English Spelling Reform
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08-02-2016, 07:15 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(08-02-2016 07:06 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  And yes, loan words would be homogenized. For example, in my proposed system, "coup d'état" would become "kúdeita."

That is so ugly and ridiculous that it is reason enough not to do it. Drinking Beverage

That phrase is not English and is not yours to fuck with.

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08-02-2016, 07:47 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
I'm a horrible, dreadful speller. I spell things the way they sounds in my head. Unfortunately that's not the way English is written. If I could change one thing about myself, my inability to spell would be it. I'm not sure why I can't spell. I'm simple minded? Overly imaginative? I donno. I'm not an idiot, I'm curious and love to learn but for some reason spelling just didn't seep into my brain when I was little. I try not to use spell check so I can learn how to spell without using it as a crutch so I end up looking up words all the time on the internet. It takes me forever to write stuff when I post here on the forum.

Like the word "ridiculous". I don't hear the first "i" as an i. I hear it as and "e" so for years before spell check came along I spelled ridiculous, "rediculous with an "e". Isn't that rediculous?


It's mostly the vowels that I get mixed up. A's, e's and i's sound the same to me. Sometimes an 'o' won't sound like an o in my head either. Sigh.

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He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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08-02-2016, 08:10 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(08-02-2016 06:45 PM)Banjo Wrote:  This is how "colour" is spelled. Smile

And this is how "color" is spelled
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08-02-2016, 08:37 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
Chas, it is only "ugly and ridiculous" in comparison to the spelling to which you are accustomed. I submit to you that there is nothing inherently more respectable about "coup d'état," but you likely perceive it as more elegant just because you've been conditioned for so long to think there's something special about it. Please consider the possibility that you are confusing sheer familiarity with intrinsic beauty. A hypothetical person raised and educated under reformed spelling would probably find "kúdeita" perfectly pretty while finding "coup d'état" quite odd and possibly grotesque.

As for it not being English, if it's in the dictionary (and it is), it's ours. Plus, at least half of the English lexicon is ultimately French (or Latin). While I suppose there should be a minimum age for loan words to be respelled (e.g. it must have been in the language for at least 50 years before it is Anglicized), I don't believe any word should escape orthographic naturalization forever. Much of the problem is that so many words have done exactly that for centuries.

Dancefortwo, could I talk you into experimenting with my proposed spelling system? I would be very interested to see how much easier it might be for someone with challenges like yours.

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08-02-2016, 08:42 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2016 08:45 PM by Chas.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
(08-02-2016 08:37 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  Chas, it is only "ugly and ridiculous" in comparison to the spelling to which you are accustomed. I submit to you that there is nothing inherently more respectable about "coup d'état," but you likely perceive it as more elegant just because you've been conditioned for so long to think there's something special about it. Please consider the possibility that you are confusing sheer familiarity with intrinsic beauty. A hypothetical person raised and educated under reformed spelling would probably find "kúdeita" perfectly pretty while finding "coup d'état" quite odd and possibly grotesque.

As for it not being English, if it's in the dictionary (and it is), it's ours. Plus, at least half of the English lexicon is ultimately French (or Latin). While I suppose there should be a minimum age for loan words to be respelled (e.g. it must have been in the language for at least 50 years before it is Anglicized), I don't believe any word should escape orthographic naturalization forever. Much of the problem is that so many words have done exactly that for centuries.

Dancefortwo, could I talk you into experimenting with my proposed spelling system? I would be very interested to see how much easier it might be for someone with challenges like yours.

I object to your use of the term 'conditioned'. I gave you valid objections to the change of spelling.

You have yet to address the actual objections of disruption and cost.

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08-02-2016, 09:10 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2016 10:10 PM by Fireball.)
RE: English Spelling Reform
Quote:='julep' pid='943377' dateline='1454978614'
My husband tells me French has recently done something like this. Do you think this is feasible given that English is a more widespread language than French? Who would be the authorities who would be able to change spelling?

It's probably easier to teach a man to catch a ghoti than to spell the same, I'll give you that.

"Regularization" of French spelling actually occurred in the 1800s. When you see a caret over the vowel in a word, you still know how to say it, but the caret is there to tell the old folks that there used to be an "s" after that vowel. 120 year old news, but it's from France; I'm not faulting you. France actually has a committee that has as its mission to maintain the "purity" of the language.

"ghoti"- you crack me up! I heard that joke decades ago! (I'm OLD)

Glossophile, if you want it all tied down and regular to nearly the last detail, just move to Germany. I admire the fact that German is pretty much always spelled the way it sounds, and if you see it in writing, you can pronounce it.
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08-02-2016, 09:22 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(08-02-2016 09:10 PM)Fireball Wrote:  
(08-02-2016 06:43 PM)julep Wrote:  My husband tells me French has recently done something like this. Do you think this is feasible given that English is a more widespread language than French? Who would be the authorities who would be able to change spelling?

