We have 42 different sounds in English, and we spell them 400 different ways. Isn't that a rather silly thing to do?
Many other languages have undertaken spelling reforms in the 20th century, including French, Greek, Spanish, Swedish, Irish, Japanese and Hebrew. In 1996, four German-speaking countries agreed on a comprehensive spelling reform of the language.
From today's WSJ. There's a movement to simplify spelling. I can't agree more. This is truly egalitarian and progressive, because the current system taxes is biased towards those with higher IQs and education, who know how to spell 'diarrhea' correctly. English has a lot of inefficiencies, but if you read Olde English you see it has gotten better. At least we aren't British English, with 'colour' and pronouncing schedule as 'shedule' (fools!), or French. At Northwestern, I had this fellow student from francophone Africa who spelled his name something like Houencheconne, because that's how the French authorities spelled his name when he pronounced it for them. No teacher came close to pronouncing it correctly when they read his name. I see he changed it to Leonard Wantchekon. I know if I was Wally Szczerbiak, I would change the spelling, because I would get sick of spelling it over the phone. Falkenstein is pretty phonetic, though I guess I could change it to 'Falconstine' to make it easier to pronounce.
I switched to a Dvorak keyboard about 5 years ago. Dvorak has all the most frequently used keys on the home row, so it's easier to type. I read somewhere that it doesn't much matter, and I guess I'm a pretty good typist so my max speed is really constrained by my ability to spell in my head (I often misspell homonyms) rather than in my fingers, but I think I think less about fingering with Dvorak than before. It took me about 3 months to really get used to it, but now it's much easier. Plus, if you have a Dvorak keyboard snoopers won't download porn on your computer when you are out for lunch, because they start typing and see all this gibberish. So, I think such changes are feasible, and good.