New Technology for the Reading and Writing Problem

A Fundamental Contrast

  • SSSS: Senseless Spelling Sabotaging Society: the existing system of traditional English spelling makes no sense
  • We see painful and costly cultural nonsense: traditional spelling is as hard to learn as anything that does not make sense
  • CRESS: Consistent Regular English Spelling System: a scientific and engineering innovation carefully designed to fix the problem
  • CRESS is carefully designed to be the only fully worked out and effective solution to the English reading problem
  • It provides massive benefits for foreign speakers learning to pronounce and write English
  • Traditional spelling violates the concept of phonetic spelling upon which much of civilization is based
  • There is cultural destruction in teaching a phonetic idea based on massive phonetic confusion
  • Teaching of sound letter correspondence is self-defeating by any system that confuses sound letter correspondences.
  • CRESS has been carefully engineered for essential requirements over 20 years
  • Previous reading systems are remedial and superficial embedding confusion while maintaining it
  • CRESS goes back to fundamental underlying basic science principles
  • A sound is a sound and a letter is a letter and always the twain shall meet


  • Cress is extremely simple… see the online How-To and Alphabet pages for a simple introduction
    • The points made below will light up on their own

Guiding Scientific Principles

  • Do not teach two things at once that confuse each other: English spelling and phonetic expectations confuse each other
  • Do not teach the phonetic principle by confusing the phonetic principle
  • Traditional spelling (almost comically?) confuses and impedes the phonemic awareness it is built on
  • English spelling problems are like anti-slip coating for floors, mixed with grease.
  • A cultural sadly cosmic anti-science joke with pervasive, destructive implications.
  • Parents might well consider confusion, lost time, discouragement, perplexity, loss of self-esteem in early grades.
  • The fix is simple: common sense backed by AI used in spelling translation software: English to CRESS and CRESS to English.
  • A carefully engineered writing system thought out over 20 years from all angles


  • Uses the standard alphabet
  • No special character set for electronic devices
  • Looks reasonably like standard English
  • Easily readable with very little learning
  • Paragraphs and books are noticeably shorter
  • Easily typed at a regular QWERTY keyboard.
  • The few special arrow symbols (< > ^) are designed for articulatory awareness
  • The few special symbols make sense in terms of tongue position (< > ^)
  • Can co-exist with standard spelling and provides a big help teaching standard spelling
  • Computer transliteration is already available in AI software
  • Minimized friction between standard spelling and CRESS due to computer automatic transliteration
  • Allows a handy/efficient shorthand by omitting the few special symbols (< > ^), as in e.g. European and Semitic language diacritics.
  • Provides easily readable, compressed and efficient spelling by omitting the few special symbols (< > ^).
  • Bootstraps reading for beginners with built-in phonemics
  • Also anticipates streamlined versions for advanced users, replacing special arrow symbols with double letters, following h, etc.

Obvious design features

  • Consistent, regular, without exceptions
  • Write as you speak, one symbol per sound
  • Tongue position awareness is built in.
  • Learning of phonemic awareness is integrated to learning to read.
  • No confusing overlapping digraphs
  • Phonemic awareness built into the writing system
    • A writing system to directly build and reflect phonemic awareness, without diabolically confusing phonemic awareness
  • It’s all intended simply to make sense

Answers to Natural Questions

  • Phonemic spelling has been tried before. But never carefully engineered!
  • In any case it’s an obvious scientific necessity.
  • It’s too big a change
  • The new system is small and simple and easy to learn.
  • Traditional spelling can continue: CRESS is the best first teaching step
  • The fun, ironic paradox is that adding CRESS subtracts!
    • It simplifies traditional spelling
    • There are fewer letters used: no c, j, q, x- only 22 letters in the alphabet
    • The overall total system is *smaller*
    • Learning of the overall system is faster and easier
    • Why ask children to learn two systems?
  • They already do, two confused systems that confuse each other.
  • CRESS supports and facilitates standard spelling. CRESS can carry standard spelling on its back.
  • CRESS is not an extra system, but the basics which underlie standard spelling
  • Finally, learners can have a single integrated rational system that will make sense
  • It’s different from all the reading research and programs developed over decades
  • Correct, it’s an innovation.
  • The underlying science has been known for a long time.
  • Change can be faster or slower, but the favorable incline to a solution based on science and engineering

Origin and Background of CRESS

  • Educational credentials, bona fides, and academic citations
  • The system is not founded on educational research or tenuous connections to brain/cognition research
  • The system is based on Linguistic Science and the need for rational incremental learning
  • The inventor has recognized credentials in both academic Linguistics and Linguistic Engineering
  • Former well-published tenured associate professor of Linguistics
  • Long career in linguistic engineering at premier companies and a leading think tank
  • Multiple industrial awards and three patents
  • Inventor of technology patent purchased by Google
  • Inventor of helpfulness feature in Amazon reviews.
  • Successful entrepreneur creating technology used by millions of users
  • Expert on Inuit Language Including Phonemic Orthography
  • The system has been engineered for practical goals rather than publication in academe
  • The system is based on obvious common-sense principles that require no citation
  • There is no need to document learning difficulty of two intertwined systems each confusing the other
  • It’s better to learn basics rather than delve immediately into complications that contradict the basics
  • If phonemic awareness is important, systems must use the phonemic principle

Lifting of Heavy Useless Burdens

  • No more tables of overlapping, contradictory and confusing digraphs
  • No patterns or mnemonics to learn.
  • No more impedance from lack of phonemic awareness
  • Less pain is all gain.