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Don't forget to look at the how to guide.
Discussion in 'English' started by rickochay, Feb 8, 2013.
I try not to take it personally.
Do we think it's our Canadian poster slipping under the wire again? There are similarities in style.
Hey, John and Mike, I think these are the guys who were banned last week.
Have you accepted the battle of Hastings, Sir?
I'm currently bidding on a Paisley shawl for my daughter's birthday. The lot includes a Quebec throw. Not sure what one of those is.
speak, write, read, and have the ability to listen to them as a
native-speaker would? Apart from the one below, which are they?
due respect, to learn Anglo-Saxon should not have been a lot of work,
Dave. It is not like learning a totally different language from a
different family (from Germanic to Germanic in this instance). Dutch
speakers can learn English in a week! Joking! But, it is very easy!
Anyway, good for you for doing so.
is rather unfortunate that you had to malign my ideas as drivel, when
we consider how literate and refined you claim to be! Are we going to
have an ego based discussion here, where you are necessarily right
because you have more caps to your hat, where you are necessarily right
because you qualify what I write as drivel? I am familiar with
dysfunctional communication. Politicians and media offer us plenty of
examples that people probably imitate just because it is ubiquitous, but
you don't know who I am. So, if I were you, I would tone down the
posturing and the rethoric. I have been civil with you up to this time
because you are --unlike some other people on this board-- willing to
debate the topic. Granted, it sounds more like you are willing to
lecture to prove to you or to others that you are very smart and better
than me, just because I happen to have a point of view that you disagree
with. It is rather unfortunate. I should point out to you that I beat
you in every single category that you mentioned in terms of experience
down to degrees and languages I speak. So, please, show a little bit of
respect. Thank you.
Reformists suggest that we reform the
spelling system because it is highly irregular or that we remove words
that belong to loanwords that were not dealt with properly. Take your
pick. Not matter how you look at it. English spelling is a deplorable
mess and, like all rubbish, it needs to be cleaned up. This is not an
extremist point of view. This is an accepted fact in linguistic milieux.
No there is a beautiful French loanword from you that could use a final
"s" or "z" OR could be replaced by some new creation that would use
core Anglo-Saxon words. If traditionalists cannot accept a spelling
change, then they will have to accept this kind of change. Make up your
mind. The laissez-faire (complacency orincompetence) of the past has to
be dealth with because many people are suffering and/or people are
paying through their teeth at filling classrooms with more teachers that
are needed to teach what should be an easier language.
You make a few good points, but unfortunately these have been addressed by most reformists in the past. Here is a link
to a page where all of those points have been addressed. The following
is a rebutal for more points that others have raised. Forgive me for not
addressing all of your points in sequence, but they are addressed
below.You will probably need to go to the site for reference.
#1, all attempts at changing anything appear to have failed - until our
government actually authorizes the change. But it is true that most
complacent - just as they were about the adoption of the Metric system,
which is now
becoming a reality. (Canadian kids do very well with the metric system.
Using feet and thumbs to measure things reminds me of prehistory and
backwardness, but some people like these times I am sure!)
In #2, this idea might have had some validity 3/4 of a century ago, but not now.
(As noted in previous posts, many reformists would not force any literate people to learn a new code.)
The falsity of statement #3 should be obvious. Spelling reform is a serious attempt
at bettering our educational standards.
In another section of this book, it will be shown how to implement a reformed
spelling. Suffice to say that there is for sure a legal and authoritative way - by
government action and decree with government usage as a precedent.
His #5 has no validity. Printers and typesetters do not care if the text they have
to work with is simple or difficult. They are paid by the hour. If it takes longer
to set up an article on medicine, engineering or law, or any other technical jargon,
the author or the publication pays for the difference - not the printer, most of
whom don't even read what they print. What he says about adding new letters to the
alfabet, however, is true.
In #6, no doubt some reprinting will be advisable, but the present literate
population would not need to have books reprinted, nor would they forget how to read
in the old spelling. Only such books as dictionaries or encyclopedias, wherein words
starting with the eliminated silent letters, are relocated, would be affected. But
these new editions would stimulate our economy with new sales.
