Press Release

The following article is intended to assist journalists in presenting the essentials of the Musa Alphabet project to the general public. Feel free to copy from it as you see fit.

Are the familiar ABC's doomed to disappear, like the typewriter and the fountain pen? They might be, if a new project catches on.

The project is a new alphabet called Musa, and it's designed to replace our familiar English alphabet, along with the scripts of all the languages of the world. According to the Musa Academy, the Musa Alphabet offers many advantages over the English alphabet: the most important is that it's much easier to learn.

We all know English spelling is crazy. In fact, studies show that English speakers need three extra years of school to learn to read and write. Think of all the other things we could be learning in those three years instead!

The biggest problem with the English alphabet is that it doesn't have letters for many of the sounds of English, like sh, ch, th, or ng. We're missing so many vowel letters that words like good, food, and flood are all spelled alike. Meanwhile, the o's in lock, look, lost, lose, lone, and love are all pronounced differently! No wonder we make so many spelling mistakes. But the Musa Alphabet makes spelling much easier: words are spelled as they're pronounced.

Switching to Musa would also make it much easier to learn a foreign language, and for foreign students to learn English. If you've ever been stymied by names like Rouen, Gijón, München, or Łodz, then you're familiar with the problem.

People have been trying to fix English spelling for centuries. Among the reformers have been such luminaries as John Milton, Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Benjamin Franklin, Noah Webster, Mark Twain, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Darwin, Andrew Carnegie, H.G. Wells, and George Bernard Shaw.

But despite broad agreement that we need to fix our spelling, no proposal has ever had more than modest success. Brits are still spelling draught, gaol, colour, centre, and defence, almost 200 years after the publication of Webster's dictionary. In trademarks and informal writing, you might come across thru, tho, hi, lo, or nite, but those respellings - logical though they are - horrify the guardians of good English.

So will Musa catch on, or is it destined to join the long list of failed spelling reforms? Only time will tell, but the world has changed in ways that favor Musa: education is more important than ever before, international communication is more important than ever before, and the world now writes and reads on digital media. Now is the time to make sure that we English speakers don't suffer a handicap in these domains.

What do you think? Take a look at www.musa.bet, and decide for yourself.


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