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  #1  
Old 04-18-2012, 01:52 AM
Jim B. Jim B. is offline
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Spelling Reform.

Tha simp'l fakt ov tha matter iz, inglish pronunsiashun iz a relik ov tha past. Bayst on tha fifteenth sentury rather than twenty-furst, inglish pronunsiashun confuzez nyu lernerz. Jermanz and italyanz hav a literal spelling sistem. In fakt, italyan kidz lern too spell and read in only a frakshun ov tha time with tha Montessori sistem.

(Well, I think the time has come for English spelling reform. What do the rest of you think?)

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  #2  
Old 04-18-2012, 04:34 AM
2sense 2sense is offline
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Yes pls. (And lets include y'all.) I'm not from the South but not differentiating between third person singular and third person plural is a pain.
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2012, 05:09 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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It would be nice if English spelling followed consistent phonetic rules. But I don't think reform is feasible. English is too widespread; you'd never get any agreement on anything.
Trying to implement spelling reforms would make the situation worse as you'd just have more words with alternate spellings for different territories.

Last edited by Mijin; 04-18-2012 at 05:10 AM..
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2012, 05:31 AM
Smapti Smapti is online now
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How exactly do you propose to institute such a "reform"? It's not as though the government can compel the dictionary industry to change spellings or fine newspapers for using "through" instead of "throo".
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:24 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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Maybe we could fit all the phonemes on dice.


More seriously, I think the Cherokee syllabary is the way to go, if we could start over.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2012, 06:52 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Smapti View Post
How exactly do you propose to institute such a "reform"? It's not as though the government can compel the dictionary industry to change spellings or fine newspapers for using "through" instead of "throo".
Governments can indeed implement such reforms; they've done so in a number of countries. It's not dictionaries or publications that are the issue per se, but in America I'm sure it would be quickly made into a civil liberties issue and would never catch on.
And the US would have no authority to mandate spelling to other english-speaking countries.

Last edited by Mijin; 04-18-2012 at 06:55 AM..
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2012, 07:12 AM
amanset amanset is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
Governments can indeed implement such reforms; they've done so in a number of countries. It's not dictionaries or publications that are the issue per se, but in America I'm sure it would be quickly made into a civil liberties issue and would never catch on.
Yet the US managed spelling reform in the past, something that (as far as I am aware) hasn't been done in other English-speaking countries.
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2012, 07:43 AM
Smapti Smapti is online now
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Originally Posted by amanset View Post
Yet the US managed spelling reform in the past, something that (as far as I am aware) hasn't been done in other English-speaking countries.
At the time the US became a nation, English spelling wasn't nearly as standardized as it is today.
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2012, 07:57 AM
Frodo Frodo is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Tha simp'l fakt ov tha matter iz, inglish pronunsiashun iz a relik ov tha past. Bayst on tha fifteenth sentury rather than twenty-furst, inglish pronunsiashun confuzez nyu lernerz. Jermanz and italyanz hav a literal spelling sistem. In fakt, italyan kidz lern too spell and read in only a frakshun ov tha time with tha Montessori sistem.

(Well, I think the time has come for English spelling reform. What do the rest of you think?)

prich it broder!
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:04 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by amanset View Post
Yet the US managed spelling reform in the past, something that (as far as I am aware) hasn't been done in other English-speaking countries.
Yep, I was aware of the whole Webster thing; I meant that spelling reform would not be feasible going forwards.
I think the culture of the US is different enough now that any effort to reform spelling would be seen as the man telling you what you can't say. Or spitting on spelling bee children.

Last edited by Mijin; 04-18-2012 at 08:04 AM..
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  #11  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:54 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Tha simp'l fakt ov tha matter iz, inglish pronunsiashun iz a relik ov tha past. Bayst on tha fifteenth sentury rather than twenty-furst, inglish pronunsiashun confuzez nyu lernerz. Jermanz and italyanz hav a literal spelling sistem. In fakt, italyan kidz lern too spell and read in only a frakshun ov tha time with tha Montessori sistem.

(Well, I think the time has come for English spelling reform. What do the rest of you think?)

I think it's a great idea. Please start after I'm dead.
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  #12  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:17 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
inglish pronunsiashun confuzez nyu lernerz
So we should all start spelling like LOLcats?

