So what is it like to learn or teach CRESS in the system?

CRESS not only reforms English Spelling, but is a quick stepping stone that simplifies spelling and takes you easily and quickly toward reading standard spelling.  Or it stands by itself to create a leap forward in the English language. It covers all words, so you can even read and write in CRESS without any of the mess of English spelling.  We even offer software that converts back and forth, CRESS to standard spelling and standard spelling to CRESS.

Alert: support for varying dialects is inherent but not yet activated. First approximation here us OK in general.

Simplicity: CRESS is perfectly regular and uses the English alphabet.

Shorten the alphabet and learn to say it the smart way


ba da fa ga ha ka la ma na pa ra sa ta va wa ya za


i as in pit, e as in pet, a as in pot, u as in put, o as in po(rt) chopped a bit

Now you can read and write many words of English easily already.  Just write as you speak. No mess

Examples: bit, pet, wed, sit, hit, spit, skit, tuk (took like put), hed (head like pet) etc.  They are close to regular spelling

But you quickly hit missing sounds.  That’s super simple to fix with three super simple arrows: <>^.

The fix is so close. Yes, close in your mouth.  You can spell the vowel in pit, bit, hit. Now say the word pit very long so the vowel lasts a couple seconds.  Then do it again and make yourself consciously  raise the jaw and tongue while you say the long, stretched out vowel.  What happened?  You got a nearby sound by just raising the tongue. You can hear that is the sound in the word Pete.  Now you know how to use the up arrow ^.

You just learned to spell three new words:

Pete = Pi^t, beet = bi^t, heat = hi^t.  The ^ the differences with pit, bit, and hit.

You also learned to spell sounds in thousands of other words: When you hear the raised tongue, just add thw up arrow after the i to use i^.   This simplifies spelling in thousands of words and fixes thousands of problems.

At the same time, you learned about how you make the sounds of English, known as phonemes.  You learn from personal experience that i is different from i^ because the tongue is raised in i^.

Go search Google for “phonemic awareness” and you will see so much involved discussion of something CRESS makes so simple by making it part of spelling.  When you learn to use the up arrow you learn phonemic awareness… it’s built in.

It gets better still.  You can instantly multiply what you just learned.

Try stretching the vowel in bet very long, and again consciously raising the jaw and tongue as you do it.

You will hear that the vowel in bait comes from raising the tongue compared to bet.

You can guess.  We write this with the up arrow.  bait is written as be^t (bait) in CRESS, different from bet (bet)

Now you just bit into the vowel in thousands of more words, and it took very little bait to lure you there.

wet versus we^t (wait), let versus le^t (late), net versus Ne^t (Nate), etc.

No surprise that this multiplies even more. It doesn’t take much before it covers the entire dictionary.

The sound in pot can be shifted in two different ways with arrows.

  1. Try closing you jaw slowly as you say the vowel in the word pot.  You will hear the sound in the word but.  So we write that sound also with the up arrow. ba^t
  2. Next try forcing your tongue forward as you slowly say the vowel in pot.  As you do you will hear the sound in the word pat. You moved the tongue FORWARD so we write the vowel in pat with a forward arrow pa<t.

By the way, we are speaking only of some common dialects here.  In case you find a small number of things that don’t fit the way you speak, please note that we can make adjustments for your dialect using only the arrow symbols.  This can be built into our automatic software too, even though it’s not there yet.

We now move on from simple vowels to vowel combinations, and then consonants. Please note that the starting vowel in words such as or or more  doesn’t occur by itself in the common dialects we are covering, but that vowel is the starting point and basis for the vowel in mow.   We write mow as mo^ because if you take the starting vowel in more but don’t say the r, and then raise the tongue, you get the raised vowel mo^ in more.

Next we see that it is simple, with nothing more to learn, in order to write the vowel sounds in by, bow, and boy.  If you say each of those words very long, you will recognize sounds we have already covered.  by = bai, bow = bau, boy = boi.  Those vowel combinations cover a whole lot more sounds in the dictionary.  By the way, if you listen carefully to the second vowel in these combinations, you might hear the vowel as raised, and this can be accurate.  We don’t bother with writing a raising arrow in these cases because no words have a contrast in that position after another vowel.  CRESS is optimized for easy writing and typing and a less cluttered page for simple reading.

Moving to consonants, it’s just as simple and consistent. We use the same ideas and the same arrow symbols.

