Apart from being the editor of the Longman Pronunciation Dictionary,John Wells (emeritus Professor of Phonetics at University College London) is perhaps best known for having written the massive standard work on English pronunciation varieties Accents of English ( 1982 ). He is also an enthusiastic advocate of spelling reform and was President of the English Spelling Society (formerly the Simplified Spelling Society) from 2003–2013. In this extract from a talk which he originally gave to that organisation, Wells examines the need for a reformed alphabet to take account of the ways in which pronunciation varies from one accent to another. The full version of this text can be accessed on: www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/accents_spellingreform.htm