What many people do not realize, is that language and alphabets are two different things. A language is mainly a spoken thing, while an alphabet is a way of approximating this spoken voices on paper (or stone, or keyboard).
English is notorious in being non-phonetic, and hence there has always been calls to reform/simplify the way it is spelled.
For example, Yahoo had an article on efforts for pushing simplified spelling, and how they persist.
This idea is not new of course. In 1779, Benjamin Franklin proposed a new phonetic spelling system. You can see the full details on that system in this article. Noah Webster proposed the same in 1789.
On the other hand, you have Mark Twain who mocked the efforts in this piece of satire he wrote:
A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling, by Mark Twain:
For example, in Year 1 that useless letter "c" would be dropped to be replased either by "k" or "s", and likewise "x" would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which "c" would be retained would be the "ch" formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform "w" spelling, so that "which" and "one" would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish "y" replasing it with "i" and Iear 4 might fiks the "g/j" anomali wonse and for all.
Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez "c", "y" and "x" -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais "ch", "sh", and "th" rispektivli.
Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.
This is very similar to the humorous email that is being forwarded for simpler English. It reads:
The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has
been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European
communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that
English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a
five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for
In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c".
Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the
hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up
konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the
troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like
"fotograf" 20 per sent shorter.
In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be
expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are
possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters,
which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil
agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is
disgrasful, and they would go.
By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing
"th" by z" and "w" by " v".
During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords
kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer
kombinations of leters.
After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be
no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand
Ze drem vil finali kum tru.