This sounds odd at first, but it makes sense phonetically. We are looking for the phonetic sound of the characters to inform us.
For vowels, we are looking for the 'long vowel' sound, like in 'oaf,' as compared to 'off.' For consonants, it's the sound like reading out the alphabet that we are looking for.
This is where our N9l really starts to take shape. Let's look at some examples, then we'll look at the benefits of this rule.
Let's start with the word 'english.' It is universally pronounced 'inglish' with even native speakers saying the letter 'i' instead of 'e'. In a very real way, N9l-ish is about correcting these anomalies that make English unnecessarily troublesome to learn.
If we apply rule 1 to the word, we get: 'en9lish' (remembering I have to take special measures with the 'g' in a public font arena to apply rule 1)
If we apply rule 2, we see that in the word 'english' it actually starts 'en'. The letter 'e' makes us 'say' the letter 'N,' as if we were reading the alphabet.
We apply Rule 2 and our word is: N9lish
Other than our 'g' issue (which is a font issue at this point), it is now impossible to pronounce this word wrong, as long as you SAY the characters. Let's look at some more:
example -> rule 1: examPle -> rule 2: XamPle
because the 'e' makes us 'say' the character X. In the new word, the emphasis has shifted slightly because speaking in Capital creates a slight pause around the X as it is spoken as a clear character. When listening to english speakers, sometimes this word comes out more like 'eggsample'.
With the new word, that can't really happen because no one reads the alphabet "double-you, eggs, wy, zee", everyone does make a clear 'ex' sound in such context and this rule brings that clarity into the language.
reasonable -> rule 1: reasonable -> rule 2: rEsonable
in this case the first 'a' makes us 'say' the character E. Say it a few times to yourself with the 'E' clearly enunciated and see if you can notice the slight shift in timing and emphasis that this clarity of character brings.
air -> rule 1: air -> rule 2: Ar
the 'i' makes us 'say' the character A
reach -> rule 1: reach -> rule 2: rEch
the 'a' makes us say the character 'E'
now for some trickier ones:
elementary -> rule 1: elementarY (compensating for font) -> rule 2: LMNtarY (the 'e's each serve to make us 'say' the L, the M and the N properly.)
speechless -> rule 1: sPeechless -> rule 2 -> sPEchlS
the double ee makes us 'say' E and the 'ess' makes us 'say' S.
There can also be cases where there is no surplus vowel, but the 'long vowel' sound is such that we 'say' the letter as if reading the alphabet. These are a straight swap for the capital such as these:
so -> rule 1: so -> rule 2: sO
in english, unless you know, this word could be 'so,' with 'o' as in 'orange' or 'o' as in 'go'. In N9l these are two different sounds with the different character forms for each - impossible to get it wrong once you know the convention.
wind -> rule 1: wind -> rule 2: wInd
in this case, there is no extra vowel, but there is a clear 'I' sound in wInd when in 'wind' it is clearly an 'i' sound. N9l resolves all such anomalies in english that are usually only resolved by context. It is now clear whether one is talking about the wind, as in a breeze, with an 'i' sound or wInd, as in to wInd a motor, which is an 'I' sound
motor -> rule 1: motor -> rule 2: mOtor
notice in this case, N9l resolves the 'rudeness' of english that currently doesn't inform the speaker when a sound is different, as other languages achieve with accents like the hacek or umlaut. Despite the character 'o' appearing twice in the word and sounding different each time in english (which means a native speaker has to inform or correct you,) we can now pronounce it perfectly every time, as can new speakers.
hello -> rule 1: hello -> rule 2: hLlO
in this case, the 'e' makes us 'say' the first L. There is a question over the second 'l.' As it is, it creates a slightly extended pronunciation as it is not a 'silent' character as it is in english ie when people say 'hello' it is usually not different to how they would say 'helo', when it could, and perhaps should be. You can get involved in questions like this later!
here are some other easy examples, see if you can pronounce them properly with the capitals to guide you:
9O, shOw, rObot, vEhicle, rAce, rEP, tLl, rePL, rePl, rElax, rEPEt, bOt, strEt, trE, hOme, rOd, rEtAn, rAl, snAl
did you get them all? click here for the answers if you missed any
integrating the capitals starts to resolve many of the confusing anomalies of english, and make pronunciation easier and much clearer. The effort must be made to pronounce the capitals. One of the casual ways of referring to N9l is 'Speaking in Character'.
Notice the changes in the time and emphasis of words as you make the effort to say the characters. In short order you will make them much clearer. The more you can 'perfect' saying the capital the better your N9l will be.
You may also have been thinking of words and noticed obvious syntax rules or exceptions jumping to mind quite quickly. Don't worry - the later rules will satisfy you!
If you are getting at all excited by the possibilities yet, there will be plenty chance for you to practice communicating in N9l with others, get on board to help with resolving syntax questions and unraveling further translations.
You will even be able to studying some of the rich philosophy behind N9l and its relationship with the other latin alphabet languages in the online Character Garden which will be opening its doors soon.
Some Philosophy of N9l
It is interesting that even the foremost 'authorities' on the English language acknowledge its lack of clear foundation and ongoing oversight:
This article in the Oxford online dictionaries details this somewhat in acknowledging it is the only major language without an academy or body to oversee its rules and development. This, and the also-mentioned fact that even the idea of 'correct spelling' in english is a 'new' concept only a few centuries old.
What this tells us is that the endless contradictions and seemingly daft spellings (words where the characters do not accurately tell you how to pronounce a word) are a product of chaos rather than order, and that a natural order is still arising within the language.
N9l suggests an order that is mutually agreeable on a phonetic and true-to-character basis, making the language easier to learn, to speak, and to read properly. This is all achieved without really making changes to the spoken language itself, other than some slight shifts in timing and pronunciation.
N9l also follows naturally from the linguistic 'transitional extremism' of random and chaotic use of capitals and number in text and e-speak in recent years. N9l is a suggested 'stabilised,' mutually agreeable language form for this that can be read and used by anyone who can read the alphabet.