Spelling Reform 1 or Spelling Reform step 1 (more commonly known as SR1) is an English spelling reform proposal advocated by British/Australian linguist Harry Lindgren. It calls for the short /ɛ/ sound (as in bet) to always be spelt with E. For example, friend would become frend and head would become hed. SR1 was part of a 50-stage reform that Lindgren advocated in his book Spelling Reform: A New Approach (1969).
Spelling Reform 1 had some success in Australia. In 1975, the Australian Teachers' Federation adopted SR1 as a policy, although the Federation dissolved in 1987. In Geoffrey Sampson's book Writing Systems (1985) he wrote:
This simple spelling reform has been adopted widely by Australians. Many general interest paperbacks and the like are printed in SR1; under Gough Whitlam's Labor Government the Australian Ministry of Helth was officially so spelled (though, when Whitlam was replaced by a Liberal administration, it reintroduced orthographic conservatism).
However, there is no evidence outside this text that the system was "adopted widely".
Using SR1 as a starting point, the Simplified Spelling Society (SSS) created a five-part reform proposal called Stage 1. The proposals were first printed in the November 1983 edition of the society's newsletter. In April 1984 they were adopted as the 'house style' of the SSS at its yearly meeting. The SSS said that the reforms could be used either together or individually (as a step-by-step change).
Their four extra proposals are:
DUE stands for "Drop Useless Es". This proposal would remove the letter E from words where it is unneeded or misleading. This would mean dropping the E at the end of have but not at the end of behave, because the E makes the A sound longer (see "magic e").
- Thus: are→ar, were→wer, give→giv, have→hav, some→som, because→becaus, gauze→gauz, leave→leav, freeze→freez, sleeve→sleev, valley→vally, achieve→achiev, examine→examin, practise→practis, opposite→opposit, involve→involv, serve→serv, heart→hart.
Change 'ph' to 'f' when it is sounded as /f/ .
- Thus: photo→foto, telephone→telefone, physical→fysical.
- Shorten ‘augh’ to ‘au’ when it is sounded as /ɔː/.
- Thus: caught→caut, fraught→fraut, daughter→dauter.
- Change 'augh' to 'af' when the sound is /f/.
- Thus: laugh→laf, draught→draft.
- Shorten 'ough' to 'u' when it is sounded as /u/.
- Thus: through→thru.
- Shorten 'ough' to ‘o’ when it is sounded as /əʊ/.
- Shorten ‘ough’ to ‘ou’ when it is sounded as /aʊ/.
- Thus: bough→bou, drought→drout, plough→plou.
- Change 'ough' to ‘au’ when it is sounded as /ɔː/.
- Thus: bought→baut, ought→aut, thought→thaut.
- Change 'ough' to 'of' or 'uf' (depending on the pronunciation) when there is the sound /f/.
- Thus: cough→cof, enough→enuf, tough→tuf.
- Lindgren, Harry. Spelling Reform: A New Approach. Alpha Books, 1969.
- "Spelling Reform 1 - And Nothing Else!". Simplified Spelling Society Newsletter.
- Sampson, Geoffrey. Writing Systems. Stanford University Press, 1990. ISBN 0804717567, 9780804717564. p.197.
- Newsletter: Winter 1982 (part 1). Simplified Spelling Society.
- "The Society's 1984 Proposals". Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society (February 1988).
- "Tough Though Thought - and we call it correct spelling!". Simplified Spelling Society (1984).