Why not leave spelling alone and "reform" pronunciation?
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:26 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
nyu
Are you talking about standardising spelling, pronunciation, or both, because there's no way to standardise spelling alone (case in point - "new" isn't 'nyu' to all English speakers)
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:30 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Exactly. Whose pronunciation would be the basis for the spelling?
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:31 AM
Nava Nava is online now
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
(Well, I think the time has come for English spelling reform. What do the rest of you think?)

That it won't make sense in any case, given the diversity of pronunciations y'all have, and that's without adding us foreigners to the mess. Either any given word ends up with a dozen different spellings, or there will always be someone who looks at the spelling and says "but that's not how I pronounce it!".

Last edited by Nava; 04-18-2012 at 09:33 AM..
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2012, 09:58 AM
What the .... ?!?! What the .... ?!?! is offline
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But what about the spelling police who get all superior on your ass? At least there would be fewer muscle strains from self back patting. (I'm always looking to improve the US healthcare system too btw).

Last edited by What the .... ?!?!; 04-18-2012 at 09:59 AM.. Reason: Wouldn't want to use the wrong there/their now would I?
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  #17  
Old 04-18-2012, 10:06 AM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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I think you're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Online communication, particularly chat- and textspeak, has already destroyed standardized spelling as we know it. Generations of kids are learning to communicate only in their own personalized phonetic alphabet, and there's no sanction for doing so. Far from converging on standardization, watch for "inventive spelling" to infiltrate even formal communications within our lifetime. The pedant's apocalypse is on the horizon. Get your affairs in order.
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  #18  
Old 04-18-2012, 10:11 AM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Exactly. Whose pronunciation would be the basis for the spelling?
I'm reminded of the anecdote I encountered in a lingistics text I used that noted the difficulty one visitor had when they kept asking for the koht hahss and getting confused looks until one local finally recognized their dialect and pointed them to the korrt haous. And that was between two people who lived only about 500 miles apart, (South Carolina to Pennsylvania). If we start including all the pronunciations of all the dialects of North America, the UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, various Caribbean locales, India, and assorted other regions, the language will have already completely changed by the time that any agreement is reached on the topic.

Spelling will change the way it always has: we are already seeing "lite" and "thru" and numerous other words simplified in popular media. An official effort will just muddy the water.
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2012, 10:23 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Originally Posted by Vinyl Turnip View Post
I think you're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Online communication, particularly chat- and textspeak, has already destroyed standardized spelling as we know it. Generations of kids are learning to communicate only in their own personalized phonetic alphabet, and there's no sanction for doing so. Far from converging on standardization, watch for "inventive spelling" to infiltrate even formal communications within our lifetime. The pedant's apocalypse is on the horizon. Get your affairs in order.
On the "A Way With Words" public radio show, Grant Barrett has reported studies that show this is not true. Text-speak is a contextualized jargon like any other in-group jargon or slang.
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  #20  
Old 04-18-2012, 11:16 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Nava View Post
That it won't make sense in any case, given the diversity of pronunciations y'all have, and that's without adding us foreigners to the mess. Either any given word ends up with a dozen different spellings, or there will always be someone who looks at the spelling and says "but that's not how I pronounce it!".
In, say, American English there is at least an informal standard or "average" pronunciation that is clear to everyone.
And even in phonetic languages, there is some variation in pronunciation, but people are used to thinking of "newsreader" pronunciation in terms of how words are spelled -- a similar thing would happen if English became phonetically spelled.

Again, I don't think reform is feasible for english, but that particular objection isn't the reason why IMO.

Last edited by Mijin; 04-18-2012 at 11:20 AM..
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  #21  
Old 04-18-2012, 11:19 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Regional variations haven't stopped many countries from implementing spelling reforms. That's because most countries do have a standard pronunciation (whether it's a formal standard or merely the "average" of how everyone speaks) that everyone understands.
In phonetic languages, people are used to thinking of "newsreader" pronunciation in terms of how words are spelled.

