Good things about current spelling that a would-be reformer should be aware of, but might not be.Edit
This essay is a counterpart to Clearest Problems of Modern English Spelling.
Low vowel splits are not indicatedEdit
In general, not indicating these splits is a good thing. None of the splits is complete for all English speakers, and in most cases, which words have the split is predictable from the other sounds in the word.
Short a splitsEdit
TRAP-BATH split should not be indicated: it’s a fairly pred. split, so there isn’t much ambiguity in the current orthography. There are some words that may fall into either set. Not all Brits have it.
LAD-BAD split should not be indicated: it is predictable in all but a very small number of words. TRAP-FATHER split should not be indicated: very few words fall into the FATHER lexical set. Some of them, such as loanwords, show some variabilty and may fall into either set.
So, an ideal international orthography for English would have a unified representation of a single LAD-BAD-BATH-FATHER lexical set, as in current spelling.
Short o splitsEdit
LOT-CLOTH split should not be indicated: it is a fairly predictable split, and many people do not distinguish the two, either due to lacking the split or to having a subsequent remerger.