Hello linguistics people...

When I was young, one of the books in my father's library had a unique conceit: it aimed to improve the English language. So it proposed changes, and from then on the book incorporated those changes into its writing.

So, for instance, one of the earliest changes was that it said X was a completely redundant letter because all the sounds it makes can be made by other letters, usually KS. So from that point on, X was never used to make the KS sound, and a word like "fix" would be written "fiks"

Then, it said that the sound CH makes had nothing to do with a C sound or an H sound, so it assigned the X symbol to refer to the CH sound. And for the rest of the book, the sound "CH" was indicated by an X.

I remember that by the end of the book, if you hadn't followed along closely and learned each change, the book was totally unreadable.

Does anybody recognize this book? I'd love to get my hands on it again

  • 1
    Unfortunately this story is told so often in different disguises that it does not identify any book uniquely. Do you remember more of the book? Jun 11, 2022 at 19:35
  • Not really. I was too young to really appreciate it at the time. It was the late 80s or early 90s. If it is a common genre, can you recommend one or two of the better books of that type? Jun 11, 2022 at 19:39
  • 2
    It isn't a book. It's a humorous essay of about 1 page called "Meihem in ce klasrum", by Dolton Edwards. angelfire.com/va3/timshenk/codes/meihem.html
    – jlawler
    Jun 12, 2022 at 14:59


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