Again, I don't think reform is feasible for english, but that particular objection isn't the reason why IMO.
Actually, it is. There is no single standard pronunciation in English. Even if you argue that there is a standard American pronunciation (which is fairly loose standard), it's not the only standard. Even in England, Received Pronunciation is no longer the mandatory newsreader pronunciation.
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  #22  
Old 04-18-2012, 11:23 AM
heathen earthling heathen earthling is offline
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I find reformed spelling like the OP harder to read. I don't read by pronouncing the letters, I read by visually recognizing the words. As text-based language displaces spoken language as the primary form of communication for many people, pronunciation is increasingly irrelevant.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2012, 12:51 PM
Frodo Frodo is offline
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Use whatever regional accent you want to use, but at least make it coherent, I can read and write in English with some success, but I'm still reeling from the fact that you pronounce "read" differently depending on the verb tense, even when its written the same way...
and that at least has some rule that you can learn to help you, but it seems to me that there is no way to know how a word is pronounced without first hearing someone say it, and that's just WRONG.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2012, 01:28 PM
Boyo Jim Boyo Jim is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
It would be nice if English spelling followed consistent phonetic rules. But I don't think reform is feasible. English is too widespread; you'd never get any agreement on anything...
Who needs agreement? That's why America has the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.

America -- Fuck Yeah!
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2012, 02:01 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Actually, it is. There is no single standard pronunciation in English. Even if you argue that there is a standard American pronunciation (which is fairly loose standard), it's not the only standard. Even in England, Received Pronunciation is no longer the mandatory newsreader pronunciation.
The point was about people seeing a word spelled phonetically and not understanding or not agreeing with the spelling. But basically everyone is aware of a standard way of pronouncing most words.
If you were to ask someone from Glasgow, Liverpool, Somerset, how would a newsreader on the national news pronounce <this word>, they will agree on the same pronunciation (minor emphasis and accent differences aside) because, for one thing, they will have all seen the national news.

As for standardizing English internationally, it's not going to happen for practical / political reasons (just like nationally). But I don't think differences in US and UK pronunciation are that great that you couldn't in principle standardize spellings for most words. In most cases, there's just differences in emphasis, and many phonetic languages give limited information on emphasis in their written form anyway.
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  #26  
Old 04-18-2012, 04:19 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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I find reformed spelling like the OP harder to read. I don't read by pronouncing the letters, I read by visually recognizing the words. As text-based language displaces spoken language as the primary form of communication for many people, pronunciation is increasingly irrelevant.
We're even seeing the rise of words, like "pwn", that have a clear, agreed-upon spelling, but no unambiguous pronunciation.
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  #27  
Old 04-18-2012, 05:14 PM
cckerberos cckerberos is offline
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Originally Posted by heathen earthling View Post
I find reformed spelling like the OP harder to read. I don't read by pronouncing the letters, I read by visually recognizing the words. As text-based language displaces spoken language as the primary form of communication for many people, pronunciation is increasingly irrelevant.
Just to make clear, the "reformed spelling" of the OP was a joke and pretty much nothing like what real spelling reform would look like. In every case of implemented spelling reform that I'm aware of, 95% of words are untouched.
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  #28  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:29 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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We're even seeing the rise of words, like "pwn", that have a clear, agreed-upon spelling, but no unambiguous pronunciation.
It's less ambiguous than most people give it credit: it is nearly universally pronounced as if it were spelled "pone" in actual usage. Trying to pronounce it the same as "own" makes it impossible to distinguish from the word spelled "own."

Anyways, my problem with spelling reform is that there's no clear target that needs reform. There's no one change that would make things significantly more phonetic. Or, at least, I've never seen one offered.
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  #29  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:04 AM
drbhoneydew drbhoneydew is offline
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Use whatever regional accent you want to use, but at least make it coherent, I can read and write in English with some success, but I'm still reeling from the fact that you pronounce "read" differently depending on the verb tense, even when its written the same way...
and that at least has some rule that you can learn to help you, but it seems to me that there is no way to know how a word is pronounced without first hearing someone say it, and that's just WRONG.
You can usually have a pretty fair guess though, -ough words excepted. The thing is, it's a false assumption that the written and spoken forms of a language having such a direct mapping is desirable and necessary. Gaelic and Welsh have pretty direct linkage but look a mess when written down despite sounding lovely.
Once you get past the madness of some short/common words (and the pronunciation of the name of the language not matching its spelling), the spelling/pronunciation mapping is actually pretty regularised if quirky. Even on the short rule breakers and irregular verbs, you probably wouldn't like the changes as phonetic normalisation would rub up against words that we already have and would possibly confuse in many contexts that are fixed by social magic when speaking.
English has a lot of homophones caused by its varied roots in Saxon, Celtic, Norse and Norman French and, as such, the written form needs a method of distinguishing between them. With a phonetic spelling reform it would be a lot harder to discern that the middle word in "I've red eyes" and "I've read minds" has a different meaning. The written form isn't just a pronunciation guide, it's a visual etymological and root meaning store with a built-in homophonic ambiguity fixer. It would be a shame to lose those features for the sake of marginally speeding up some kids' reading and writing.