In #7, the illogicality of this assertion should be easily seen. While the French
word (or spelling) might help a Frenchman understand that particular word, it would
not help a Greek, a German, a Swede, a Russian, or dozens - yea, hundreds of others.
And the large amount of our words were not borrowed from foreign languages but
derived from Latin and Greek, both of which are mutually incompatible.
For #8, we must weigh the advantages and disadvantages. Certainly it is more
important to have a reliable system than our present unreliable system of making
plurals and possessives.
#9 is false because the Greek alfabet is entirely diferent from ours. The Greek
spelling does not have the digraph 'ph' in it. The Greek letter 'phi' (our T.O. name
for it) does not indicate that it should be 'ph' but rather that should be 'f'. And
all languages do not use the 'ph' digraph, viz, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian,
Swedish, Danish, and probably others use 'f' instead. And in Lord Gleichen's
Alphabets of Foreign Nations, p. xiii, it says, "ph must not be used for
this sound (f) in respelling foreign names."
No such artificial digraphs are used in Latin derived words, showing that such a
digraph is unnecessary to indicate ancestry.
#11 may have been true 2 or more centuries ago, but the language has not changed
even slightly in the last century and fixing the spelling along fonetic lines will
tend to prevent changes in pronunciation. The reason why pronunciation
did change centuries ago was because 99% of the population was illiterate and
the spelling had already become an unreliable guide to pronunciation.
#12. The reason why there are differing dialects is because there is no standard
fonetic spelling to be used as a guide to pronunciation. If there were, we would
gradually follow the standard and eventually emerge with a standard speech. And he
exaggerates the amount of differences between dialects. For instance, the dialectal
differences between British and American speech amounts to only a few dozen words
out of the 75,000 in the dictionary.
In #13, the specter of words being spelt in more than one way is held up as a
deterent, yet he seems to be unaware that there are a lot of words which in our
dictionaries have 2 acceptable spellings.- past & passed, color & colour,
honor & honour, program & programme, catalog & catalogue, dialog &
dialogue, prolog & prologue, thru & through, tho & though, altho
& although, donut & doughnut, canceled & cancelled, embarass &
embarrass, to name only a few. And there are 30 listed by Papailiou and Jason
in their thesis (SPB, Spring, 1981 pdf).
In #14, Pitman's experience with his initial teaching alfabet indicates that this
dialectal difficulty is only a minor issue and affects so few words as to be
immaterial. What is more important? - that a few words do not indicate exactly the
real pronunciation, or that most words (in T.O.) do not indicate pronunciation at
all. Shall we reject something that is almost perfect in favor of something that is
#15 is disposed of by the author so no further comment is necessary.
As for the etymological argument, it was also challenged in our Section 5 by Yule
The homophone argument is another "red herring" intended to obscure the
real issue and has little merit, as shown by Ben Franklin and others. Some reformers
even provide two means of portraying the same sound so as to provide means of
differentiating the homophones. But he is right in saying that the gain in
differentiating homographs will balance the loss of differentiation among
David, if the traditionalists cannot or don't want
to fix this unnecessarily complex spelling system, then they must face a
radical change like the one I am suggesting. Language is a tool to
If English was a car, it would not sell. No one
would buy it! Recalls would bankrupt the company. The list of deffects
would be too expensive to print. It is the Skoda of all languages!
Fix this mess of a language. Its spelling system is complete b**.
And may I just say, I'm honoured to be in your company grouch.
What? Grouch now? Are you crazy? It's Gruoch! He is going to kill you! Well! He would kill me, but since you seem to hold the same views, you will be spared! Where is your sense of humour? Jeesh!
Just log out Rik. You're only prolonging the agony.
When you have something interesting to write about, let me know!
I may be so bold, Mr. wannabe Shakespeare, but your a priori stance is completely vacuous! When will you
provide us with a well-formed paragraph that contains pansophy and
What a disappointment you are?
Is that the best you can do?
Shakespeare is rolling in his grave, laughing or crying.