our youth, and it is also injurious to adults.


This claim is totally without validity, as I will show in this short discussion.

Gradual phasing out, or instant discarding, of particular symbols (a notion all too popular with many “scholars”) is in truth a malicious attack on orthographic civility, adoption of which could not fail, finally, to disappoint. In fact, it is child’s play to show that such claims disastrously fail to satisfy basic standards for broad scholarly approval.

Most commonly, critics classify a handful of symbols as gratuitous: X, Q, C, H, Z, and J. Taking said individual symbols in turn, I show that all such positions qualify as fully irrational.

X, it is said, is simply KS (or possibly now and again Z). But without its xylophonic ring, our orthography would sound hollow and lax within a pharynx; writing “aks” for “ax” or “waks” for “wax” would prompt sociolinguistic nasal upturnings and flummox all; our buxom Saxon orthographic matrix would fail to obtain its maximum capacity. No, I find no justification for such quixotic omission of X.

Similarly, Q is without rival in our orthography. It is said that K could stand for Q, but this is folly. Mayhap, but without K, to whom would U turn for companionship? To H? I think not.

Also commonly a victim of castigation is C, though misgiving of its claim to a spot in standard symbolism is hardly fittinga fact which this act of communication’s initial half flaunts. S and K, it is said, contain all of C’s communication; but linguistics could not sustain its charms without its final stop. And finally, do not fail to think through this plight: H without Can orthography wants affrication for full communication! A total fiasco would obtain.

Similar claims assail C’s companion H. Justification for this pairing of companions was just now shown.

H, though, can also stand in consonantal isolation, and in this situation its workload is prodigious. Hardly half an hour may pass without an H howling (to your horror) or hushing a haiku hymn into your hall.

(Linguists claim that H and NG do not occupy similar structural habitats; this cannot, though, plausibly constrain any omission of Habnormal claimants such as linguists can hardly sway orthographic policy.)

Z has low functional load; so low that mayhap it might allow combination with S. This, though, turns out to fail thoroughly. Minimal pairs abound: “zap” and “sap”; “zag” and “sag”; “zip” and “sip”this possibility is without dignity and unworthy of additional thought.

Finally, claims that J is not vital to our writing must gain a short audition.

Again, though: without J, to whom would Anglo-Saxons turn for affrication? Could DSH stand for J? Can you list any satisfactory solution? No, you cannot! Your judicious opinion turns my way!

As this discussion has shown, no surplus is found. It is abundantly and distinctly obvious that nothing short of our total array of symbolssymbols historically always critical to Anglicist writingis obligatory; nothing can submit to omission, without critical failings of basic communication, or total sociolinguistic or graphological confusion.

Of our consonants, I submit obvious conclusions: our symbols do not admit any possibility of transformation, mutation, or modification. Our symbols lack nothing, and no additional omission is wanting. This is truly nothing short of obvious.

But of Anglo-Saxon vocoids, I say nothing, as no adjusting of that parsimonious group admits cogitation.

Or might it?

Thank You, SociophoneticsThe Third Autonomous Bilborough Linguistics Circle
Good Enough for Folk EtymologyPart IIIA. Pocryphal & Verity du Bius
SpecGram Vol CLXXXIII, No 4 Contents