I was recently contacted by someone from the spelling society. Steve Bett has a website on the alphabet, a fascinating page of related links and is the editor of the journal of the Simpified Spelling Society .
To get an idea of how a simplified spelling might look, visit this page for a paragraph from The Little Red Hen in a dozen forms of simplified spelling. I don't think any of these can be labeled a different script. However, they stimulate thought and discussion. Then I found Steve's pages on Unifon and other alternate transcriptions.
Unifon is indeed a different script. (I do need to mention that unless you have the Unifon font installed it doesn't display as it should.) In actual fact the Unifon font is considered a variation of the alphabet. Since there is no lower case in Unifon, the extra 18 letters of the Unifon system are keyed in by using the lower case English alphabet.
I then flipped through my latest acquisition from the bookstore, The Writing Systems of the World by Florian Coulmas, 1989, and found this image labeled "a transitory alphabet for English."
Unifon was invented in 1959 by a Chicago economist John Malone. You can read more about its history here.
My first reaction to this 40 letter alphabet was that it also has several letters derived form More's Utopian alphabet. It comes from the same tradition of Utopian internationalism and is one of the scripts featured by the World Language Process.
I wonder whether these scripts, Utopia, Elizabethan stenography, Moon code for the blind, Cree and Unifon can be considered part of the same family of scripts by virtue of their visual construction or glyph. Writing systems are usually labeled by the manner in which the symbols represent the phonology of the language. However, these scripts not only have symbols which look the same but they are all connected by the themes of accessibility and universality.
I leave you with a word of caution. Here is Coulmas on the reform of English orthography.
"For instance, if the principles of morphemic invariance, etymology, homograph avoidance or deviant proper name spelling, all of which play an important part in the present English spelling, were discarded for the sake of a rigorously phonemic orthography, the result would be too strange and involve too many changes in the established spelling habits to be accepted by the literate part of the speech community." Coulmas. Writing Systems of the World. 1989. p. 256.
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