It's probably easier to teach a man to catch a ghoti than to spell the same, I'll give you that.

"Regularization" of French spelling actually occurred in the 1800s. When you see a caret over the vowel in a word, you still know how to say it, but the caret is there to tell the old folks that there used to be an "s" after that vowel. 120 year old news, but it's from France; I'm not faulting you. France actually has a committee that has as its mission to maintain the "purity" of the language.

"ghoti"- you crack me up! I heard that joke decades ago! (I'm OLD)

Glossophile, if you want it all tied down and regular to nearly the last detail, just move to Germany. I admire the fact that German is pretty much always spelled the way it sounds, and if you see it in writing, you can pronounce it.

Missing ].

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08-02-2016, 09:24 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
I apologize, but at the time, I couldn't think of a better word. Maybe "acculturated" would've been better. In any case, you weren't being singled out. We've all been acculturated in this sense, including me. I'm just asking you to try looking at it more from the point of view of an outsider to Anglophone culture.

So far, you've mentioned disruption and aesthetic novelty. I've already explained why I don't rate aesthetic concerns very highly. They're just too subjective and fleeting. From the perspective of someone reared from childhood with reformed spelling, the new version would most likely be "pretty" and the old one "ugly," exactly the converse of your impressions. Why should I necessarily privilege the aesthetic judgments of conservatists over those of the very same future generations that reform is most intended to help? As for disruption, depending on what exactly you mean, I believe I've already addressed that as well with the whole notion of pre-reform literature being dutifully transcribed into the new system for posterity. Or did you mean something different by "disruption"?

As for cost, I'll admit I haven't said much on that, but my modest success at developing a transcriber program demonstrates that transcription software need not be fantastically expensive, at least. Also, one possibility is that the money saved by the substantially reduced demand for extended literacy training (research suggests savings of about two years' worth of schooling in reading and writing) could be channeled into the mass transcription effort, thus allowing the transition to at least partially pay for itself.

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08-02-2016, 09:33 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
(08-02-2016 09:24 PM)Glossophile Wrote:  I apologize, but at the time, I couldn't think of a better word. Maybe "acculturated" would've been better. In any case, you weren't being singled out. We've all been acculturated in this sense, including me. I'm just asking you to try looking at it more from the point of view of an outsider to Anglophone culture.

So far, you've mentioned disruption and aesthetic novelty.

And loss of information.

Quote:I've already explained why I don't rate aesthetic concerns very highly.

It's not aesthetics, it's information; specifically the loss thereof.

Quote:They're just too subjective and fleeting. From the perspective of someone reared from childhood with reformed spelling, the new version would most likely be "pretty" and the old one "ugly," exactly the converse of your impressions.

The 'ugly' referred to your one example.

Quote:Why should I necessarily privilege the aesthetic judgments of conservatists over those of the very same future generations that reform is most intended to help? As for disruption, depending on what exactly you mean, I believe I've already addressed that as well with the whole notion of pre-reform literature being dutifully transcribed into the new system for posterity. Or did you mean something different by "disruption"?


Yes, I meant the actual disruption that would last for generations.

Quote:As for cost, I'll admit I haven't said much on that, but my modest success at developing a transcriber program demonstrates that transcription software need not be fantastically expensive, at least.

Do you have any realistic concept of the actual amount of text in existence?

Quote:Also, one possibility is that the money saved by the substantially reduced demand for extended literacy training (research suggests savings of about two years' worth of schooling in reading and writing) could be channeled into the mass transcription effort, thus allowing the transition to at least partially pay for itself.

Who is going to do that transcription? Who will train them?

Your plan has about 0% chance of gaining any real traction. If English is too difficult for people, some other language will win.
Why not do attack a real problem like how to alphabetize Chinese?

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08-02-2016, 09:54 PM
RE: English Spelling Reform
How would information be lost if all texts are either already transcribed or easily transcribable by software?

What other form of disruption would there be that would last for generations?

The amount of text in existence is enormous, I'm sure (to the point that "enormous" doesn't really do it justice), which is why I've proposed the development of on-demand transcription software, so that only the more important texts have to be transcribed en masse. The really obscure stuff can be transcribed as needed on a personal basis.

The transcription would be done mostly by computers, which means that very little training will be necessary. What I imagine is that human transcribers would only get involved when the computer encounters a word it doesn't quite know what to do with and alerts them that it needs some help, which I think would be a proportionally rare occurrence.

Chinese has already been alphabetized in the form of Pinyin, unless by "alphabetized" you meant rendered into an alphabet for use as an official standard orthography rather than a teaching aid for the traditional characters.

The only sacred truth in science is that there are no sacred truths. – Carl Sagan
Sōla vēritās sancta in philosophiā nātūrālī est absentia vēritātum sanctārum.
Ἡ μόνη ἱερᾱ̀ ἀληθείᾱ ἐν φυσικῇ φιλοσοφίᾳ ἐστίν ἡ ἱερῶν ἀληθειῶν σπάνις.
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