For all the complications of our orthography, at least we don't suffer the madness of noun gender or the German counting system - 1 hundred, 1 and 20 thousand, 4 hundred, 2 and 30 (speaking 1 1 2 , 4 2 3 for 121,432).
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  #30  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:25 AM
Fake Tales of San Francisco Fake Tales of San Francisco is offline
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ˈaɪ prəˈpoʊz ˈt ˈevrɪˌbədiː ʃʊd ˈlərn ənd ˈmstər ˌaɪpiːˈeɪ, ˈt ˈweɪ ˈɔl ˈkˌsent ˌveriːˈeɪʃən kən ˈbiː əˈkʊntɪd fər, ənd ˈlərnɪŋ ˈəər ˈlŋgwɪdʒɪz wəd ˈbiː ˈsoʊ ˈmətʃ iːziːje.

Also, the biggest problem I see with the OP is that the orthography of phonetics using the alphabet isn't universally agreed upon. Plus there's the issue of having two written Englishes, one that everyone else follows, and one that just America follows. Doesn't seem like a good idea.

Last edited by Fake Tales of San Francisco; 04-19-2012 at 07:30 AM..
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  #31  
Old 04-19-2012, 07:41 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I think that saying that there are "two written Englishes" is significantly overstating the situation.
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  #32  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:00 AM
Frodo Frodo is offline
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Originally Posted by drbhoneydew View Post
You can usually have a pretty fair guess though, -ough words excepted. The thing is, it's a false assumption that the written and spoken forms of a language having such a direct mapping is desirable and necessary. Gaelic and Welsh have pretty direct linkage but look a mess when written down despite sounding lovely.
Once you get past the madness of some short/common words (and the pronunciation of the name of the language not matching its spelling), the spelling/pronunciation mapping is actually pretty regularised if quirky. Even on the short rule breakers and irregular verbs, you probably wouldn't like the changes as phonetic normalisation would rub up against words that we already have and would possibly confuse in many contexts that are fixed by social magic when speaking.
English has a lot of homophones caused by its varied roots in Saxon, Celtic, Norse and Norman French and, as such, the written form needs a method of distinguishing between them. With a phonetic spelling reform it would be a lot harder to discern that the middle word in "I've red eyes" and "I've read minds" has a different meaning. The written form isn't just a pronunciation guide, it's a visual etymological and root meaning store with a built-in homophonic ambiguity fixer. It would be a shame to lose those features for the sake of marginally speeding up some kids' reading and writing.

For all the complications of our orthography, at least we don't suffer the madness of noun gender or the German counting system - 1 hundred, 1 and 20 thousand, 4 hundred, 2 and 30 (speaking 1 1 2 , 4 2 3 for 121,432).
The etymological aspect it's certainly fascinating, but I'm not sure it justifies making the language so damn hard to learn to pronounce correctly.
It's exasperating, when compared to Spanish, that is (to my Spanish as first language eyes at least) pretty much a phonetic language where A always sounds the same way, independently from the letters around it, B always sound the same way, etc (there are a couple of exceptions like (L, LL) and (R, RR) or the G and U thing (as in GUERRA) but the rules are simple and consistent)

Now Spanish has noun genders and a lot of verb conjugations (is conjugation the right English word?) so no language is perfect, but I think that if it was possible in practice (which I doubt) English would benefit from making it more phonetic.

Last edited by Frodo; 04-19-2012 at 09:01 AM..
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  #33  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:08 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Tha simp'l fakt ov tha matter iz, inglish pronunsiashun iz a relik ov tha past. Bayst on tha fifteenth sentury rather than twenty-furst, inglish pronunsiashun confuzez nyu lernerz.
Modern English pronunciation is a relic of the past? What does that even mean?
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:14 AM
Frodo Frodo is offline
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Modern English pronunciation is a relic of the past? What does that even mean?
Perhaps he meant to say English spelling?
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  #35  
Old 04-19-2012, 10:19 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Use whatever regional accent you want to use, but at least make it coherent, I can read and write in English with some success,
Putting it mildly. I never realized you weren't a native English speaker, and now I'm wondering how many other regular posters on these boards are non-native Anglophones and I never suspected it. Huh. Learn something new every day.
Quote:
but I'm still reeling from the fact that you pronounce "read" differently depending on the verb tense, even when its written the same way...
and that at least has some rule that you can learn to help you, but it seems to me that there is no way to know how a word is pronounced without first hearing someone say it, and that's just WRONG.
Oh well, Chinese is worse [/feeble evasion]. Yup, I'm afraid there's no way around the fact that written English is not reliably phonetic.

