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#25719 - 04/02/01 01:17 PM Modernized spelling
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
This morning's newspaper had a fairly lengthy article about Richard L. Wade, an Englishman who is on his personal crusade to reform English spelling. It's nothing new to those who are familiar with all the reform efforts which have been going on since Noah Webster and even earlier, but there is a new wrinkle, in the form of his website http://www.frespeling.com (note the modernized form of "spelling"), which is much more hip than earlier campaigns. I suggest taking a look and let's have some discussion when you have seen it and maybe compared with the sites following:

By way of contrast, the article mentions two other websites devoted to the same cause, http://www.les.aston.ac.uk/sss , which is scholarly, and http://www.americanliteracy.com which is also scholarly. For those who are interested in traditional spelling and spelling bees, there is http://www.spellingbee.com.


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#25720 - 04/02/01 02:27 PM Re: Modernized spelling
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Thanks for the link, Bob. It seems that there may have been a bit of "freespeling" in the URL as provided. I had to insert an extra "e" into the address to get it to work, thus http://www.freespeling.com


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#25721 - 04/02/01 02:56 PM Re: Modernized spelling
Bobyoungbalt Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/22/00
Posts: 1289
Damn. My bad, as was said in a thread some months ago. It is as you gave it, with double-e, of course. Not to offer excuses, but have had considerable difficulty typing with the left hand since I sliced off a goodly chunk of meat from the tip of my left middle finger last week (stupidly not paying attention whilst slicing vegetables). Gives one a new appreciation for the Chinese execution method they called "the 1000 slices". So if you see more typos involving the keys around 'd', you know where they come from, and I don't catch and correct all of them. The bandage is off, but I mucked up the nerve endings, at least temporarily.


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#25722 - 04/02/01 03:04 PM Re: Modernized spelling
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Yowch! Sorry to hear about your DIY manicure. I thought the little typo highlighted the inconsistency of his campaign. Why didn't he spell "free" with only one "e"? Although I know that standardised spelling is a relatively recent development, I am, after reading his page, more convinced than ever that it aids, rather than hinders, clear communication.


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#25723 - 04/02/01 03:23 PM Re: Modernized spelling
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
Oh, now I understand why he wants to free up spelling. Note on his opening page he gives six words which he says only 17% of the English-speaking population can spell. Clearly he's not in that 17%, because he spelled "accommodation" as "acommodation".

[edit]Oh, he was using it as an example. A deliberate misspelling.

One of the reasons it was so difficult to learn to read prior to the later 19thC was that spellings were inconsistent, and in fact the same person would often spell the same word several different ways in the same document. Okay for the writer, not so hot for the reader.

The guy is nuts. I have no patience with people who want to make things more difficult while pursuing the stated goal of making things "easier".

It's a wonder the editors of the OED haven't sent out a posse to lynch him! They wouldn't have to go far, would they?

Oh, and Bob, sorry to hear about your attempt at suicide failing so dismally. Better luck next time!

_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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#25724 - 04/02/01 04:47 PM Re: Modernized spelling
inselpeter Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 2379
Loc: New York City
<<cut finger, misspellings, aso>>

Sorry to hear about your finger, bob, wondered what had become you.

For what it's worth, a friend who doubles as an American history maven says has told me a couple of times that the non-standard spellings of those times are a linguist's treasure trove. From them, according to him, it is possible to reconstruct the sound of English during that period. I have my doubts, especially the vowel sounds may have drifted. As must I. I wanted to get that out, but I haven't slept in days and I need to hi ho off to the pallett. A blessed respite from inselpeter--for you all, if not for me. 'Til next year. IP


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#25725 - 04/03/01 07:16 AM Re: Modernised spelunking
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Doesn't get my vote. Why?

1. I'm naturally reactionary.

2. The language has more sounds than characters, so any system of orthography is going to be far from perfect. I do not see introducing new formations for phonemes as helping in any way, because it would mean that people had to learn that many more.

3. We would lose our etymological connections to the words we read. For instance, as I animadverted long ago, in the infancy of this board, if someone writes chaise longue, I need never have seen one before to get a picture of what it is she might be referring to. Chaise lounge, on the other hand, tells me nothing.

4. Similarly, as IP pointed, our eccentric spelling is a treasure trove of information about pronunciation in the past. Lose it and we lose even more of our ability to comprehend Shakespeare.

5. In any case, if there is a spelling revolution it will come from areas like text messaging, where rebus principles rather than consistency of phonetic content, are much more important. Again, these influences, whilstperhaps 'simplifying' the language in some ways, will not make spelling any easier.

Them's my thoughts, and just because it's you, I'm giving them away for free.

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#25726 - 04/03/01 10:54 AM Re: Modernized spelling
Seian Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/20/01
Posts: 85
Loc: Springfield, MA, USA
Not to offer excuses, but have had considerable difficulty typing with the left hand since I sliced off a goodly chunk of meat from the tip of my left middle finger last week (stupidly not paying attention whilst slicing vegetables).

Ouch! I sympathize, being prone to slicing and dicing my hands one way or another. Ironically, more by paper than the knives (and scalpels) I use for paper cutting here....

But anyway. About www.freespelling.com, I have to agree some words are quite annoying, when it appears english (and other languages) have rules that are repeatedly being broken. "i before e, except after c, except...." As a couple mentioned, what's proposed looks like it will make things more complicated rather than easier. I would find it easier to spell if certain word rules actually applied without so many exceptions. Just changing a few words that annoy us is arbitrary and as annoying as the mistakes that have become accepted words.

To top it off, the abbreviated language shown on the side (in the cell phone use) "I luv u" "c u later" just drives me around the bend. I know it's useful to have shorthand in some situations, but it just looks terrible to me.

To conclude, I think he's got a couple good points, but no solution yet that's any better than the previous failed attempts at language reform.

Ali


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#25727 - 04/04/01 04:01 AM Re: Modernized spelling
belligerentyouth Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/20/00
Posts: 1055
Loc: Berlin
> I think he's got a couple good points, but no solution yet that's any better than the previous failed attempts at language reform.

I agree. How does he hope to tackle the 9* 'sh' sounds with his phonetic spelling? Besides many words are so rarely spoken, their spelling is how they are most readily recognized.
As for your exceptions to rules, you have got to try French sometime. First you learn a rule, then you learn that the 150 or so most useful verbs don't follow it!

as 4 cell fones, i kinda c wot u mean. Im all 4 somethink other than SMS, r u 2 4 that 2?


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#25728 - 04/04/01 09:02 AM Re: New Spell - good luk
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
See? you can't change good to gud ... it doesn't scan or speak!
I sent the dear man a Feedback after reading his site and wished him luck and cheekily noted he would need it.
Also gave him a link to our location ... so watch out! He could be lurking!
And, now that I think of it, how about write and right?
If you try to "write right aboute a rite" how do you NewSpell that and have the meaning clear?
No No No Nope!
wow




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