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Phonetic spelling? #179606
10/15/08 02:34 AM
10/15/08 02:34 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 1
Ottawa, Ontario
Timportance Offline OP
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Timportance  Offline OP
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Ottawa, Ontario
I was reading yesterday's "A-Word-A-Day." It discussed Noah Webster's efforts to simplify American English, spelling "colour" as "color" and so forth. I had heard of such things before and I remember thinking at the time that it seemed to be a very sensible idea—especially as one who has suffered through school, being taught why there are so many unecessary letters in the word "taught." English is a product of many different languages and our words are fossils of this evolution, using letters that do not always accurately correspond to how the word is pronounced.

Hebrew is written phonetically. If you can read it, you can say it. My study of Hebrew has lead me to really appreciate phonetic spellings.

My question is simply this: Given English's place as the lingua franca of the world, would it be wiser to switch to a phonetic rendering of our words in order to make the language more logical and easier to understand?

Tim



Check out my website:
http://timmckennabolton.blogspot.com
Comments welcome.
Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: Timportance] #179611
10/15/08 04:36 AM
10/15/08 04:36 AM
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R'lyeh
zmjezhd Offline
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R'lyeh
Hebrew is written phonetically.

Not really. Unless it's the Tanakh (with its nikodoth), they leave off the vowels. In this sense, Italian or Spanish are more phonetic than Hebrew. A phonemically-based spelling system for English would be better than what we've got, but it's hardly likely to happen in our lifetime.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: zmjezhd] #179612
10/15/08 10:11 AM
10/15/08 10:11 AM
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Faldage Offline
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Language Log discusses this topic in its Mark Liberman post of August 19 of this year, Why isn't English a Bar Mitzvah Language?.

Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: Faldage] #179621
10/15/08 09:17 PM
10/15/08 09:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 956
Auckland, New Zealand
olly Offline
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olly  Offline
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Auckland, New Zealand
Phonetics is ok for read'n and write'n but as far as communicating the spoken language is concerned, English, French, German, oh and Aussie, will all be with us for a while.

Last edited by olly; 10/15/08 09:18 PM.
Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: olly] #179622
10/16/08 12:41 AM
10/16/08 12:41 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,067
Tasmania
The Pook Offline
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The Pook  Offline
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 Originally Posted By: olly
Phonetics is ok for read'n and write'n but as far as communicating the spoken language is concerned, English, French, German, oh and Aussie, will all be with us for a while.

Too right, strewth mate and stone the crows!

Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: The Pook] #179624
10/16/08 05:15 AM
10/16/08 05:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,154
British Columbia, Canada
Z
Zed Offline
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Zed  Offline
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Z
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British Columbia, Canada
It is a logical, sensible idea Tim. Which is why I agree with zmjezhd - it won't happen in our lifetime.

(oops my cynicism dial needs to be turned down again)

Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: Zed] #180841
12/11/08 04:29 PM
12/11/08 04:29 PM
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Land of the Flat Water
LukeJavan8 Offline
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I am in agreement: won't happen in our lifetime. And one might wonder when Spanish will be the 'lingua franca' of our world.
It certainly is becoming such in the USA. As a high school teacher I wish it would have been. Always took off for spelling, probably went through thousands of red pens.


----please, draw me a sheep----
Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: LukeJavan8] #180842
12/11/08 04:30 PM
12/11/08 04:30 PM
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Land of the Flat Water
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Speaking of useless letters in 'taught'
I am told there are 9 pronunciations of the letters 'ough' in English, e.g., cough, though, doughty. Anyone know all nine?


----please, draw me a sheep----
Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: LukeJavan8] #180848
12/11/08 05:50 PM
12/11/08 05:50 PM
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this too shall pass
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Originally Posted By: LukeJavan8
Speaking of useless letters in 'taught'
I am told there are 9 pronunciations of the letters 'ough' in English, e.g., cough, though, doughty. Anyone know all nine?


nahbut, here are ten according to wikipedia: link

Re: Phonetic spelling? [Re: tsuwm] #180867
12/11/08 10:27 PM
12/11/08 10:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,157
Land of the Flat Water
LukeJavan8 Offline
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Thanks tsuwm:
I really appreciate it. You folks sure do know how to find things. And quickly. I knew there were a bunch and someone told me nine, but Wiki had ten.
Now it goes into my "little black book of useless things to talk about a cocktail parties", and just in time too.
Seriously: I am very appreciative.


----please, draw me a sheep----
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