Read it and weep. But don't read it aloud, because you won't be able to pronounce it. Some of those can trip me up, and I'm a fairly hyper-literate native English speaker.
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  #37  
Old 04-19-2012, 11:12 AM
gracer gracer is offline
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Nah, it's horribly confusing. In the Netherlands people are obsessed with either changing the spelling or protesting the latest changes, with the result that nobody can spell to save their lives.

They left the spelling alone from the '50s until 1996, when I was at school. Suddenly there were huge changes and I had to relearn all the spelling. Ruggegraat (spine) was changed to ruggengraat; pannekoek was changed to pannenkoek. The same rule for all similar words, except all plants and except some random words. The rules were changed for other things too: zeeend (sea duck, is that even a real animal?) became zee-eend and all similar words, except some of them which didn't change.

Of course many people disagreed with certain changes and kept using the old spelling, even newspapers and the like, so you didn't see it consistently to even get used it.

Only ten years later, my poor brain still hurting, they changed it all again. Some things were changed back, peoples were to be capitalised (Joden for the people, joden for the religious), paardebloem (dandelion) became paardenbloem.

Only this time, the people weren't going to stand for nonsensical new spelling. The "Green Book" (the book of new spelling) was declared the enemy and to solve the problem of having confusing spelling, the "White Book" was published, with completely different rules.

Now trying to write anything goes like this:

[shout to colleague] "Does paardebloem have an n in it?"
- "Well, let's see, is the rule that because it's not really a horse you don't add an n?"
"No, that's old spelling, now it has an n, because you just go with the actual plural form, right?"
- No, then they changed it again, because they changed all the plants."
"Yeah, but they changed it having an n, right?"
- "Oh wait, do you use the Green Book or the White Book?"
"I'll just say "flower" instead..."

Just a word of warning...

Last edited by gracer; 04-19-2012 at 11:13 AM..
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  #38  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:04 PM
Fake Tales of San Francisco Fake Tales of San Francisco is offline
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I think that saying that there are "two written Englishes" is significantly overstating the situation.
I'm not sure if I understand what you're getting at. My point was that it wouldn't be a good idea, hypothetically, to have two highly distinctive versions of English in written form. I wouldn't be able to communicate with you on this message board for starters.
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  #39  
Old 04-19-2012, 01:11 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Tha simp'l fakt ov tha matter iz, inglish pronunsiashun iz a relik ov tha past. Bayst on tha fifteenth sentury rather than twenty-furst, inglish pronunsiashun confuzez nyu lernerz. Jermanz and italyanz hav a literal spelling sistem. In fakt, italyan kidz lern too spell and read in only a frakshun ov tha time with tha Montessori sistem.

(Well, I think the time has come for English spelling reform. What do the rest of you think?)

If your point is this crap is readible, it is, but only at about 10% of my normal reading speed.
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  #40  
Old 04-19-2012, 05:52 PM
Sam Lowry Sam Lowry is offline
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Originally Posted by Mijin View Post
In, say, American English there is at least an informal standard or "average" pronunciation that is clear to everyone.
And even in phonetic languages, there is some variation in pronunciation, but people are used to thinking of "newsreader" pronunciation in terms of how words are spelled -- a similar thing would happen if English became phonetically spelled.

Again, I don't think reform is feasible for english, but that particular objection isn't the reason why IMO.
I don't know if that's true. I can clearly understand all of the anchors on all the TV news shows. If I heard Anderson Cooper say hour, dawn, crayon, or any number of other words I'd understand him, but if you asked me ahead of time how he pronounced them, I could only guess.
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  #41  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:15 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Originally Posted by gracer View Post
Nah, it's horribly confusing. In the Netherlands people are obsessed with either changing the spelling or protesting the latest changes, with the result that nobody can spell to save their lives. [...]
Thank you gracer, that was wonderful. I lived in the Netherlands for a couple of years and it was definitely amusing to see all these highly educated people I worked with arguing with each other from time to time over how to spell what seemed like the simplest words.