Our alphabet has both t and h, but CRESS is built on science so it is misleading to write the single starting consonant in thin with two symbols as th.  The h has nothing to do with it. (Note: The CRESS philosophy is flexible allowing advance users to use the th if they prefer, but this is not supported in the basic version.)  This gives familiarity but it deviates from science and destroys the built-in phonemic awareness we have engineered.  There is only one sound.  This extra sound is not in the consonanat alphabet but we do not need a new symbol.  To appreciate the easy learning that can help children achieve phonemic (sound system) awareness, say a very long ssssssssssss sound, and while you do, force the tip of your tongue forward until between the teeth.   This gives a new sound, plus the realization that the th in thin has the tongue tip fronted.  It can simply be written with an s followed by a left or forward arrow, to show the tongue is fronted.  In this one sees easy learning of phonemic awareness, but also perfect spelling where each sound is represented in a consistent way that is easy to understand. The relationship of letters to sounds that are articulated nearby in the mouth.

sin = sin, thin = s<in, sick = sik, thick = s<ik, etc.

CRESS is about learning very little to gain a lot.  One idea piggy backs on another. A learner can surf the same wave through multiple problems in standard English spelling.

We just saw the th sounds which you will notice, if you say it long, is whispered.  For some sounds, but not others, your voice box buzzes as you say them.  CRESS is simple and consistent.  Try stretching out the initial z consonant in the word zero. Make it very long and while you do force your tongue tip again forward in the same way.  You will hear the th sound, different from the previous because your voice box is voicing.  The gift we get here is that this th sound which needs it’s own spelling arrives for free by just writing the z with the left fronting arrow.

Try touching your Adam’s apple as you stretch out the initial consonant in the word the.  This is a different English sound (phoneme) from s< (thin), as you can see from the word pair ether/either.  We write those as ether (s<) and either (z<). The word the starts wth z< while thin starts with s<,

then = z<en, there = z<er, that = z<a<t, though = z<o^ etc. and these are different from thin = s<in, thought = s<at

It seems a bit of magic that 3 simple arrows can relate so many nearby sounds, but there’s science in it.   That is just how linguistic science works.  When new sounds appear they are close neighbors of others.

To see how sensible it is to write s and z with the fronting arrow <, think to yourself how French speakers, for example, pronounce our th sound while learning English pronunciation. Yes, they substitute s for s<, and z for z<.  You might have heard the French say “Zis is ze sing to sink about. No accident, just phonetic science that CRESS puts to work, and the beauty of human language systems

Again and again we gain much by using arrows to shift pronunciation a little bit inorder to get a neighbor sound (phoneme) we need for English. CRESS has phonemic awareness built in so removes the need for a separate curriculum to teach it separately. A big win.

Next, let’s check out the back arrow > for consonants:

sh = s>

Try stretching out the last consonant in the word mess very long while consciously pulling your tongh back a bit along the roof of the mouth.  You will find your self saying the sh sound as in mesh.  Yes, the tongue shape changes a bit but that is a detail for our purposes.  It means we can write the sh sound as s>

mess = mes, mesh = mes>, dis ( as in dis someone) = dis, dish = di>s

We can do the same for words that have the similar voiced sound. Say the imaginary word mezzer while stretching out very long the middle consonant zzzzzzz.  While you sstretch that sound out, force yourself to pull the tongue back along the roof of your mouth.  You will soon get the word measure and see why we write that sound as z>. It shows the tongue is further back compared to the z sound.

You can see these are different sounds (phonemes) from the similar pairs: pusher and pleasure.

We can use the same exercise to see how to use the back arrow for the nasal sound in singer.  Try stretching the nnnnnnnn  in sinner while you force the tongue back to use the actual back of the tongue (not the front tip).  You will get singer, a backed sound which we can represent as n>.  For aesthetic and traditional reasons we contemplate CRESS possibly retaining the traditional ng spelling, just as it might retain th, but we resist this initially to maintain phonemic awareness, create a completely consistent phonemic writing, and because it encourages the scientific viewpoint.

Eureka! At this point you can write or read any word of English, even if it hasn’t been invented yet, and you, and the whole world, benefit from perfect consistencey boosted by learning the phonemic awareness phonetic principal that has been underneath writing for so long, even despite destructive, confusing and self-defeating inconsistency that has crept into the likes of English spelling. Sadly, that mess arrives to modern people in a form contradicting, confusing and defeating the phonemic principle upon which it was once base.  No more in CRESS, where all is set right.