On the other hand, I guess it must be equally amusing for the Dutch and other people with phonographic spelling to see highly educated native English speakers arguing over how to pronounce a word that both have seen written but neither has ever heard spoken.

"Oh, that word is 'terpsichorean' [terp-SICH-orean], meaning having to do with dance."
"Yeah, I know, but it's pronounced 'terpsiCHORean', like rhymes with DeLorean."
"What?! No. The name is TerpSICh-o-re, the Greek muse of dance."
"But that's not how you say the adjective form, it changes stress. You know, like the god's name is A-POLL-o, but something having to do with Apollo is A-poll-O-nian."
"Look, I don't care about Apollo, I'm talking about the word terpSIChorean, and that's how it's pronounced."

Etc. etc.

I now realize that I am not in fact entirely sure how to pronounce "terpsichorean" so I'm off to look it up.

...

Jesus. According to Dictionary.com, it's actually said with the accent on the fourth syllable, as if you were saying "turpsy-Korean".

I swear to Og I did not stage-manage this example, I honestly started this post thinking that "terpsichorean" was a slightly tricky word to pronounce but that I, as a well-read and articulate native English speaker, did know how to pronounce it.

Well, it just goes to show how hellish English pronunciation really can be.
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  #42  
Old 04-19-2012, 06:25 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Here's my vote: Stop trying to declare some official "right" way as long as they're understood. If they can't spell well enough to let you know what they mean, then they'd better change it. When enough people decide to do it differently, you'll know.
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  #43  
Old 04-20-2012, 04:03 AM
ouryL ouryL is offline
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Before you reform spelling, don't you have to reform pronunciation?
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  #44  
Old 04-20-2012, 06:59 PM
Monty Monty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2sense View Post
Yes pls. (And lets include y'all.) I'm not from the South but not differentiating between third person singular and third person plural is a pain.
I submit we should all adopt we'uns and we all. It's quite convenient to have an exclusive we (the former) and an inclusive we (the latter).
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  #45  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:19 AM
drbhoneydew drbhoneydew is offline
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I think that part of the problem with spelling reform is that English vowels are in a near constant state of flux as regards pronunciation. In Southern England there is a lengthening of the short a in certain words - bath as barth - for no apparent reason other than a euphony that I don't agree with.

And English vowel orthography is rather different to how everybody else seems to do it, so foreigners would still get confused. Personally I find it quite nice to hear people struggling a bit with the vowels as the initial guesses are reminiscent of Olde Englishe.

Also, I don't think reform is going to help with the most common mistakes such as failing to double the consonant in the likes of spelling.

However, if we're going for full-on orthographic reform can we have a return for the thorn and eth characters?
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  #46  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:45 AM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbhoneydew View Post
In Southern England there is a lengthening of the short a in certain words - bath as barth
The very fact that you present the spellings "bath" and "barth" to illustrate vowel-lengthening is a prime example of the difficulty of creating a unified orthography for English. Think of how misleading it was to Americans to explain that Sade was pronounced Shar-Day.
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  #47  
Old 04-23-2012, 07:16 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Hukt on fonix reely wurkt fur mee.
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  #48  
Old 04-25-2012, 10:11 AM
Nancarrow Nancarrow is offline
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Arr eee eff oh arr em.

What do I win?
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  #49  
Old 04-25-2012, 11:06 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Spelling is reforming, slowly, through usage. Almost everyone recognized words like 'tonite' and 'thru'. It's just a matter of time in a language which has no controlling legal authority.
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  #50  
Old 04-25-2012, 11:11 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
The very fact that you present the spellings "bath" and "barth" to illustrate vowel-lengthening is a prime example of the difficulty of creating a unified orthography for English.
To me it shows the opposite.

Of all the supposed vast differences in pronunciation, this is the one that gets trotted out constantly and is it really that big a deal? Do programmes currently need to be redubbed because bath and barth are mutually unintelligible?

Pick one and absent bloody-mindedness no-one would have any problem understanding. You could just have a hypothetical "posh guy" or whatever in mind when thinking of how words are spelled. This is already what happens in many phonographic languages as there are always some regional pronunciation differences.
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